Gone are the days of freelancers and startups being isolated in their home offices or garages all day. Coworking, an office space that hosts independent workers along with larger companies, is becoming more and more of the solution in today’s stressed out, busy, and lonely workforce.
Global Coworking Unconference Conference, or GCUC, published a study with Emergent Research about the future of coworking. The experts forecasted that the number of global coworking spaces will grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 coworking spaces in 2022. GCUC also predicted that the number of coworking members themselves will quickly outgrow the number of available spaces from 1.74 million members in 2017 to 5.1 million members in 2022.
A work style that is becoming much more than just a passing fad, coworking attracts members from all walks in the corporate world, from freelancers and people who work from home, to global businesses who need an innovative way to keep their team connected and thriving.
Space As A Service
So many companies are beginning to opt out of the long term commitment to the looming overhead cost of purchasing their own office space. Companies like WeWork are starting to gain some major traction. WeWork has caught the attention of some of the biggest companies in the world with Microsoft and Facebook leasing out space for a small selection of their employees.
These companies are creating a brand new business model some have dubbed the Space as a Service industry. Basically, they either purchase a property or lease it from a landlord. They renovate it by giving it a techy look and feel. They will then sublet the space in small chunks of square footage. Giving businesses more flexibility, coworking spaces like WeWork are changing the business real estate game.
Startups & Massive Corporations Together
The need for workplace flexibility and creativity is quickly growing, as startups, self-employed workers, and even big companies look for a way to refresh the workplace environment. Coworking offers a way to keep leasing costs down, maximize creative space available, and cultivate innovation through teams and networking.
The number of self-employed workers is expanding globally, and while they might not have a need for a classic office space, coworking provides an environment that promotes productivity and problem-solving, while avoiding the pitfalls that come with working at home and being surrounded by distractions.
Corporations are shying away from long-term leases more and more as their workforce requires more flexibility and agility to navigate than ever before. Several global offices, different teams working remotely on special projects, technology is making it easier than ever to pursue coworking environments with the only strict workplace requirements being an internet connection and a laptop.
Possible Future Tech in Coworking
Coworking spaces are collaborative spaces at their truest form. And as the industry grows, tech companies will be turning to coworking spaces to encourage further innovation. In a coworking space, bleeding edge technology can be dreamed up, tested, and implemented, in an environment that is specifically designed for such creativity.
With bigger and bigger companies taking a leap into coworking, who knows what could be dreamed up over the next few years in the medical, science, and technology fields? Having collaborative access to 3D printers and VR headsets could usher us into a brand new age of innovation.
Because coworking spaces already have computers, streaming equipment, printers, and software available for their members, the next step into high-end tech is a small one. With companies renting time for their employees to work with the equipment, previously prohibitively expensive technology is within reach.
Shift in Workplace Philosophy
As more and more companies go global and have offices spread all throughout the world and time zones, coworking spaces are leading the charge in changing workplace philosophies. Often, employees need only an internet connection, their laptop, and a pair of headphones to be productive and in communication with their international team.
With plenty of internet and desks to go around, coworking is enabling more companies to embrace the global workforce while providing an environment that promotes productivity.
Coworking spaces are also filling the need for community and personal connection that people are needing more and more in this day and age. Working from home or in a loud coffee shop might not be sustainable anymore as people are struggling with loneliness and isolation in both their personal and professional lives. Specific coworking spaces like The Shift, in Chicago, focus on fostering a sense of community in order to combat this.
Networking is a natural product of coworking spaces. What better way could there be to grow business connections and circles of influence than in a collaborative community like a coworking environment? When Haworth published a coworking study, they reported that freelancers who chose to start working in a coworking space reported their business network increasing by up to 80%. Choosing to work in an environment like coworking, where your team is surrounded by like-minded individuals who are all working passionately to achieve their goals and can build connections together, versus an environment like a bland cafe where your only connection point is your next cup of coffee, is a no-brainer.
Coworking is here to stay and is quickly becoming the smart choice for companies that want to encourage collaboration, teamwork, and networking in their employees. TenantBase can help you find the perfect coworking space that works for you.