Coworking spaces have grown at a remarkable rate of 200% in the last five years. The number of coworking members is estimated to rise to over 5 million by 2022 due to the massive increase in jobs offering remote working. A significant rise in the number of startups has also contributed to the growth of coworking spaces. As professionals embrace this new style of working, coworking space could very well be the future of workspace.
As per Cecilia Amador, [Source (1)]
“Statistics gathered from reports published in 2019:
There are approximately over 35,000 flexible workspaces in the entire world, which represents 521 million square feet of flexible space.
The global market value of flexible workspaces is estimated at an approximately $26 billion.
Up until 2022, the number of coworking spaces is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% in the U.S. and 13% elsewhere.
The amount of coworking space leased and its share of total office space rose by almost half in only 18 months, from the end of 2016 through mid-2018.
In 2018, the number of coworking spaces rose 16% in the U.S. and 36% outside the U.S.”
One of the most unique features of coworking spaces is that it accommodates the different working styles, another major reason behind its growing popularity. A coworking space allows a person to enjoy the sense of belonging to a community and sharing a common desk with a stranger in addition to facilities to help professionals buckle down and work in isolation when required by their business. This variation in work style is not available in most other traditional office spaces.
The Future of the Workplace
The workspace is no exception to change and growth. Coworking spaces have added a new dimension to the workspace. It is not just about those working the typical 9-5, but strives to be able to cater to all professionals by functioning around the clock. The relaxed and flexible work environment offered by coworking spaces is still a very new concept, and many people find it hard to admit that the 9-5 grind may not be as favorable when it comes to productivity.
But with the growing number of coworking spaces in cities and towns all across the world owing to keep up with demand, it only goes to show that more people are switching to a more flexible way of working. Hence, a coworking space that was started as a place for freelancers to connect and get that ‘office’ feeling has now transitioned into an established workspace that has benefits for practically any size of business.
The workplace of the future is also one that comprehends the full impact of the design of a workspace on productivity. The traditional workspaces did not pay much heed to how office space is designed. It was limited to the basic amenities of a desk, chair, and a break area. Coworking spaces, on the other hand, have taken office design to another well which directly contributes to the productivity of a working professional.
Workplace design has undergone a radical transformation just like any other part of modern business in the past decade. It has become an intersection where the office world and its surrounding access to cutting-edge technology blend into the experience economy. The coworking spaces that have revamped workspaces are furnished with everything from bold conference rooms, to small offices for private conversations, to plush couches for more informal meetings. Ubiquitous Wi-Fi supports live video conversations with anyone from anywhere. There is also the addition of shelves of free snacks and nearby nap pods for the members.
Purposeful design is when a thoughtful consideration is included while considering the arrangement of desks, the easy availability of work-enabling tech, inviting lighting, proper flow of foot traffic, meeting spaces conducive to focus, along the scent of a room. However small they may seem, these factors influence how the members of a coworking space think, act, create and collaborate. The ideal workspace design should reduce stress but encourage and increase natural interactions among coworkers, fostering better collaboration, networking, and, consequently, business results.
As per Wired, [Source (2)]
“This rethinking of the office world aligns with another dramatic shift: the rise of temporary or “gig economy” workers. A report by Freshbooks, a cloud-based accounting company, says the number of self-employed workers could triple by 2020, reaching 42 million, with millennials leading the pack.”
The nature of work itself is changing in today’s economy. There is a rise of the gig and contractor economy with the gig economy making up a total of 16.5 million workers and more than 59% of companies use gig workers to some degree in the US alone. This has made it possible for several professionals to quit the rigid corporate 9-5 to find a side hustle, in between a gig, or a full-time job, with flexible timing or work pattern.
These changes in work patterns have enabled a greater number of professionals to flood coworking spaces and use common desks for their work. The more recent generation that entered the workforce - Millennials and Gen Zers more likely to freelance to create their sources of opportunity and income. The motivating factors that drive the gig economy are driven by flexibility, independence, and happiness in the workforce
As per Katie Puckett, [Source (3)]
“As companies compete to attract the best talent, they are having to rethink traditional approaches to work. Younger workers are much more mobile, says Carroll, both within the office itself and in the places where work is done: “That could be client offices, home, co-working spaces, airports.” A JLL survey of more than 7,300 employees in 12 countries found that 54% worked from home at least once a month, and 34% worked from third places such as cafes or co-working spaces. This is driven by millennials: 47% of under-35s worked from third places, compared to just 27% of over-35s.”
The flexibility in membership plans offered by coworking spaces also supports and encourages the contractor or gig economy work pattern. Although coworking spaces offer an affordable, month-to-month subscription and have access to workspace, meeting space, amenities, and mailboxes in an instant, they also allow easy cancellation for situations where travel is necessary.
As they grow in scope and scale and increase the productivity and business transactions of companies of all sizes, coworking spaces have benefited from economic growth.
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