What is Coworking?
The term “coworking” was coined in 2005 by Brad Neuberg, who opened the first coworking space in San Francisco. He envisioned a collaborative community where people could come together to work on their own projects, without the structure or restrictions of a traditional office.
The concept of coworking quickly caught on, and by 2010 there were over 1,000 coworking spaces around the world. By the end of 2019, there was an estimated 13,000 coworking spaces globally, and that number was only expected to grow. And it’s not just individual freelancers who are using these spaces – large companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have all set up their own coworking locations.
According to Statista, “In 2017, there were 542,000 people working in coworking spaces in the U.S., and this is forecasted to increase to about 1.08 million in 2022. In 2017, there were around 1.18 million people working in coworking spaces worldwide. In 2015, the leading serviced office company in the world in terms of number of coworking spaces was Impact Hub.”
What does the future of coworking look like?
Here are 7 future predictions:
1. More flexibility and choices
In the past, most coworking spaces have been located in major cities. However, as the demand for coworking grows, we’re likely to see more spaces popping up in smaller towns and rural areas. This will give people more flexibility in where they work, and allow them to choose a location that suits their lifestyle.
Whether you are a freelancer looking for a working space or a team of individuals looking for a space, coworking allows you to pay for the space you need. Flexible spaces give you the opportunity to pay for what you need and keep you from committing to long term expensive leases that don’t make sense with the growth or scaling down of your company. Built in amenities like reception, printing services, conference room options and more eliminate the costs you would otherwise have to consider, freeing up more money for your business.
2. More focus on wellness
As the world becomes more health-conscious, we can expect to see more co-working spaces incorporating wellness into their offerings. This could include everything from on-site yoga classes and meditation rooms to healthy food options and standing desks.
According to Ergonomic Trends, According to an extensive survey done in 2018, 89% of coworking users report that they are happier since joining a coworking space, while 83% said that they feel less lonely. Coworking allows for employees to focus more on their overall wellbeing and encourages healthier choices and more productive workers. With amenities such as onsite gym features, healthy food options, luxurious design and a sense of community, coworking brings a sense of wellness to the work environment that has been overlooked. Co-working helps add balance to your work load with flexible work schedules and the ability to work on your own time.
3. More collaboration
One of the best things about coworking is the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. As coworking spaces continue to grow, we can expect to see more opportunities for collaboration, both within individual spaces and across different locations. Collaboration encourages a company culture that is inclusive and productive to all individuals in the space.
Coworking spaces offer something unique in the way they allow for individuals from all different occupations to work alongside each other and create connections and networking opportunities that would otherwise not be possible in a traditional office setting. Typically shared spaces offer networking opportunities and can help corporations and individuals alike find new business partnerships or clients, brainstorming sessions with like-minded companies and even workshops. They also allow for more social interaction with fun activities such as mixers, lunch events, workout classes and more.
4. More global connections
With the rise of technology, it’s easier than ever to connect with people from all over the world. Coworking spaces will continue to facilitate these connections, allowing people to work with others from different cultures and backgrounds.
5. Greater diversity
The beauty of coworking is that it’s open to everyone, regardless of their background or profession. As the coworking movement continues to grow, we can expect to see a more diverse range of people using these spaces.
Coworking spaces offer diverse opportunities in the way that they allow from people from all walks of life and backgrounds to join a community space, including virtual spaces. Diversity is so important and allows for people from different perspectives to introduce new approaches. With different backgrounds comes different skill sets, this comes in handy with projects that require different elements and people from different backgrounds to come together and finish a project together. In a coworking space you might also find that language barriers that existed before are done away with when someone on your team has the language capability to broaden the horizon of your business.
6. More sustainability
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the need to protect our environment, we can expect to see more co-working spaces incorporating sustainable practices into their operations. This could include things like using recycled materials, investing in renewable energy, and offering bike storage for commuters.
Coworking spaces have huge potential to help support sustainable work places with the sharing aspect that comes a long with working in the space. Everyone is sharing space, office supplies and more to cut down on basic waste. Less land and storage is being utilitized for multiple businesses and promotes less usage of space and land by sharing spaces. Lots of Coworking spaces also have their own plants and gardens in common areas and courtyards. These indoor plants improve air quality by filtering out harmful toxins. With outdoor spaces, coworkers can have access to gardens where they pick their own vegetables for lunch and add greenery to their surrounding areas.
7. Greater accessibility
One of the goals of the coworking movement is to make work more accessible for everyone. This means creating spaces that are open and welcoming to all, regardless of ability or background. We can expect to see more co-working spaces designed with accessibility in mind, from wheelchair-accessible entrances to sensory-friendly environments.