Coworking is a relatively new phenomenon that took off in the mid 2000’s as a growing number of Internet entrepreneurs and freelancers looked for space outside of their homes and the coffee shops to work. To meet the demands of this growing segment of the workforce coworking spaces began popping up around the world, providing shared office space, equipment, and technology. These spaces also provided a sense of community and a place to share knowledge and ideas among these usually isolated professionals.
Today many small businesses choose coworking space over traditional office space as it provides a low cost, flexible alternative that traditional office leases do not allow for. Start-ups find this especially beneficial while they get their feet wet in the marketplace. Having the option to rent a shared desk space saves a tremendous amount on overhead, and having access to conference rooms and private offices provides room for growth when needed.
In addition to shorter, more affordable rental terms coworking spaces also provide another perk for small businesses, office troubleshooting – allowing entrepreneurs more time to focus on their core business needs. This troubleshooting includes things like office furniture needs, tech support for printer and computer issues, a receptionist to answer incoming calls and a coffee pot that’s always full. All of the things you would expect when working at the office, without having to worry about where they are coming from.
Workplace One, Wolseley St. is one of 80 coworking space options serving Toronto, Canada. Source: Toronto Star
Others are finding something a little less tangible through collaborative coworking spaces, incredible new business opportunities. Three local entrepreneurs in Sydney, Australia did just this as they found the perfect opportunity to combine their expertise and launch a new venture shortly after moving into a coworking space together. Being able to bounce ideas off of like-minded individuals can help small business owners find new ways to grow and develop making coworking spaces an attractive option for solopreneurs.
The ladies of One Fine Day turned a simple idea into an international brand after sharing a coworking space. Source: The Huffington Post
While coworking spaces are traditionally seen as a place for smaller companies and startups looking to save money and access expensive city center locations, many larger organizations are now getting on board with the coworking movement, realizing the benefits of a more flexible working environment. HSBC is one such company, with a recent move of their Hong Kong digital and transformation team into a local coworking space. This move not only provides 300 employees with a modern, collaborative working environment, it also saves them money while helping to find and retain top digital talent.
A look inside HSBC’s new office space at WeWork, Tower 535, Hong Kong. Source: Workplace Insight
Coworking spaces are also known for their trend setting, creative designs, making them an attractive option for creatives and innovative entrepreneurs. Take a peek inside some of the world’s most trend setting coworking spaces below.
The new Interchange – Atrium in London offers a high-end, futuristic feel for cutting edge businesses. Source: Dezeen
The rustic charm of The Farm SoHo makes it an ideal place for creatives to meet and share ideas in NYC. Source: Office Snapshots
Some coworking spaces are pet-friendly like this WeWork location in Santa Monica, California. Source: Officelovin
With approximately 11,100 coworking spaces across the globe in 2016, we’ve come a long way from the handful of coworking spaces available in 2007. This number is only set to rise with 26,000 coworking spaces expected by 2020 to meet the needs of 3.8 million coworking members worldwide. Although this only represents a small fraction of the office space in the world coworking is a growing work style that will leave an impact on office design trends for years to come.
Are you a fan of coworking? Tell us your thoughts on this latest working craze.