Coworking has been around for a while, but its popularity has been soaring in recent years. According to Deskmag’s Global Coworking Survey, over one million people will work in coworking spaces in 2017.
The growth could, in part, be down to the change in people using these spaces. Whilst once seen as a hub for freelancers, they are now attracting a broader audience, as companies are also starting to see the benefit.
Data from the Global Workspace Association (GWA), reported in a recent Huffington Post article, found that coworking spaces are predominately used by small businesses (47%). This is then followed by freelancers (20%) and mobile corporate users (12%).
So what’s making employers reconsider coworking spaces?
A white paper discussed by Dezeen claims that coworking provides a “productive, creative, and satisfying work atmosphere” for freelancers and corporate organisations. But how do users and companies benefit from this working environment?
Deskhub suggests these include:
● Networking — Sharing a space with other businesses provides users with an easy way to network with other companies, as well as potential new clients. You never know when these connections could come in handy.
● Sense of community fosters creativity and innovation — This networking results in coworking having a sense of community, as businesses and individuals share and inspire each other, generating creativity and innovation.
● Collaboration — This community also enables constant collaboration, which can often lead to business expansions or projects. All of which happens a lot quicker and more naturally and easily than when working in a conventional office or when working from home.
● Affordable — Coworking spaces provide businesses of any size with a more affordable way of hiring a professional space.
One design fits all?
The number of coworking spaces has increased globally from 5,800 in 2014 to 11,300 in 2016. And the number is expected to reach 13,800 this year.
But you’ll be forgiven for picturing these spaces as open-plan offices, as 80% of today’s coworking spaces offer private offices, the GWA data reveals.
The design of coworking spaces is being influenced by those using the hubs, as the Huffington Post article explains: “As the makeup of users shifts, the needs for layout in coworking spaces shifts, too.”
Workers are after well-designed spaces that provide them with an experience they can’t get from a home office or a corporate campus. They want a community feel and the design needs to reflect that.
Coworking spaces also need the design to work for a multitude of businesses. Therefore, there needs to be an array of private spaces, as well as shared spaces for that all-important collaboration.