There are several macroeconomic trends that are shaping the future of work and coworking is one that isn’t going away.
In fact, coworking is one of the most explosive industries to emerge over the past decade, bringing commercial real estate moguls and enterprise teams together in our sharing economy.
You’ve likely heard of coworking but just in case you’d like to understand it better, we covered the basics here in this 4-minute read:
So, what is coworking?
We used good ol’ Google to help us define coworking and we like what we found:
The coworking industry has quadrupled into a $1 billion industry over the past five years. Yes, that’s billion with a B. Why the explosive growth, you ask?
We love this GCUC (pronounced juicy) video which highlights why coworking has continued to grow at a bewildering pace. Check out these stats:
- 84 percent of employees working from coworking spaces felt more engaged and motivated.
- 89 percent of coworkers like that they can rely on other employees and teams for help.
- 89 percent are simply, happier.
Coworking started back in 2007 because solopreneurs and freelancers needed a place to connect while they worked.
Today, more than 40 percent of our American workforce is remote. While remote work was once a perk, the loneliness epidemic has drawn people back together, but in a different way. Now professionals from different teams and different industries have come together in coworking spaces and productivity has skyrocketed.
Over time, startups and small businesses caught on to the perks of coworking, and now enterprise teams are the fastest growing segment of coworking occupants. Work is no longer just work, rather, it is an experience. That said, companies big and small are having a difficult time recreating the enviable ‘work experience’ inside of their traditional office walls.
Thankfully, coworking has emerged as a service to companies. If you haven’t been inside of a coworking space, we’ll try to paint a picture for you here.
What to expect from the space
- A community space with an open, shared kitchen
- Phone booths for private calls
- Meeting rooms to host both in-person and virtual meetings
- Event space that can be rented by members and non-members
- Dedicated desks, typically located in an open, shared space but assigned to the lessee
- Floating desks, which are also located in the open space but occupied by different coworkers each day
- And finally, enclosed suites which are more private offices for teams
- Amenities like coffee, beer taps, meditation rooms, snacks, etc.
There are many benefits to coworking but perhaps the most obvious benefit for teams is the flexibility of the lease. Not only can a team lease an office month-to-month in most cases, but they can also easily change how much space they occupy depending on how quickly their team grows.
Most coworking spaces bill their customers per seat, so if you need to hire five people very quickly, you can add those five seats to your bill as you hire those employees.
This means companies young and old no longer need a real estate portfolio strategy if it isn’t a core element of their business model. Younger teams can also change and grow at whatever pace they need to without committing to big office spaces that they may never need.
When asked what they love about coworking, most teams told us that they love the “vibe” or “energy” of their space. This comes down to more than the open layout or unique design of the space, however.
While layout and design are two of the reasons teams decide on a space, the community is why most teams stay in their space.
Fostering a healthy business community is both a science and an art. Thankfully, coworking spaces often have dedicated community directors responsible for creating this environment. Given this, coworking spaces have become affordable, out-of-the-box solutions for culture building, collaboration, convenience, connection and productivity.
To compete with companies like Facebook or Google or Amazon, ones paving the way for the future of work, requires a lot of capital; but coworking gives small and growing companies that competitive edge.
Thus, we have seen a trend in coworking space operators building niche or micro-business communities that cater to different industry sectors. For example, in Denver, Colorado, we have seen coworking spaces dedicated to IoT, tech, marijuana, women, legal and digital communities, just to name a few.
So if you are wondering if coworking is for you and your team, the answer is probably yes. There is likely a space, and a community, that is a great fit for your business regardless of how big or small your team is.
If you’d like to learn more about coworking, and how it can impact your growth trajectory, our team is here to guide you through the process of understanding the new and quickly evolving coworking industry. There are a few ways to experience coworking before you sign a short-term, flexible lease:
- Dip your toes in the water: Meet our VP of Member Development, Brooke Cheishvili. You can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Go for a swim: Check out the coworking spaces in Denver and San Francisco. Upsuite will launch in several new cities very soon, making it easy to find the right space for your team.
- Ready to dive in? We recommend you find a few spaces that meet your team’s unique criteria on Upsuite, then request a tour. Our team will take on the dirty work so that you can stay focused on your day-to-day.