Coworking spaces are the greatest places for those who do freelancing work. The flexible schedule is ideal for freelancers who need to work specific hours without having to do so in isolation. The shared space is ideal for those freelancers who need the feeling of community instead of being limited to work in the seclusion of their own homes or a coffee shop.
For those who are involved in a start-up business, the concept behind a coworking space is perfect. Workers are able to have access to all the amenities of a major workspace, without the large overhead cost associated with opening their own office. It is also possible to find investors who may be able to help shape the start-up into a successful business.
The scope of the coworking space is ideal for the aforementioned groups of people. Freelancers and start-ups have different goals than an established organisation. However, research published in the Harvard Business Review found that coworking spaces help employees thrive through stronger interpersonal connections. The researchers were so impressed that they decided to undergo a more in-depth study. There study found people involved with working in coworking spaces had a better attitude. The workers had a more meaningful outlook on their work and felt they had more control of their work and felt a connection to society.
Big Business catching on
Because of the growing success rate of coworking spaces and its ongoing growth in popularity, larger organisations are paying close attention. In fact, a number of more forward-thinking organisations are already looking for ways to utilize the coworking space experience for their own benefit. A firm called WeWork valued at a huge $16 billion has begun to attract larger corporations such as Bloomberg, GE, KPMG and others to use their shared spaces. A large organisation would benefit by renting a number of desks to help provide a more strategic advantage in their overall marketing scheme. Those who are interested in investing in start-ups are also seeing the benefits provided by a shared working space experience. The flexibility is undeniably better than managing new real-estate and spending earnings on upkeep and staff.
Replication in Traditional Offices
As the popularity of coworking spaces grow, traditional offices run by large corporations are finding the need to transform their practices. Today, many office managers find themselves attempting to replicate the benefits that are observed in a shared workspace. However, the most important feature of the coworking spaces is the introduction of the culture that goes along with it.
However, what coworking spaces offer is the ability to be free and mobile. The spaces also help to create a more organic collaboration and encourage conversations. The value of the coworking spaces is made from the communications that are able to take place inside them. Innovation and shared ideas are what separates them from the traditional office.
The true advantages of the coworking spaces are the freedom and flexibility that it promotes those who use the services. The needs of even the smallest business can be met with the same professional services that are normally only available to the wealthiest organizations. Now those same amenities and more are available to the start-ups and freelancers. Not only is the design an important factor, but also the culture that comes with a coworking space. The collaboration that goes on in a coworking space could also benefit larger organizations as long as the culture is kept intact.
In one case, an organization in Michigan named Menlo Innovations added a 7 thousand square foot coworking space to their company. They also invited freelancers and start-ups to work beside their workers, helping to bring the culture into the coworking space. This may be an effective path to take for a larger organization that is able to afford the resources and logistics necessary to gain the benefit of a coworking space.
Growth of Coworking spaces
The freelancing sector is constantly growing with the new and innovated approaches offered by technology. Generation Z and Millennials are starting to find their way into the freelancing world. There are an estimated 53 million freelancers working in the United States.
However, by 2020, the number is expected to grow exponentially. It is estimated that over half of the American workforce will be conducted by freelancers. The coworking space will also be where they will work in the future.
There will be a need for those who work full or part-time to have a flexible place to go to in order to conduct their business. Even smaller businesses that cannot afford the traditional office space and the cost that it entails, can benefit hugely from the use of a coworking space. Even larger organizations are looking into incorporation of a coworking place for new avenues of innovation.
As our culture changes from one decade to another, it is important to stay flexible to the challenges that may appear. Coworking spaces are a new and innovative idea that will take the business working environment to the next level of human and social evolution.