This post was originally published as one of my LinkedIn articles on August 30, 2018:
The future of work is changing to meet the demands of a modern labor force and looks vastly different than anything anyone would have imagined, even as recently as a decade ago. The culture of the traditional 9 to 5 office job is making its way toward a better work-life balance — one that doesn’t necessarily involve a nameplate on an office door or even a fixed, permanent desk. Small businesses, freelancers and mobile corporate users are continuing to turn more and more to coworking spaces to spur innovation and creativity through collaboration and the contagious dynamism that these types of spaces offer.
The number of people utilizing coworking spaces worldwide is growing exponentially, increasing from a mere 21,000 (approximate) in 2010 to more than 1.25 million in 2017, with expected growth in 2018 to nearly 1.7 million (statista.com). Since coworking space is growing at such an incredible rate, landlords are beginning to capitalize on this growing trend to meet the demand of future tenants/members such as the Wasatch Group with their coworking brand Avanti Workspace. It’s proving so popular at the Carlsbad location that they are building out additional coworking space within the building.
It is important to note that coworking does not always equate to open plan. According to the 2017 Industry Survey by the Global Workspace Association, 80 percent of coworking spaces offer private offices for their members.
Coworking is changing the entire face of commercial real estate today by offering the following 3 benefits that the traditional landlord/tenant relationship simply can’t touch…
1. Short-Term and Scalable Options
A typical coworking agreement runs on a month to month agreement or an annual agreement, and these agreements typically allow businesses or workers to add or remove certain features to their agreement in real time, even while their contract is live. This makes coworking a particularly attractive option for employers who anticipate hiring more staff in the future, but who don’t want to assume the risk of added office space until they need it. Because of its versatility and ability to scale, coworking can be a great option for startups, as well as existing businesses that are in the midst of operational changes.
2. Convenience and Accessibility
While not all coworking spaces provide 24/7 access, the majority do. For freelancers and/or remote workers who find they work more productively and efficiently at night, this can be the perfect solution — giving them the flexibility they need to work during their best and most productive hours and affording them access to a workspace with all the amenities needed to get their work done efficiently. In some cases, coworking spaces are even available for out of town workers who need a place to get things done.
It’s no secret that networking is one of the best ways to get ahead in business. And, when freelancers or remote workers work from home — or even in a coffee house or an isolated office — they often miss out on the chance to network and interact with their colleagues. This not only leads to potentially unfulfilled workers, it can also lead to missed opportunities to collaborate and grow. Coworking is a happy medium, giving people the chance to network with other like-minded professionals with the flexibility of workspaces and hours that only coworking can provide. A great example of this is Hera Hub, a female coworking space and business accelerator that was founded here in San Diego in 2011. They have now grown to over 400 members in 6 locations across the United States. Not only do they provide a place to work, they also offer business support through mentoring, networking events and education.
When considering these top 3 benefits, it’s no surprise that the average coworking space in the US grew by more than 10 percent within the last 12 months, according to Deskmag’s 2018 Global Coworking Survey. These spaces foster a sense of community and conversation — something many freelancers and those who work from home report as sorely lacking in their day to day work environment. People are looking for that unique work atmosphere and culture that startups provide, and coworking spaces are the perfect solution. And, all perks aside, these types of spaces are ensuring that today’s entrepreneurs are allowed to shape the global business landscape — whether in the startup phase of their company or as a solo freelancer — and possibly grow into a larger space that will fit their long-term business needs.