The original concept of a co-working space was started by two Austrian entrepreneurs in an old factory in Vienna in 2002. This concept evolved and continues to flourish as an industry worldwide to this day. Asia-Pacific is considered the largest co-working region with 11,000 workspaces. With an average space allocation of 100 square foot per person, that is a massive floor area to fill.
Offices these days have embraced the trend, and many have converted their spaces by designing open-air benching, collaborative spaces, high ceilings, break-out rooms, and adapted their office furniture accordingly. The concept’s vibe should be welcoming and fun while providing an infrastructure for serious work. These high-breed workspaces serve its top clientele well, the millennials. The generation that thrives on experience, social media, networking and technology.
Here are some facts to prove this concept’s viability:
Freelancers make up the largest group of co-working space patrons at 42% globally
Statistics say that the total global workforce in 2019 is at 3.5 billion, and 35% of that are freelancers. Freelancers are self-employed people who contract work on their own. As the gig economy rises, freelancers are expected to increase correspondingly.
The growing price of real estate space
Entrepreneurs would always want their business cards to show an address within the central business district. However, everyone now knows square footage prices have skyrocketed in all parts of the world and has become restrictive for start-ups.
Business start-ups can easily benefit from co-working spaces because it allows them to operate without laying out money for space, office equipment, internet connectivity and even utility expenses. The co-working space provides all that and more. The break-out rooms allow for more private conferences for small groups or exclusive meetings, whether face to face or online.
Start and end your business day without having to clean up and close the lights. You can pack and go. And best of all, you can choose your mode of space rental, from hourly to annually.
Increased worker satisfaction
According to a Harvard Business Review survey, 89% of these co-working space patrons are happier, and eighty-three per cent are less lonely since joining a co-working space.
It is bad to be working in a highly stressful work environment, and it becomes even more miserable to work within a dreary background. Co-working spaces exude zest and verve. And that is the setting you want to create in your office. You want to boost creativity, efficiency and productivity. Workers spend a great part of their day at work; and it helps to have office furniture that is chic, functional and ergonomic. They are pleasing to the eyes as well as better for posture.
Hi-speed Wi-Fi is no problem. It is a given. You don’t have to agonize over lagging connections or buffering. And you don’t need to get a whole IT team to get you hardwired. You can enjoy a fast, uninterrupted internet connection wherever you sit.
Meeting of Minds
Co-working spaces encourage networking. It is a melting pot of professionals from various industries. Since people who patronize these spaces are aware of the concept, they are open to conversations that motivate collaborative work. They exchange ideas, share knowledge and even expand their business connections.
Co-working spaces will never go out of style. It is the new normal social network working space/cafe.
*Photos by Ivan Samkov