The markets have validated coworking spaces due to an increase in the number of freelancers around the globe. The first coworking space began in 2005 in San Fransisco, and it has been growing massively ever since. The credit for initiation of the first official coworking space goes to Software Engineer, Brad Neuberg. Coworking space is an excellent place for entrepreneurs, startups, independent contractors, employees, freelancers, and others to work in an affordable, flexible, and accessible environment. The most popular coworking space WeWork has been facing significant troubles ever since its announcement to go public.
The coworking space market has been expanding at a high pace worldwide. The number of spaces worldwide is predicted to cross 20,000 and reach 25,968 by 2022, that is an increase of 42% from 2019; which means that the average growth of new spaces per year has been 2,595 since 2015. According to reports, in Indian alone, the area taken up by coworking space service providers across top seven cities during the first nine months of 2017 and 2018 went from 1.11 mn sq ft to 3.44 mn sq ft.
Here are the reasons why the future of coworking seems bright:
1. Flexibility for members
Coworking spaces offer great flexibility for their members. It allows the people to choose from a vast array of options for membership, unlike the traditional office space. Not being bound to a one-year lease, most of the membership plans go from month to month, which means that if you need to cancel or take a month off, you can freely do that without penalty.
2. Cost-effective solutions
Office space can get pricey, especially if you live in a metropolitan area. Coworking spaces provide cheaper alternatives for entrepreneurs willing to startup. Despite the great prices offered for the basic coworking environment, additional facilities and unlimited access might make the prices run higher. The primary reason why startups MSMEs have been transitioning over to coworking space model is to cut expenses. With rising businesses and rising lease expense, affordability is the principal factor that makes it the future of working.
3. Innovative & creative working experience
Coworking businesses have been building on unique experiences and engagements for building tenants by providing amenities like gyms, cafes, spas, and creches for the working officials. The businesses have also opted to manage the entire ecosystem of the building by bringing events and community focus on the employees to make up for innovative working experience. The spaces are no longer limited to dull, bland offices, but instead, the industry has taken a U-turn to make the spaces colorful and open to enhance the creativity of their employees using soothing and motivational color schemes. The businesses can focus on their work while outsourcing the design, building, and management of their office space.
4. Networking and collaborating opportunities
With early day networking limited to business cards and LinkedIn, coworking with multiple individuals and businesses has helped ease out the networking process. Such communal spaces have helped in connecting like-minded people and building meaningful relationships. You would be able to share your ideas not only with your team but can also communicate with the members of other companies and possibly collaborate for mutual benefits. Many times, the collaboration also works between the space provider and the clients or the office workers sitting within the space through retailing and sampling of products and services. The clients can get real-time feedback from a broader community and an opportunity to test the market with varied demographics.
5. Tech-enabled smart offices
Technology has always made our life more convenient. AI will gradually be taking over coworking spaces, transforming it into autonomous workspaces. Currently, multiple technologies like smart access, smart meeting rooms, and intelligent receptions have forayed, enabling the cloud-based access system, facial recognition, and real-time security monitoring. The tech assists the individuals in working efficiently and quicker, making tasks convenient. The firms can communicate their ideas better with the help of smart conference rooms with intelligent tech.
6. Boosting morale and productivity
According to reports by NASSCOM, over 1,200 startups came up in India in 2018, including eight unicorns, and took up the total number to 7,200 startups. Starting a business sometimes can make you feel isolated. In such times, having the support of fellow entrepreneurs can help boost your morale and improve your mental health. Being surrounded by smart, motivated individuals with the same risk-taking attitude towards making their ventures a success helps you to maintain a healthy competition within the workspace and utilize your full potential. Reports by the Business state that 74% of coworkers are more productive, 86% have a more extensive business network, and 93% have a bigger social network.
7. Rising trends of ‘work near home’ and ‘walk to work’
Coworking spaces, available in multiple locations throughout the cities, are a solution to reduce the wastage of time via commute hour, providing mutual benefits to the business and individual. A number of people already prefer to work near their living spaces and vice-versa. Additionally, “walk to work” has also been trending in metropolitan cities that saves productive working hours instead of losing hours in commuting to work.
The coworking spaces are dynamic and ought to change further in coming times. The workspaces will evolve and see some significant changes within the next five to seven years with demand-driven from a new generation of entrepreneurs and penetration of corporate markets. With increasing jobs offering flexibility and remote work, coworking has no downfall for its market.