The rise and benefits of coworking
Why has coworking become so popular?
If it seems like coworking or shared office spaces are popping up everywhere you look…it’s because they are.
Coworking spaces are on the rise, with an estimated 29,968 locations expected worldwide by 2022. So, what’s the deal? What exactly is a coworking space, and why are these locations proving so popular?
What is Coworking?
Simply put, coworking represents a location that provides professional space for members to access according to their membership plan. Depending on your specific needs, you might require a reserved conference room for a guaranteed number of hours per month.
Maybe a day pass every other week does the job, or perhaps your business has grown to the point of needing private office space, but you don’t quite have a budget big enough for a long-term lease.
Regardless of your specific membership plan, all members of a coworking space are provided with certain amenities, like free Wi-fi, printing capabilities, high-end furniture, a professional mailing address and guaranteed quiet surroundings for optimal productivity, along with perks like free coffee and refreshments.
But, does that account for the arguably meteoric rise in popularity of coworking spaces across the globe? There’s a little more to it.
A New Frontier
You’ve heard it before, but in case you need reminding — we are living and working in the era of the gig economy. Working remotely is increasingly common, thanks to the abundance of technological advancements that make doing so possible. It’s an attractive option for businesses, too, cutting down on operational costs. Currently, more than 3.9 million Americans work remotely approximately 50% of the time.
Now, given that working from home isn’t always practical, peaceful or productive, depending on the environment and who else might be sharing it, you can start to understand the appeal of the coworking space. It’s like a home-office-away-from-home office, with none of the distractions like being in eyeshot of your overflowing laundry room or in earshot of screaming kids or barking dogs.
A Shot of Support for Communities
The benefits of coworking spaces are easy to track for freelancers, solopreneurs, startups and small businesses. But what often gets overlooked is the advantage a coworking space offers a community.
Consider this analysis of coworking spaces in a community by Josh Shronce, community manager of Venture X West Palm Beach:
“When entrepreneurs succeed, the community thrives. With more resources and more career opportunities, community members flourish. That’s why we’ve offered our space as the central hub for Palm Beach Startup Week. It’s a chance to show off our space, sure, but it’s also our chance to give back to the community and drive more economic growth.”
While coworking spaces support professionals on an individual basis, the collective advantage cannot be overstated.
Support for Commercial Real Estate
Piggybacking off the community advantage, the rise in coworking spaces presents positive implications for commercial real estate. Renovating old industrial parks, mill buildings or long-closed factories into coworking spaces provides a safer real estate investment for property owners and builders when compared to a niche service or product.
The next time you see a coworking space, look at the shop fronts and services surrounding it. Increasingly, coworking spaces hint at the health of a local economy.
Chris Duhaime, owner of Spark Offices in Manchester, can be contacted via 603-934-3222 or sparkoffices.com.