The 'coworking space' has become a buzzword recently as it has allowed a lot of employees and employers to work in a flexible working environment. Coworking spaces are gaining popularity because they provide an affordable work environment, especially to startups and freelancers.
The concept of coworking is fairly new; a coworking space is a premise where people belonging to different professional areas, organizations, and interests share. In contrast to a traditional office setting, coworking space isn't dedicated to employees of just one organization or even the same industry. Quite simply, it is a working arrangement in which employees from different organizations share an office to save money, conserve energy, afford high-end locations, and more.
If we talk about facilities and amenities, coworking spaces offer the same services as an ordinary office such as the internet, printers, conference rooms, heating, cooling, snacks, etc. The only difference is that the space is shared.
Over the past few years, coworking spaces have rapidly expanded, and according to an estimate, there would be around 20,000 coworking spaces globally. Currently, the Asia-Pacific region has the most growth potential in coworking spaces with a growing number of coworking spaces.
What is the reason behind the popularity of shared working spaces? The answer is pretty evident; here are a few main reasons:
• Employers save a lot of money by leasing shared working spaces – instead of paying the entire rent themselves, they share it with other people. Similarly, utilities like heating, cooling, internet, and even courier services are also shared, which reduces the bill considerably.
• Sustainability – When employees share an office, they also share utilities like lighting, heating, cooling, etc. The overall carbon footprint is reduced by sharing as more energy will be spent if each organization had its own office.
• Affording Accessible Locations – Most businesses, especially small ones, cannot afford high-end offices in premium locations. They have to settle for inaccessible locations, which affects the type of employees and consumers they attract. Coworking makes it possible for companies on a budget to set up shop in the heart of the city's business center.
• In 2019, there were over 19000 coworking spaces worldwide; it is expected that the number will increase to 26,000 by 2025
• As of 2019, There are More than 3 million coworkers globally
• More than 65% of coworkers are of 40 years old or less
• Asia-Pacific is the world's largest coworking region with over 11000 coworking spaces.
As more and more shared working spaces emerge, flexible workspaces' expected market value has risen to $26 billion. However, in the wake of Coronavirus, the coworking spaces have taken a knock. The popularity of remote work threatens the growth of shared workspaces.
To recover from this catastrophe, they are actively taking measures to ensure the protection and safety of coworkers to regain their trust. Experts say that despite the trend towards telework, coworking still has a huge potential to grow as most of them are already offering contact-free technologies; hands-free check-in, card transactions, no-touch door locks, etc.
Currently, only tech industries are utilizing coworking spaces. In the coming years, it is expected that the demand for shared work areas will increase in other industries as well. If you are in the coworking market, then it will benefit you to start targeting businesses in other sectors apart from technology. Startups, retail, and research and development are some examples worth looking into.
Another growing trend is that of targeted industry coworking spaces. A Targeted coworking space is dedicated to a single industry so it can cater to its needs perfectly. Currently, the trend is that organizations belonging to different industries share the workspace. It works fine, but each industry has its working standards and requirement. Therefore it makes sense to opt for spaces specially designed to accommodate companies belonging to a specific sector.
If you are facilitating the people beyond the basics, they will most likely be appealed to use the space more freely. One example of industry-specific coworking spaces is of textile designing or health-tech industries. If companies of one sector start sharing a space, it may even lead to synergies in the industry.
As the trend grows, more and more organizations are attracted to coworking. Organizations including IBM, Verizon, KPMG, and Microsoft are considering coworking spaces and are looking to fund new ventures in terms of collaborated workspaces globally. According to WeWork, a big coworking business reported that their business operations increased by 250% in 2017, mainly because of big companies.
Not only does coworking saves money, but it is also an excellent way to save resources and work in a more sustainable environment. Each separate offices has its lighting, heating, cooling, and so on. However, in a shared space, they share the cooling and heating, among other things which conserve energy and is better for the environment.
Moreover, coworking spaces deliberately focus on energy saving by utilizing natural resources such as using natural light, greenery, and recycled materials in their operations. As technology is enhancing, the Internet of Things (IoT) is also helping coworking spaces become smart hence saving up on resources and providing people better working experience. The coworking spaces are also actively staying up to date with technology and using high-quality Coaxial cables for internet transmission.
Coworking is not only common in the US but around the globe. According to some surveys, Asia has the most coworking spaces and continues to grow in number. There are several different kinds of coworking spaces, such as the ones fostering entrepreneurs and startups in developing countries.
There are also coworking spaces that enable women to work freely without any restrictions and foster women empowerment in countries where it is hard for women to go out and work. The importance and awareness of such an environment are increasing worldwide, which gives an excellent opportunity to emerging spaces.
As the world advances each day, more jobs are expected, and organizations are likely to grow. With globalization, distances are no more a problem, and several organizations now frequently work with remote employees or teams.
As per predictions, the need for coworking spaces will eventually increase with the growing number of work opportunities in various fields, including health, design, technology, movies production companies, etc. The coworking spaces provide a flexible environment for people to work on their terms and at ease, which is more of what people are looking for in this day and age.
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