Coworking Space: A Global Trend

Posted on Apr 26, 2019 | 2 comments

Coworking Space: A Global Trend

 

An interesting effect of the increase of digital nomads and geographic-independent work is the growth of coworking spaces. If your employer is in another country, you may enjoy the freedom from a daily commute and perhaps the ability to set your own schedule, but many still seek the connection, sense of community, and resources that a coworking space can offer.

Coworking is a collaborative, flexible and voluntary work style that involves a shared workplace that accommodates independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Coworking enables social interaction between people who are working independently and fosters the opportunity for synergy and networking that accompanies real human interaction. It may be a useful venue for client meetings and sharing of resources, but it can also provide relief from the isolation that can accompany working from home.  Participation in a cowork space can range from free to a monthly subscription to high-end “boutique” spaces, but typically these arrangements provide an affordable alternative to renting out traditional office space.

Between 2006 and 2015, a few studies have shown the number of coworking spaces and available seats have roughly doubled each year. WeWork began offering coworking spaces in 2008 and has since built over 648 offices in 113 cities globally. Many Asian companies have found coworking a way to use office space more efficiently in the face of a shortage of real estate. Countries such as Australia and New Zealand have turned to  coworking as a method of countering the rising prices of commercial spaces, with some studies indicating cowork offices to be 25% cheaper for most freelancers and businesses.

Entrepreneurs in Borneo are enticing start-ups to move to Kuching to take advantage of their plentiful and affordable coworking spaces. A newly opened space in the surf town of LaUnion, Philippines is advertising itself as “co-living” by expanding its office space to offer accommodations and activities as well. Switzerland reports tripling the number of co-working spaces in just the past three years.

And there seems to be something unique about coworking spaces. One report indicated that people using these working arrangements report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale – at least one point higher than the average for the regular joes in a traditional office environment. The sense of community among people with diverse professions, hours, and missions is noted as being particularly strong in coworking arrangements.

How will this trend affect how we conduct business in the near future? Should companies have a responsibility to provide such spaces for their employees that are outside the company footprint? Much research has been done on the effect of a good environment on productivity. If you are working independently, considering a cowork space might be an important part of your business plan.

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2 Comments

  1. I am totally agree with you that co-working space has become a global trend in these days. It is because co-working spaces provided many facilities which are much cheaper than having a private virtual office.

    • Since posting this blog we’ve noticed more and more start-ups entering this field. Do you have direct experience with spending less by participating in a coworking space?

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