What is coworking? To put it simply, coworking space is a place where more than one individual is working together, preferably on a different project. Shared workspaces have gained popularity in recent years, and an increasing number of individuals/companies are moving out of the corporate spaces and moving in a coworking setup or office. A coworking space will offer all the amenities that you receive in a traditional workspace along with much more like no long-term leases, no management responsibility. Hence, one can procure flexibility.
History of Coworking
The word coworking was first used by Bernad Dekoven to describe a number of individual freelancers or employees working together and sharing ideas during the process. Coworking was first opened up by hackers in Berlin. They founded the space to promote the sharing of ideas and techniques by the members of the community. The original concept of coworking space got so popular that there are many hackerspaces in different states of America, and they keep on growing rapidly.
Sunshine Suites first gestated coworking in the October of 2001. The founders Cheni Yerushalmi and Joe Raby promoted the spirit of community by offering more than just basic amenities. If someone was lagging behind the payment of the space, the management took on their shoulders to help the company get out of the crunch. The area encouraged a sense of belonging in real value.
The very first coworking space opened up in Vienna in 2002, in a remodeled factory, and the doors were open to all, from freelancers to professionals. The area came to be called as Konnex collections in the year 2004 and continues to grow.
San Francisco saw its first coworking space in the year 2005 by Brad Neuberg. He believed that traditional offices and work from home lack productivity. The area offered desks, free wifi, bike tours, meditation, and massage centers. The space reopened in 2006 by the name ‘Hat Factory.’
Coworking – Kinds
- Traditional Coworking
The ‘traditional coworking’ takes extraordinary efforts to build a community. One of the main pros of coworking is networking. Hence, they bring about a space where each enterprise mutually benefits the other. Another aspect of these kinds of shared workspaces is to promote a business’s growth.
- Urban Coworking
‘Urban’ Coworking stresses over an environment that gives a sense of home along with a working environment. They focus on cool lighting, furniture, and decor. They also offer classes, events, discounts for gyms and restaurants, etc. for the members.
- Niche Coworking
Niche coworking spaces specialized in bringing about a community of professionals from the same industry that creates a functional space for everyone to share ideas and techniques and increase the speed of personal growth and escalates your business. Here, many are able to form partnerships and learn through mutual benefit.
- Professional Coworking
A professional coworking is a space intricately built to give a corporate vibe to the environment. The need for a professional setting arises for client meetings where the coworking has a friendly and polite reception, and the pantry is well stocked. This creates an excellent impression on outsiders who have a feeling that coworking is more for freelancers and informal.
- Everybody Coworking
Everybody coworking is collaborative and inclusive for every type of business need. This place is open to all kinds of professionals, from freelancers to corporates to small enterprises. Everybody coworking is a coworking space in the real sense where all of the people are welcomed, which in turn creates a diversity out of all of them.
Coworking Around the World
- Asia Pacific
Coworking in Asia boomed as there is a shortage of space like many countries in Asia. Coworking spaces are growing, and new are coming each day in all the metropolitan cities. For example, Hong-kong is considered one of the prominent tech capital of the world along with the silicon valley of New York City. Hong Kong saw a significant sprout of shared workspaces, and the growth is rapid and continuous.
In countries like New Zealand and Australia where commercial real-estate is becoming expensive each day, people are opting to work out of shared workspaces more and more. As coworking is 25% less expensive, it becomes the best option for freelancers and small startups.
Australia is on the ladder of expanding the coworking footprint. There are many locally operated coworking spaces, and it has been challenged by the global leader WeWork.
Coworking spaces, as seen, are on the boom in India as well. All the popular cities in India including Mumbai, Banglore, Chennai, Gurgaon, Delhi, Noida, Pune and Hyderabad. More than 900 locations are present all over India when it comes to coworking spaces. The diversity of people and cheaper rates is what attracts the people in the shared workspace boundaries. 2020 expects a new boom in the sector where coworking is expanding in the Tier II cities, which encourages more and more people in the work culture.
Europe is yet another significant sector when it comes to coworking spaces. It has been ranked as the third region when it comes to the shared workspace industry as the number of workspaces available after the USA and Asia.
London is the biggest hub of the coworking spaces in the U.K., with a diversity of people opting to work out of the shared workspaces. The shared workspaces take in startups, large enterprises, and freelancers under their wing.
In the summer of 2013, the government of U.K. announced a “One public Sector Estate” strategy which covers 12 local authorities in the country that encourages the sector to work with the central government which supports the community to be placed in a single building and hence, promotes collaboration and frees up vacant space for local development.
Coworking is not only limited to only professionals when in Germany, but many urban-based local coworking are also present that focus on academic development. This gives a new outlook to the coworking space where it is more about collaboration and personal growth rather than working formerly on your career — a place where everyone sits and works together.
- North America
America ranks number one in the coworking industry. With many specialized areas coming up in the sector like ‘all women’ or ‘all freelancer’ projects are continually being picked up and promoted. Miami is considered one of the hubs with a maximum number of coworking spaces in the country.
As many coworking startups have American roots like Regus and WeWork, the industry is well-loved, and an increasing number of individuals choose to work from a shared workspace.
Why a coworking space
Coworking space is the future, as people are exiting the corporate culture because they believe that a traditional workspace is stressful and unproductive. Professionals prefer a coworking space because it is far better than work from home, which can lead to isolation and unproductivity. There are many other benefits of a shared workspace.
One of the biggest pros of a coworking space is the endless opportunity of networking and collaboration. Many shared space management focuses on a niche industry where all the professionals working out of the same area can provide value collaborations. For example, some coworkings are fully tech-based, and only tech companies come together to work mutually. The industry mates share ideas and techniques and sometimes partner up.
- Business Growth
Another aspect of networking is business growth. Specific coworking managements take the initiative in introducing all the working professionals together. This encourages the gap in business. For instance, if one needs a marketing expert on their team and you work as a freelancer then you have a new client in the same space.
The whole concept of coworking spaces is to break away from the traditional stressed induced corporate and to achieve work-life balance. As coworking spaces are open 24/7, they let you work in your most productive hours. Many shared spaces promote events, on-site yoga that helps you to detach from your work life every now and then, which allows you to do your job better.
When in a shared workspace, one is surrounded by many hard workers that not only inspire you but also increases your knowledge through the sharing of ideas. A coworking space is a great place to thrive for a small scale business or a startup. Freelancers choose coworking because it is more structural than working out of home, where a person is more likely to slack off and be insincere.
You might not know when and who you meet in a coworking space, you will find a freelancer as well as a corporate C.E.O. The open space allows you to collaborate with diverse people that might be quite important for your entrepreneurial journey. It is in the air of the shared workspace where one experiences less competition and more collaboration.
It is not news that commercial real estate is on the boom and generally out of budget for most. Coworking removes the unnecessary demand for long term leasing and eliminates the overhead costs of management. One gets a free supply of tea and coffee. Everything is readily available without any extra utility bills.
Coworking spaces offer flexibility in terms of lesser commitment from the workspace seeker. You don’t have to sign long-term leases and can try it out for a month or even for a day. As most shared coworking spaces are functional throughout the night, you can choose your working hours, and this leads to productivity as a person is free enough to work when they want to.
What kind of coworking is best for you
A hot desk is a seating arrangement in a coworking space that is not fixed. A hot desk is provided based on first come first serve. It is one of the most flexible methods in a shared workspace, as there is no commitment as to where you may set your workstation. Seats that are already dedicated to someone are obviously off-limits. One of the cons of hotdesk is that you might lose your spot if you leave it to take a break.
- Dedicated seats
One might prefer a dedicated seat when they want their personal space to be untouched. A dedicated position lets you focus on your work even more as the interaction with the community is not coincidental but rather voluntary. It also provides consistency as one doesn’t need to carry all of stuff every time as he/she leaves the seat. If you’re a person with a desktop setup, then a dedicated seat will be the best option for you. With a dedicated seat, one may get additional benefits as they become a part of the community where they are welcomed in the “member only” events and provided with some meeting room benefits.
- Private Cabin
A private cabin provides a personal space for an individual or a team. If you are a startup, then an in-team conversation is much more preferred in a secluded area. Also, if you are a freelancer with a creative side, then you might need a quiet place for yourself to work. Having a private cabin doesn’t mean that one has refrained from all the networking and collaborating benefits of a coworking space. Networking, in this case, becomes more voluntary and fruitful as you take time to understand who you want to interact with.
To sum up
A coworking space can be extremely beneficial for your professional journey, and it is indeed the future where an increasing number of individuals are working out of a coworking space. A shared workspace is a future where global leaders like JLL are investing in the real estate to expand the coworking industry. A coworking space through diverse collaboration and networking promotes the spirit of community, which is indeed quite important in this day and age.