If you pick any major metropolitan area in the world today, you will find at least a few co-working spaces in it. In the United States alone, about a thousand new co-working spaces opened up in 2018, while worldwide figures are at 2,188 for that particular year. Crunching the numbers, that is about 20 unique spaces that opened per state. People also now have the option to invest in an office franchise opportunity. Both these things point to one phenomenon: the continuous rise of co-working not just as an idea, but as a lifestyle.
For many, one question remains unanswered: Why is co-working becoming popular anyway?
Technology and the Gig Economy
The idea of co-working spaces started to flourish when technology began being more interconnected than ever. New technologies have paved the way for professionals to work remotely or even start their businesses with just a phone or a laptop. No longer is it necessary to have employees gather together in a conference room for a meeting, because apps can connect the team through voice and video. Technology virtually removed the need to be face-to-face with co-workers or clients in a wide array of situations. These days, almost four million Americans work from home at least half the time, not to mention the ever-increasing number of freelancers and slashies in the country and beyond.
It boils down to one simple thing: the gig economy we now live in. Today, there are a lot of ways to earn money outside of your regular day job, and you can make the most of these without being tied down to a single office cubicle. Some even live as digital nomads and work while being regularly on-the-go, traveling while earning a livable income. All these things make co-working spaces much more attractive to those who are benefiting from these said opportunities.
The Benefit of Flexibility
Individuals are not the only ones who patronize and benefit a lot from co-working spaces. Startup companies, in particular, make full use of co-working spaces these days, as these areas prove to be the ideal middle ground between conducting day-to-day business operations at home and committing to an office space lease. Considering the skyrocketing prices of real estate in key urban areas, it’s no surprise small businesses prefer these kinds of places.
There is also the idea that small businesses can network much easier in these spaces compared to the traditional office setup. Being close to other professionals makes networking so much easier. All in all, the flexibility of these co-working spaces prove invaluable to companies without a large staff.
If you want to look at the bigger picture, co-working spaces are not just for side hustlers, remote workers, and startups. These pieces of real estate stimulate economic and population growth by fostering a sense of community among professionals all in just one small space.
In the end, with the kind of impact co-working has, it would not be surprising to see co-working spaces become even more popular over time.