Why is co-working getting so popular?

06/07/2017

Why is co-working getting so popular?

With the surge in property prices, renting commercial office space is becoming more expensive and competition for top real estate is increasing. Contractors, entrepreneurs and small businesses have a hard time fighting with bigger businesses for office space. Thankfully, co-working spaces are creating a new trend in the way that people work.

Shared offices and coworking spaces are dramatically increasing, with the coworking market presently being worth about £15.75 billion. More companies than ever are looking for flexible ways of working to keep their costs down, improve agility and enhance the productivity of their teams. A number of researchers have proven that coworking greatly enhances productivity, with 71% of workers stating they feel more creative in a coworking space and 68% saying they can focus more. Reverting to just ten years back no one could have predicted how popular co-working space would be today.

Why is co-working getting so popular?

Co-working spaces make it possible for entrepreneurs and freelancers to work in a professional environment with flexible terms and without the concern of paying extortionate rates for office space. The advantage of renting co-working space goes beyond monetary savings. Here are a couple reasons why they are so popular these days:

The opportunity to thrive

Home-working can be a lonely experience, without structure and social contact. Co-working on the contrary offers a supportive, motivational environment where people have greater possibility to flourish and achieve their full potential. According to a recent study, people who work in co-working spaces report levels of thriving higher than employees who perform their jobs in traditional offices.

There’s a culture of collaboration and community

In general, co-working spaces don’t typically house directly competing individuals, meaning that there’s no company politics or internal competition to fret about. It’s an open and non-pressurised environment where people are encouraged to work together and share ideas and knowledge: it is standard to help each other out. As outlined by Deskmag’s second annual Global Co-working Survey, 84% of those who decide to work in co-working spaces do so for the interaction and relationship with other people.

One’s sense of work identity is stronger

In contrast to traditional company-owned offices, co-working spaces by their design provide a vibrant mix of businesses, freelancers, contractors and start-ups. Operating or starting a business in an environment where one is surrounded by a variety of businesses generally helps to make the sense of work identity stronger, and helps individuals take great pride in what they do. Members of the co-working community usually take a keen interest in the project others are working on, translating into opportunities for individuals to discuss their own expertise.

A better work/life balance

Working from a home office can be fantastic; however, it can take its toll on family life. No matter how hard one tries, it is always hard to ‘clock off’ and relax right at the end of the working day when target dates, work deadlines and workload are mounting. In the same way, if a longer work day is called for around a pressing deadline, it is usually hard to work without distraction when family life is calling so nearby.

Co-working spaces have longer opening hours, so people can choose how and when they want to work, around family life, with virtually no consequences.

Opportunity for innovation

Co-working spaces are a hotbed of talent, skills and diverse competencies. It goes without saying that a vibrant community of skilled and talented professionals, access to mentors and successful business people will definitely prove fertile ground for innovation and opportunity. There are ample opportunities for this to happen more in a co-working environment than anywhere else.

A professional space to meet clients

One of the most significant challenges of home working is the absence of a suitable/professional meeting space to bring clients to. A coffee in Costa Coffee isn’t always the best place to meet. If a start-up business needs to create the impression they are larger and more established than they are, it is important that they have a professional meeting space to invite prospective clients to and coworking spaces provide that.

The future of co-working spaces

Is a co-working space a good idea? The impressive surge in popularity of co-working spaces has been influenced by the increasing number of contractors and start-up companies looking for inexpensive office rents with no long-term contracts. Co-working spaces are consistently growing, 10 years ago, it meant sitting at a big communal table in Starbucks and profiting from their free Wi-Fi. Today it means an area where individuals have access to health and fitness classes, can take lessons that will help them along with their business or career. Co-working spaces will not only provide help for one to perform their job to an excellent standard, but it will in addition offer people with the means to improve their life beyond the borders of their professional career. Co-working spaces today encapsulate all aspects of life, not just working.

In Bristol the co-working environment appears to be even more delightful, with greater spaces, more members per space and relatively ambitious plans to improve service delivery to the many individuals who have joined the co-working space trend.

Is the growth sustainable?

The demand for co-working spaces is increasing rapidly, but also the industry is extremely good at retaining existing members, demonstrating consistent demand. As reported by the Global Coworking Survey, 80% of members have the intention to renew their membership for the upcoming year, and two thirds have not even considered leaving.

Co-working does particularly well in Bristol and new data has revealed that although some spaces have moved at least once most of them did so mainly because their former spaces were not large enough. Only a small number of spaces moved because of high rents.

The increase in the number of freelancers, existing users’ silence of the idea of ending their membership and their popularity in vibrant cities like Bristol means that the demand for spaces is sustainable. It is an innovation in the way people work, and in the future we will see more and more people swap the office and coffee shops for co-working venues.

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