Co-working spaces. It’s difficult to get very far into a discussion of modern offices without hearing a mention of them. Co-working spaces seem to be popping up everywhere. But is this the sign of what we can expect as the future of the business world, or just yet another fad that hipsters are falling for? Let’s look at a few points to consider:
Who’s using co-working spaces?
When they first entered the market, co-working spaces were really intended primarily for independent professionals. However as time goes on, the ranks of users of co-working spaces have expanded to include more remote workers. More than half of those who use co-working spaces on a regular basis are employees, not freelancers. And we’re beginning to see interest and participation for large corporations as well, including giants like Microsoft, Pepsico, and General Electric. When the “big boys” start investing in a concept, it’s pretty likely that it’s here to stay and not just a fad.
Today’s workforce isn’t looking for a “traditional” office job.
There was a time when the path to a successful working career was clear: get a good job, work your way up through the ranks of the company’s org chart, get rewarded with a spacious office with windows, and work out your days until retirement. Today’s workers only stay on their jobs for an average of 4.4 years. For millennials, who are now the most populous generation in the workforce, job longevity is not a priority, with 91% reporting that they don’t expect to spend more than 3 years on a job. Instead, they value flexibility and life-work balance more than high salaries and career progress. Co-working spaces provide a venue for professionals who work independently and crave flexible schedules, yet also wish to have some degree of structure and “office culture”. As the trend toward more remote work continues, one can expect that more and more workers will likely be occupying co-working spaces.
More clouds in the forecast.
The advent of “the cloud”, that nebulous space somewhere, where all our data is increasingly located, has changed the nature of the business world forever. No longer is it necessary to go to the office to see the books, or access company information. One could even say that a traditional office isn’t really necessary any longer. This isn’t entirely true, of course. There are some businesses, and some functions within most business, that need to be housed in a more traditional office environment. But a growing number of jobs can be performed just as well remotely. In comparison with working from home or at a coffee shop, co-working spaces offer an excellent solution.
Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to predict the future of co-working. But the trends in today’s business environment suggest that co-working spaces are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. If you’re ready to learn more, contact us.