22 . Oct . 2019
Coworking spaces begun in an old factory in Vienna, Austria in 2002, to give entrepreneurs a space where they could collaborate and work with like-minded people such as consultants, startups or freelancers, while providing an alternative to working from home or a traditional office. But if coworking spaces (or coworking setups) existed in 2002, why are they only now becoming popular? Well, modern business has changed and a traditional office space doesn’t prove as useful or doesn’t suit many individuals’ preferred way of being. The communal aspect, networking opportunities, convenience, cost-effectiveness and many other benefits are better suited to the more flexible life of the modern entrepreneur.
Currently in 2019, there are more than 19,000 coworking spaces across the world that cater to more than 3 million workers globally. It is estimated that by the end of 2019, there will be more than 700 new coworking spaces in the US itself. Freelancers are currently the largest demographic in coworking spaces, though this may change.
According to Small Business Labs, 89% of people say they felt happier after joining a coworking space and 83% of people said they felt less lonely. Happiness goes alongside productivity!
According to a study by the University of Michigan, coworking members have much higher levels of “self-growth” than traditional employees—the liberty to socialize boosts their self confidence. Coworking members describe coworking as a community that’s fun and social.
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Steven M. Ross School of Business, interviewed more than 200 workers from dozens of coworking spaces where one has spent at least six months as a coworking member.
The first thing that they found is that coworking encourages a strong feeling of individual autonomy which aids collaboration. This is largely because coworking creates no forced socialization or fear of missing out that is common in freelancing or the traditional office experience.
Because coworking spaces are available 24/7, working hours become more flexible. Members can easily multi-task between errands and work at the same time, something which a traditional office setup doesn’t enable. Some coworking spaces even provide childcare for coworking parents.
It’s all about independence, adaptability and flexibility. Only at home do we get to control all three and feel most relaxed. But, when we get them in the workplace minus the distractions at home, employees report higher rates of commitment and engagement.
Major organizations across the world are rapidly evolving their traditional workstations to coworking places. It costs lesser, generates more returns, keeps employees happy and creates a huge symbiotic network amongst other relevant institutions.
With coworking, members only ever have to pay for what they need. This can refer to the type of seating they want and the time period they need the space for. Going travelling in a couple months? Great, only purchase a two-month membership. For small businesses, startups or corporate entities, coworking saves the liability of signing an entire lease. There’s no need to worry about cleaning or watering services and the coffee machine is always full.
It has been observed that people who work in a coworking space consider themselves part of a community, even if they share less conversation with their fellow coworkers. The fact that everyone is able to network, find new business solutions, or simply socialize is a strong contributing factor to coworking’s success.
Thanks to the accepting environment of coworking, people are able to be themselves without company judgement or internal politics. Because people are surrounded by a lot of different freelancers who already come with a strong work identity, they feel more comfortable in pursuing their own aspirations.
Furthermore, the layout and atmosphere helps keep members motivated, from arcade machines, recliners to a quiet reading space, coworking places are known for their quirky layouts that encourage productivity.
These are only the initial benefits of coworking, and you can only expect more to come as the industry develops. The amount of independent entrepreneurs and even corporate members operating in coworking spaces is increasing everyday. If you’d like to experience the benefits of yourself, take a look at the variety of
coworking spaces and facilities here at Zioks.