While the question keeps coming up, we’re quite convinced by now that coworking spaces are not just a fad, and are becoming an important factor in today’s business environment. With coworking still on the rise, we expect it to be an ongoing force, both growing in volume and in new innovations. Here are some of the current trends in coworking, which we expect will make it even bigger and better.
Advances in technology have been at the core of many businesses for quite some time now, and coworking is no exception. Heavy investments into technology infrastructure are often cost-prohibitive for startups and small businesses. Having a technology-rich environment as a built-in feature of the coworking space is a great way for young companies to access those vital tech resources.
Additionally, in automation technology are beginning to eliminate the need for the coworking space itself to keep a management team on site. Processes such as attendance records, access and security, booking, and other facility management can be handled without any management personnel on site at the space.
2. Real Estate on Demand
We live in a world in which products and services ranging from movies to business systems are available “on demand”, without a hefty initial investment in purchasing them. So why not real estate? Modern companies have a more flexible business model, including their long-term plans, and extended leases no longer make sense. Coworking spaces allow companies to instantly add office space as needed, making real estate into an on-demand product.
3. Coworking for Large Corporations
Most of the talk about coworking centers around freelancers, startups, and small businesses, and indeed, these have been most of the clientele of coworking so far. But, more and more, we’re seeing big companies testing the waters of coworking as well. Instead of building more large sprawling campuses, even gigantic corporations like Microsoft and IBM have been including coworking in their plans as well.
4. A Shift in Emphasis from Competition to Community
Much of the corporate world has historically been focused on competition, even in the realm of finding and establishing the best real estate before your rivals get their hands on it. But as businesses become increasingly “virtual”, the presence of the ideal campus is less important than the sense of community that can be found in the right coworking space. An exciting collaborative environment, combined with the right mix of amenities, will factor more into companies’ choices of office space moving forward.
Including Nature In the Space
Traditional offices have been notoriously sterile and removed from nature. With limited windows, few if any of which open, offices can feel like you’re working in a box, with no connection to the outside world. Many of the most successful coworking spaces have been including more elements of nature, including live plants and flowers, living green walls, and even waterfalls. These elements provide a sense of comfort and connectedness with nature which make the workspace so much more appealing.