- Jul 21, 2017
By Heather Mund, Marketing Coordinator
Trends in Office Space: Co-working
Office space has undergone noticeable change in the past few decades. Private offices and closed doors have increasingly turned into cubicles and open concept offices. These changes were made in an effort to create more collaboration among workers by giving them opportunities to engage with each other. It’s also been done in an effort to create an environment that is preferred amongst a new generation of employees. Now a new trend is taking off in popularity in order to provide more options for tenants and to foster more productive work habits. The newest trend to enter office layouts is the co-working space.
What is a Shared or Co-working Space
A shared office space or co-working space is a location where people from multiple businesses can work in a common office.
Co-working spaces have developed themselves into offices that provide everything that an individual would need while working. They offer dedicated work spaces, utilities, maintenance, phone services, office supplies, printing, mail and package handling, refreshments like coffee and beer, meeting spaces, lounges, and front desk service all covered by a month to month rate. They are often set up as a hybrid office. Need privacy and quiet time? Move your work to a small conference room, phone booth or private office. Want to use other workers as a sound board for ideas? Head to a collaboration space or the kitchen for a cup of coffee and conversation.
These offices have been growing in popularity because they provide workers with a chance to collaborate with new people that they might not typically interact with if they were to office in a traditional setting. Many of the popular co-working spaces are promoting themselves as not just a space to work, but a growing and thriving community that includes social events. They are located in major cities around the world and provide a wide range of membership and pricing options for a variety of users.
Who’s Using Them
Startups and entrepreneurs are ideal users for co-working spaces because the offices provide them with noncommittal memberships that are flexible to their needs. They can be significantly cheaper than a traditional office lease and they allow their team members to interact with others in the space. A variety in types of work space offered allow these users to grow their space as quickly or as slowly as their teams grow rather than committing to a lengthy lease term.
Freelancers are choosing shared office spaces as a way to maintain flexibility in their work and schedule without the isolation of working at home or in a coffee shop. Common space and private offices also provide a place for freelancers to meet with clients in a more professional setting.
Even larger corporations are starting to make use of co-working spaces in an effort to provide more flexibility for their employees and get them out of the corporate setting where they can be more creative. Firms are also tapping into the value of being able to collaborate and build relationships with startup companies.
What Do They Mean for the Traditional Office Environment
Co-working spaces aren’t completely taking over to replace a traditional office, but they are providing solutions for a wide variety of workers. Popularity amongst millennials, cost efficiency and use of technology have driven the growth of co-working and shared offices. These spaces are changing the way that freelancers, startups, and small and large businesses look at office space and how to help foster more creative, collaborative and productive environments for employees.