The rise of technology means boundaries surrounding how and where we work are being abolished, with many employees now turning to coworking. There are many definitions of what coworking is: exciting and modern spaces founded by groups of likeminded people who want to combine the best elements of a workspace; independent areas for freelancers; or a buzzing community of hot desks for professionals. According to Deskmag, coworking is simply any workspace with flexible structures that is designed for and by people with atypical, new types of work, that is not exclusively for people from one certain company.
A global coworking survey conducted by the magazine revealed that the number of coworking spaces has increased to around 7,800 worldwide, a significant growth of 36 per cent between 2014 and 2015. In recent years, an increasing number of businesses have begun to shift towards coworking as it is believed to include a variety of comfortable benefits such as boosted productivity and better staff wellbeing.
And with the rapid advancement of technology, it is becoming the norm to work from any location at any time.
“It’s not about how workers deliver work, but more about what they deliver,” explains Peter Crowther, Bruntwood’s property director. “Employees are more loyal to employers who facilitate those who are flexible and trusted to perform. A stimulating environment that caters to the needs of the worker is core to a happy workforce.”
An alternative way of working
The Harvard Business Review has predicted that by 2020 freelancers and contractors will account for 40 per cent of the workforce. Workers like this are favouring operating out of office for reasons like more family time, less stress, overall improved happiness and no commuting fees. Coworking spaces also mean that freelancers can opt to work in a collaborative environment as and when they like.
“People are valuing work style and sense of community over traditional careers, and co-working is a flexible and affordable solution for them,” says Zoltan Szalas, co-founder at Croissant and named one of the 30 Most Influential People in Co-working in 2016.
A shift in operations
And the benefits of coworking aren’t just being noticed by employees. Businesses and entrepreneurs are recognising the pros of coworking in reducing overall expenses, rent and carbon footprint. If coworking is the future, big businesses want to embrace it full on.
Coworking actually helps companies fill tough job vacancies because they can expand their candidate pool from a local level to a national or even international level. Aside from this, coworking provides a brilliant collaborative space, working alongside start-ups and progressive organisations or businesses. This way bigger business hope to be better-equipped to spot emerging trends and identify opportunities to sell services.
According to the Harvard Business Review, working among people doing different jobs may even enhance a person's identity. These types of spaces give workers “the opportunity to frequently describe what they do, which can make what they do seem more interesting and distinctive”.
Further to this, a study by international commercial property company CBRE, has predicted that the sharing economy that we are seeing today - a system constructed by sharing human and physical resources, reflecting changing attitudes about ownership - will transform the property industry as well as traditional workplaces.
“In 2030, the traditional workplaces will be in the minority,” read the report, which also suggests the emergence of a future corporate role: the chief of work, promoting wellness and networking in offices.”