As entrepreneurship and self-employment continue to be on the rise, community workspaces are gaining popularity globally. Coworking is the concept of multiple small companies and entrepreneurs operating out of a shared office space while working independently of one another. According to a recent Global Coworking Survey by Deskmag, coworking has doubled every year since 2006; the latest count being 2,150 spaces worldwide. The traditional 9-5 office model is evolving into a 24/7 space that serves as a hub for networking, connecting and collaborating.
Job trends are constantly shifting, and coworking spaces are able to adapt and flow with companies whose needs are ever changing. Earlier this year, Thomas Frey was a featured speaker at the TEDxReset Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. It was there that he predicted over two billion jobs would disappear by 2030. Certain markets, from the power industry to education, are integrating current and future technologies – eliminating jobs we have known forever, and creating new jobs that are more efficient. With this transition, coworking spaces are being optimized – using their flexibility to fit the needs of businesses, both large and small. In many spaces, including my own, large companies have based their employees out of a coworking space to be a more integrated part of their local community, and give them leverage by gaining a greater business network.
I have been a part of Green Spaces, a coworking community, for the past two years. Green Spaces, located in Denver – Colorado, is a space that focuses on social entrepreneurship and connecting professionals and businesses that are working to make an impact on the sustainable community. This type of work style has been exceptionally beneficial for me as I have started to grow my small interior design business that focuses on sustainable retrofits. Instead of working from home, I am able to work out of a turn of the century renovated warehouse, operated 100% by solar power, with the added perks of connecting and collaborating with those around me. Where else can you have your own company, and together with other members, have the work force of an entire corporation at your fingertips?
With the influx of coworking spaces popping up in cities and neighborhoods all around the world, it is important to find a space that is the right fit for you and your business. Many spaces have a specific industry focus – from IT / tech to sustainability, to start-ups looking to partner with venture capitalists. By finding a space with a community, culture, focus and network that aligns with you and your business, you will be in the right place to create ideas and collaborate with others effectively.
After visiting many coworking spaces around the country, I have experienced a variety of workspace styles. Some spaces are quiet and private, some are more professional, some are casual and artsy, all of them are fun. Often times, spaces will offer a free drop-in day pass, so check a few out and give them a try. After all, designer Rachael Beresh said it best: “Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them – so go out and start creating.”
Written by Patricia Swenson of EP Design Studio