An Alternative to the Office: the Future of Coworking
As part of the upcoming Seattle Coworking Week (September 18-22nd, 2017) hosted by the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance, we thought we’d take a look at how far the coworking industry has come since its humble beginnings.
Home offices, cafés, and formal business offices have a strong contender–coworking:
A bunch of like-minded people working in rented office space–sometimes together, other times on their own; these people can range from freelancers, to entrepreneurs, to startups, to big enterprises and more. It’s all about autonomy and flexibility, a hallmark of today’s gig economy. You can come to work when you want, choose the environment and people you want to surround yourself by, and expand your office space as needed. Coworking culture can differ from place to place, but it commonly allows for networking amongst individuals from different industries and promotes innovation, a sense of community, and collaboration.
Coworking offers a cost-effective and stimulating happy medium for those who need daily human interaction but have a hard time focusing at cafés and dislike the rigidity of formal office spaces, preferring to get work done surrounded by other people that are similarly determined and focused. The 2017 Global Coworking Survey anticipates over 1,000,000 people coworking this year, with 14,000 coworking spaces operating by the end of the year. Even corporations like “Microsoft, GE, Dell, Sales Force, and Deutsche Bank” have gotten in on the action, with “the number of enterprise companies using [coworking giant] WeWork grow[ing] by 90 percent, while the number of members from enterprise companies increased by 360 percent” (“Coworking Spaces Aren’t Just for Entrepreneurs Anymore“).
Projections from the Intuit 2020 Report show the following:
1. “Localism Creates a New Way of Life
Work-life balance will no longer be a myth, but a reality as people invest in the places they live to make them better, forging new communities. This weave of community fabric will see people re-establishing stronger ties with family, friends, and community spawning local economic development in new dynamic ways.”
2. “You No Longer Need Cash to Start a Business
Starting a small business will be easier–and more affordable than ever. The cost of starting and running a small or personal business will continue to decline as smaller, lighter, and smarter systems, components, and manufacturing methods emerge.”
3. “Work Shifts from Full-time to Free Agent Employment”
Traditional employment will no longer be the norm, replaced by contingent workers such as freelancers and part-time workers. The long-term trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate with more than 80 percent of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce. In the U.S. alone, contingent workers will exceed 40% of the workforce by 2020.”
4. “Working in the Cloud
The brick-and-mortar office will be a thing of the past, as the where and how people work and do business will change due to emerging Internet cloud and mobile technologies. Working in the cloud will increasingly shift work lives away from corporate office altogether and toward an in-my-own-place, on-my-own-time work regimen. ‘Third places’ for work will join the traditional office and home. The use of third places–public libraries, coworking facilities and rent-by-the-hour office suites–will continue to grow both in the U.S. and abroad, augmenting the already standard list of airports, cars, and cafes.”
Overall, coworking is proving to be a mainstay as the gig economy expands, and for every different gig out there, there are just as many coworking spaces–each unique, with distinct personalities that span across various industries.
Let us help you find the perfect one to suit you and your business.
If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to cowork, now is the time to try it out! As part of Seattle Coworking Week, coworking spaces within the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance will be holding free coworking days, networking events, and workshops. Check out the week’s happenings here!
Hing Hay Coworks will be holding a free coworking day from 9:30am-5:30pm on September 21st as well as hosting a tour of the Chinatown International District from 11am-12:30pm. Come check out our space and get an intimate look at our neighborhood! New members get 30% off first month rates. Afterwards, get a taste of our favorite local eateries at the last Happy Hour Food Walk of the year, with cheap eats and offerings from a myriad of restaurants.
You can RSVP and find more info here!
The Hing Hay Coworks Team