As the nature of work continues to change, driven by an increased appetite for flexibility, more entrepreneurial approaches in industries and reduced desire for a 9 to 5, job for life, so too does the workplace.
Not only has hot desking become a standard way of working for many, in dynamic businesses where space is at a premium and people can work anywhere, but it’s evolving too: cue the rise of the co-working space.
Born out of the hot desking trend and the growing market for spare desks and shared office space, co-working gives workers more control over their work and life.
So much so that Small Business Labs, an organisation that tracks and forecasts trends impacting the future of work, small business and the gig economy, predicts that the number of people renting in co-working spaces will grow from the 2016 figure of 1 million to nearly 4 million in 2020.
The core demand right now is driven by freelance workers who aren’t always based on client sites and perhaps don’t have a dedicated office space at home. Their rise in number was created in the financial crisis of the late noughties, when austerity hollowed out corporations and people began to actively embrace new ways of working that also offered more flexibility and fulfilment.
The choice to rent co-working space is not only affordable for sole traders, but it also has other advantages. Co-work in the right space and you’ll also have an immediate network of professionals in your industry around you – think of those working in music, design, film or digital. Plus, a dedicated workspace not only gives you a little more professional kudos, it also enables you to draw the line between work and home.
People using co-working spaces are also more likely to find their work meaningful. That’s largely because they’re doing something they’re passionate about and proud of, as opposed to producing someone else’s ideas or providing a corporate service.
But it’s the practical benefits that get people into co-working spaces in the first place – and there are quite a few so it’s worth a recap:
- Affordable for start-ups and sole traders
- Cheaper than renting or buying office space
- A dedicated business address
- A dedicated workspace, without the distractions of the kitchen table!
- Access to shared amenities such as Wi-Fi, printers and conference rooms that is also very cost-effective
- Opportunities to network and collaborate
- Be found more easily by potential customers.
You’ll also mostly find that co-working spaces are well-designed – they have to be when so many people are using them at different times and for different businesses. Most will have at least a kitchen for your comfort, while larger spaces will also have a lounge or even a serviced café.
With lots of experience of creating multi-purpose, flexible spaces, we know the importance of good design in making a space both workable, comfortable, considerate and energising.
So it’s no surprise that we have a range of high-quality, bespoke and easy to install solutions:
- Cosy cove creates individual working spaces that can be flexibly used for meetings, work or collaboration and are a world away from a stuffy boardroom.
- Our new railway carriages instantly create private meeting or workspace where none existed previously
- Partition systems that allow you to maximise and reconfigure any space. Fully demountable and relocatable, you can change the layout of a room depending on your need
- Fast Lockers are an excellent solution for shared spaces where people can store belongings securely
- StorageWall makes building storage into any co-working space easy and makes any space even more attractive to potential renters.
If you have premises you think would make an ideal co-working space – an excellent business model for landlords who may have retail or manufacturing space that needs a new lease of life – ask us how we can help you make the most of it!