Why Coworking Spaces are Thriving
Coworking is a brand new trend spreading among entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other self employed professionals in which they pay a small membership fee to group together communally every day in the same office — even though they are not affiliated with each other in any way. Those that participate in a coworking space often report a 6 on a scale from 1 to 7 for how well they are thriving, which is a full point higher than the average of those that work in an average office environment.
Of course, this could be easily explained away as the fact that freelancers get the freedom to choose work that is meaningful to them, but a closer examination shows a lot of different factors contributing to individuals thriving in coworking spaces.
For starters, coworking space participants reported gaining more meaningfulness from their work due to factors like being able to come in to a workplace every day (the ritual), reduced pressure and competition from coworkers due to the varied and unconnected nature of their business, and the formation of a stronger identity when dealing with everyday office issues and team efforts among a group with such varied backgrounds and skills.
Another interesting contribution to why coworking spaces are thriving is that their participants often get 24/7 access to the workspace, allowing them to set their own schedules at any time night or day, weekday or weekend. And while freelancers and other self employed workers can enjoy this freedom normally at home as well, the coworking space offers a sense of structure and community that helps motivate them to avoid slacking off and keep set hours.
That aforementioned community is another reason cited for why coworking spaces are thriving. Obviously independently employed workers are not going to get in much networking from home, but the coworking environment provides a plethora of opportunities for them to connect with others, including corporate entities that are increasingly starting to use these environments not only as extra space for their employees, but also as places to recruit new workers that may demand more space and freedom than they can offer in a typical office environment.
According to Alex Hillman, the cofounder of Indy Hall, coworking spaces can be found on every continent except Antarctica. In metro cities they have turned into a majorly profitable business, and many companies have scaled up the concept quickly overnight to cash in on the idea.
It turns out that some entrepreneurs that work from home are pretty lonely, and missing the ritual of working outside of their living space. Additionally, the focus on creating a good community and comfortable atmosphere in the business model for coworking spaces makes them an attractive option for even corporate employees to use when in need of some extra space and a different environment.
A major concern for coworking spaces moving forward is that the trend may be ruined by companies who misunderstand the culture, thinking they are just about cashing in on empty office space. However, at the moment, their presence is already strong enough in many major cities that such businesses are likely to stay in the game for the long run. It can be hoped that coworking spaces will continue to thrive in the future as a community and culture that cares about creating the perfect work environment for independent workers to thrive in.
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