According to Brian Rogal, Co-Working Now Fuels the US Office Market. He might be right. Rogal cited information that shows co-working spaces absorbed about six million square feet of space during the first quarter of 2018, and if co-working spaces were removed from the conversation, the US office market wouldn’t just be slowing, it would be contracting.
Increased mobility, technological advantages as well as significant evolution in worker/consumer preferences are driving this shift. Co-working spaces, which often operate on smaller scales, can be nimble and adaptable enough to meet these changing demands, and continue adapting as preferences evolve.
We’ve noticed a slight pendulum effect in the world of co-working. Where once fully-open spaces were employed to try and force creative collisions and interactions, co-working spaces have scaled that concept back in recent years to allow access to varying levels of privacy, and provide more options to rent dedicated desks or offices. Because it’s not always the right time for a conversation, and it’s not always easy to focus with a heated game of ping-pong going on next to you.
These changes are a reflection of co-working spaces’ ability to be adaptable in real-time. Niche subsets of co-working spaces are also emerging, such as maker-spaces, culinary co-working spaces, even co-working restaurants that are trying to entice coffee-shop squatters to indulge in a meal.
More than just adapting, co-working is growing- at an annual rate of 23% since 2010. Big names in the industry such as WeWork, Spaces and others are starting to entice larger companies to join the party. WeWork is also looking to grow well beyond the office walls– this September the co-working giant will launch its most ambitious project to date: a kindergarten.
What does your office environment look like? What changes have you seen in the past few years?
“I had this eureka moment. The freelance community, individuals who are starting their businesses out of coffee shops or working from home, deserve better.“
– Daniel Rosenzweig,
former WeWork executive, founder of Kettlespace