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It’s no secret that coworking is on the rise. According to a recent survey by Deskmag, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is still experiencing significant growth. In fact, only last year, that number jumped by nearly a fifth. Their estimate is that by the end of 2019, over 2 million people are expected to work in over 22,000 coworking spaces across the world.
It seems like everyone is jumping on the coworking bandwagon. But what is coworking, exactly?
coworking (koh-wur-king), n. an arrangement by which freelancers or employees working for multiple unrelated companies share an office or other workspace (often used attributively): our office moved to a coworking space and we love it.
Coworking is an innovative, relatively new way of working that puts an independent yet community-oriented spin on the traditional office space. At its broadest point, coworking is simply the practice of multiple businesses and/or freelancers from unrelated companies or fields sharing a workspace and its amenities. That’s it!
Another way to put it is that coworking constitutes a shared workplace. Because it’s not like a traditional office, the coworking model often attracts non-traditional workers such as freelancers, independent contractors, and satellite professionals who work from home, creative companies like media and tech, as well start-ups. However, as the model continues to grow in popularity, mid-size companies and enterprise institutions with thousands of employees are also starting to take advantage of the added efficiency.
As the coworking model has become more standardized, one additional part of the definition is that the companies who work in the same building experience a shared use of the operator’s administrative and amenities functions. This can mean everything from fiber optic-fast Internet to professional receptionists who can screen and transfer calls, to a gym and restaurant on-site. For growing businesses who need these resources and amenities to attract and retain talent but don’t have the capacity to engage them on their own, the coworking model is a lifeboat.
As the rise of the gig economy potentially foretells an end to traditional employment, it’s clear society is changing and taking the workplace with it. Coworking is a perfect example of where these changes are headed. By combining the communal aspect of a traditional corporate office with the flexibility and freedom of independent work conducted at home (or more often than not, at the local coffee shop), coworking meets both styles in the middle. Freelancers need not remain isolated at home, and traditional companies need not remain rigid at the office.
The modern workspace is also affected by who is working, and companies need to appeal to a younger workforce. Location is always important, which means everything from the actual physical location of the office, as well as the design and aesthetic of the building’s shared office spaces, walkability, and access to amenities.
At TechSpace, this is highly valued, as displayed by TechSpace Austin having access to a fitness center and locker rooms available to all members and TechSpace Westwood in LA being a short walk away from Westwood Village and UCLA, perfect for alumni who appreciate the short commute from the office to university labs.
It may not be vital to the definition of coworking in general, but access to a best-in-class technology infrastructure is extremely important – and vital to the definition of coworking at TechSpace. After all, whether you’re freelancing, running a start-up, or simply working remotely, you need access to reliable, fast Internet.
At TechSpace, this is exactly what’s on the menu: our technology is specifically engineered for your business. In addition to enterprise-class dedicated Wi-Fi, our premier technology platform includes private data networking, burstable bandwidth, and a scalable Cisco phone system.
Key to the definition of coworking, particularly as practiced at TechSpace, is the emphasis on cultivating community. The community atmosphere breeds productivity by encouraging open collaboration and shared energy across companies, which is absolutely vital when you’re a growing organization with only a handful of workers. Sushil Prabhu, CEO of Open Crowd, a blockchain tech company that works out of TechSpace, describes this well: “The beauty is the excitement. When you’re four or five people in a garage or in a small office, you’re looking for excitement. You can only create so much between four and five people. If it’s not in your company that day, you can get that energy from somewhere else and I love that.”
At TechSpace Houston, site manager Bobby Spoden points out that the most commonly used areas are the open space community areas. “That is a broad term when speaking about TechSpace Houston,” he adds, “because we’ve built so many collaborative areas such as our lunch booths (sometimes transformed into mini-offices/meeting rooms outside of lunch hours), phone booths, multiple huddle areas (both 1st and 2nd floors), and of course our tech-enabled conference rooms.”
The shared ambition between companies and individuals helps create an inspiring community atmosphere at TechSpace Costa Mesa, as well. Site manager Angela Wood says, “It’s hard not to strive for more when you’re a part of this crowd. At the same time, we manage to keep our laid back, relaxed SoCal title – our members are so welcoming and warm so you’ll feel right at home. The work-family vibes are high at TechSpace Costa Mesa!”
Ultimately, coworking is about creating better office spaces with a focus on core values of transparency, community, collaboration, and accessibility. Is coworking the right path for your start-up or company? Businesses in almost every sector you can imagine are setting their sights on the coworking way. Learn more about why coworking at TechSpace might just be the best choice for your business, too!