Co-working offices have been dubbed the future of the workplace, having gained support from start-ups, entrepreneurs, even larger corporate companies are seeing the value in a more urban workspace. In essence, they offer employees a contemporary, flexible office space partnered with a positive and collaborative community. Their popularity worldwide reflects our need for them, and our conscious decision to leave the conventional workplace behind us.

An open-plan office design with communal and private rooms enable employees to work in a place which suits them, whilst encouraging interaction. It also promotes a more versatile workplace suitable for employees to greet clients and come and go throughout the work day – an ideal environment for start-ups. To support this, Deskmag’s co-working survey found that 71% of participants reported a boost in creativity and 62% of participants said their standard of work had improved after moving into a co-working office. 

Hucktree communal

After the success with start-ups, it’s no surprise that co-working owners are now reaching out to larger businesses to increase a wider range of membership. The Wall Street Journal reveals that around 10% of Fortune 500 companies rent in WeWork locations and firms of 15 or more comprise their fastest-growing customer base. Another option is to rent out flexible memberships for on-the-go employees, to reduce travel time and offer a more visually engaging office to meet clients. 

weworktank

Let’s not forget the ones who jumped on the train as soon as it pulled into the station; long-standing members. Deskmag’s survey reveals that two-thirds of members have no intention of leaving next year, and after four years in a co-working space, the majority of members still ranked anticipated increasing incomes (59%), workload (56%) and contacts (68%) for 2016.
 
With these statistics in mind, what actually makes co-working the right choice? Below are the big seven: 
  1. No stress spent on office manager duties or wifi disconnections – it’s sorted from day one
  2. Office well-being and positive ‘vibes’ are in plenty supply with yoga classes, table football, beer on tap, and office dogs
  3. Contemporary and fun design inspires creativity and Instagram-worthy snaps 
  4. Flexible choice of space increases autonomy and implies a ‘work-from-home’ environment, only with less distractions 
  5. With regular events and communal areas, networking becomes almost second nature
  6. Travelling to meetings are low cost and fast due to office locations being central
  7. Working with others outside your team encourages sharing knowledge and different skill sets

wework corridor


Individuals are now building their own community hubs across the globe. The LX Factory in Lisbon, Portugal is a great example. The 23,000 SQM abandoned warehouse was intended to be the biggest urban regeneration scheme in Lisbon’s history, but instead, it’s now considered one of the ‘globe’s most organically grown, innovative start-up hubs’. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Deloitte’s Edge building in Amsterdam. Not strictly a co-working office, but it is a sophisticated, contemporary building that projects an enhanced collaborative working ethos. By using smart technology, this building has dramatically changed the way in which employees perform their role. 

secondhome


After working with several co-working offices, including WeWork, Second Home, and Huckletree, we’re confident that connectivity, design, and technology have contributed to their success. According to Fast Company, WeWork is already planning on investing more of their efforts into technology such as heat sensors. By locating the most used areas of each site, they can build more communal areas to encourage conversation and networking. 

 


eastbourneterrace balcony

It’s an exciting period for co-working as more experiment with what they can offer to rival the competition. Businesses and employees need to take advantage of this shift from the traditional to the more adventurous in order to thrive.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on co-working spaces, and what they can offer. Get in touch via hello@viastak.com.
Photo credit: @WeWork (Instagram) @SecondHome (Instagram)