According to figures gathered by the Global Coworking Survey, by the end of the year 2017, 1.2 million professionals will have used the services of coworking spaces at some time in their careers. Whereas previously only 13% of shared spaces had desks and facilities for more than 150 members, this figure is expected to touch 20% by the end of the year. Statistics also show that more than 50% of members have been working in the same hubs for more than 12 months.
Experts have noted another interesting phenomenon. In the past, working spaces were typically rented by freelancers looking to start their businesses in economical premises outside of their homes for the added benefit of structure and discipline in their operations. However, in recent times, professionals from a wide range of spheres are opting to work in shared hubs. Their objectives for choosing this business model include working in a community where there is a constant influx of activity and has that dynamic ambience conducive to productivity.
Visit any coworking hub today and you will find 5 main categories of professionals that are working both, independently and as employees of large multinationals.
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The concept of coworking spaces was originally developed to cater to freelancers working from home. Such professionals typically work for a selection of clients and companies. They rely on the various facilities of the hubs such as conference rooms, meeting rooms, economical spaces for working, and the availability of a range of equipment. Such workers may also work part-time out of their regular job hours. And, finding shared offices that allow them the flexibility to plan their schedules is a huge advantage.
Not only can these professionals meet in an official setting with clients, but they can also make use of the positives of collaborating with like-minded peers. To economize on essential equipment, they invest in and save big on refurbished electronics by buying them from certified online stores like Amazon, ReUseTek, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, and many more.
Remote Working Professionals
As Ken Bupp, Chief Operating Officer at Endeavor Innovative Workspaces reveals in an article, companies are increasingly recognizing the advantages of allowing their staff to work from remote locations. The flexibility in work hours and schedules can assist in lowering employee turnover rates and increase satisfaction. As a result, such companies encourage their workers to deliver assignments from coworking spaces. Some organizations are also open to hiring such spaces for the use of their employees. These shared spaces provide desks in a range of different specifications such as per hour, per day, for a fixed number of visits a month or week, or dedicated spaces for a monthly rental.
Accordingly, these hubs have the potential of offering cheap office premises to large companies at rates as low as $10 to $15 per day. Of course, these prices may vary according to the city, locale, and individual space provider. Companies may also hire these spaces as temporary office premises for employees who are working on a particular project or assignment for them in a different city. In this way, they ensure convenience and productivity that may not be available in coffee shops and hotel rooms.
Traveling professionals are typically experts in their respective spheres and may travel to different locations acting as consultants. Given the nomadic nature of their business model, they often need office space to meet with clients and customers when not visiting their premises. These professionals also use coworking spaces since they are equipped with the most innovative of equipment that helps deliver on assignments. Working hubs are usually available for renting for a few days or a week depending on the project requirements.
The more advanced and expensive coworking spaces may also offer the services of personal assistants if needed along with high-speed internet facilities, services of in-house IT personnel, copiers, and high-def color printers, among others. Conference rooms with projector screens and white boards for giving presentations and demonstrations are other useful tools.
Conventional Company Employees
Interestingly, conventional employees working full time with companies may take a break from the regular activities of their offices and opt to operate out of coworking hubs. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, there are several advantages for making this shift. For one, shared spaces allow workers to quit their company persona and mingle with new talent, skills, and capabilities under the cloak of anonymity. Typical offices sometimes have an unhealthy competitive spirit and office politics that can be detrimental to productivity. By stepping out of this atmosphere, professionals can interact with unrelated business ideas that spur creativity and the development of new concepts.
Companies are well aware of the positives of these occasional shifts and may encourage this business model by offering available desk spaces on their premises for rent by freelancing independent professionals.
Students Working as Part-Time Professionals
Students often work part-time to gain practical experience and build their resumes. Coworking spaces are may well be the best places to gain that additional training in the company of expert professionals. In addition to learning how to build businesses, they can thrive under the mantle of mentors working as interns. Students also have the opportunity to learn in a collaborative ambience where they can build a network of connections that can help them find jobs after graduation and later, launch and further their careers. Various universities are now introducing coworking spaces on their campuses. Budding entrepreneurs graduating out of school can use the affordable facilities provided by these hubs to build new enterprises.
Shared working spaces do have a bunch of challenges like any other business model. But, their positives can prove to be highly beneficial given their vibrant ambience where there is a constant exchange of ideas in fun, friendly, and innovative spaces. For this reason, conventional corporates are increasingly preferring to work more out of such shared spaces. In the coming years, more of these spaces are likely to become available to professionals.