Coworking is sweeping the globe. According to the Global Coworking Survey 2015-2016, coworking spaces have increased globally from 3 to 7,800 between 2005 and 2015. The projection for 2016 is approximately 16,000 spaces; 25,000 spaces by 2017; and 37,000 spaces by 2018.
Three main factors drive this explosive growth. First, the gap between the mindset of small businesses and freelancers and traditional landlords, who like long term leases and require guarantees and company accounts. Second, technology that enables flexible and remote working. And third, the new generations do not consider the corporate environment appealing.
Coworking has changed the way people work and relate. It is said that coworking spaces are the combination of the best of a corporate office – resources, equipment, and collaboration – with the benefits of working at home – convenience, flexibility, and autonomy. All this with an added sense of community in a flexible, fun, and relaxed space.
The data about coworking is still sketchy. The phenomenon is still young, but the German magazine Deskmag has been conducting a global survey for the past five years that sheds some light on the topic. The survey asked coworkers around the world what they expected from their work spaces. Their responses show that the value provided by a coworking space lies mainly on the social aspects of interaction and collaboration among members.
These results support the creation of a space where small businesses and freelancers in architecture, engineering, drafting, design, and construction can work collaboratively, teaming up for projects and sharing resources that foster creativity across disciplines. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Several small companies can produce better results than a big firm.
In addition, the monthly no-contract membership that is the norm in coworking spaces allows small businesses to scale up or down according to their needs.
The Built Environment Lab project envisions a place where professionals from all of the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) disciplines share resources, collaborate on projects, and benefit from each other’s experiences. The project needs feedback from the community before putting a plan into action. The Global Coworking Survey told us that only one third of the coworking spaces that open are profitable. And we surely don’t want to be part of the other two thirds.
So, what do you think? Is a coworking space a good option for you?
Let us know in this survey.
About the Author
Cecilia Neher, born in Venezuela, is a professional with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of communications, public relations, and social media. She has collaborated on the development of diverse projects with the firm micp engineering since January 2016.