Alliance Virtual Offices has just added coworking plans to our virtual office and live receptionist platform. Learn more about this style of shared workspace and how it developed from a freelance favorite into a global, multi-billion dollar industry.
There was a time when ‘going to work’ meant heading to the same office, working for the same company and surrounding yourself with the same people, day in and day out.
Times have changed.
Entrepreneurship has flourished. Data from the Kauffman Foundation suggests that of the roughly 4.4 million firms created in the U.S. over the last ten years, about 30,000 are high-growth companies. These, say The Economist, “pack a powerful punch” and are reflective of a rebound in high-growth entrepreneurship in the U.S., which is now “rocketing”.
Business is accelerating, growth is fast and investment opportunities add fuel to the fire. Even the lifespan of large companies is shortening as digital innovation burns through corporate America; the average lifespan of corporate firms is now less than 20 years, down from 60 years in the 1950s.
In this exciting age of disruptive technology and rapid expansion, the workplace has evolved to match the high-energy nature of 21st century entrepreneurship culture.
Cubicles and private corner offices are a dying breed. Coworking – a style of open, collaborative workspace – has blossomed, offering an invigorating, vibrant place to work where chance encounters rule and occupants thrive on collaboration.
Coworking spaces provide a flexible workplace for people who work for different companies, ventures, and projects. This desire to work independently alongside like-minded people is not a paradox – it’s human nature. We are social animals. We thrive in the company of others with whom we share similar values – like creativity, freelancing, entrepreneurship, or just because we love turning up to work in jeans.
And it’s booming.
The first coworking space opened in 2005 (read the backstory here), and the movement quickly gained momentum. In 2018 there are now more than 14,400 coworking spaces around the world, and the market has grown more than 200% over the past five years. A study by GCUC and Emergent Research suggests that by 2022, more than 5 million people will work at over 30,000 coworking spaces globally.
In cities like London, New York and Chicago, coworking is expanding at an annual rate of 20%. In fact, the largest occupier of office space in London is now WeWork – a major provider of coworking and flexible workspace.
But it’s not all about city centres. In suburbs, on the wild coastline of Norway’s Lofoten Islands, in tropical Bali and even high in the frozen peaks of Whistler, coworking thrives anywhere people wish to gather… or to retreat.