For our parents, the goal was to find a job they liked and move up the ladder until they could retire. On the other hand, people today (and not just the millennials) tend to last less than 5 years at a job and if you ask around, most people would rather work at home or in coworking spaces of their choosing than in a cramped office.
Thanks to the cloud, video calling, and the internet of things, coworkers really don’t need to cohabitate during the day. A virtual office specifically makes it a lot easier to stomach when your office space boss says, “Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…“ You may be at work, but at least you’re still in your PJs.
Every year we see companies in all industries make the switch to a shared or virtual office space and as technology improves you can only expect that trend to increase. For more on that and the future of coworking we asked a group of industry experts…
What’s the future of coworking spaces?
Here’s what they had to say…
Kristin Hull, Co-founder of Impact Hub Oakland & CEO of Nia Community Investments
“The future of co-working will include building trusted community of like-minded peers, partners, and supporters to exchange thoughts and collaborate on projects within creative spaces designed to accelerate learning. Co-working spaces will introduce great thought leaders, connect entrepreneurs with new collaborators, all in service of creating solutions-focused businesses and building a better world we know is possible.”
Matt Poepsel, VP of Product Management at The Predictive Index
“Coworking spaces will continue to increase in popularity not only because of economic and technological reasons but also due to innate sociological and psychological factors. While modern workers increasingly will be drawn to the flexibility of a free agent workstyle, many will find themselves anxious or de-energized by the prospect of spending hours in isolation at a home office. Many people are hardwired with a drive to interact with others. For these natural extroverts, coworking spaces will offer an outlet for social connection among peers. Recognizing this benefit, the most successful coworking spaces will offer common areas that allow tenants to interact intermittently throughout the workday as a form of connection, solidarity, and rejuvenation. Advances in technology and workplace trends will always run up against our immutable human nature.”
Dan Zakai, CEO of Mindspace
“Traditional workspaces haven’t changed for decades, but rather underwent a minor disruption with the proliferation of co-working spaces. Employees nowadays want freedom and flexibility. 10 years from now, the flexibility that co-working spaces offer today might become the new norm for office leases. With over 7000 providers and a handful global players, we’ll see consolidation and specialization in niche markets, such as spaces for biotech with labs-as-a-service.
As the focus on core continues, businesses will opt to outsource workplaces as-a-service. Co-working providers will compete to provide a work culture that is comfortable, functional, social, and embraces people’s lifestyles. Enterprises will drive this trend, favoring results over physical presence and face-time. They will leverage co-working spaces and technology to set up and dynamically scale branches wherever talent can be found.”
Christa Freeland, Co-founder of Switch Cowork & Managing Director at Powershift Group
“We’re on the cusp of a new coworking trend that is the shapeshifting of physical spaces. We have seen examples of this with some OfficeMax and Lifetime Fitness locations carving out a coworking space in their buildings for their customers. Even with locally owned businesses, we’re doing that at Switch by partnering with well-designed restaurants to operate them as a shared work space during the day when they usually sit empty or aren’t open.
With the emergence of megatrends such as the sharing economy, gig economy, and digital economy, the effects on our physical economy have never been more evident. Big box retailers, car manufacturers, and hotels are all having to think creatively as these trends take over and new solutions change the market.”
Bjorn Rosinus, Founder & CEO of Endeavor Innovative Workspaces
“Coworking and coworking spaces are going to revolutionize and disrupt the way that we know and understand traditional office spaces and environments all across the globe. We will see a shift away from long term office leases into more flexible solutions typical of coworking spaces.
Shared conference and learning facilities combined with kitchens, lounges, game rooms, fitness facilities and other amenities typical of large tech corporations are attractive elements of modern co-working spaces.
With the inclusion of formal business development programs and accelerator characteristics, the sky is the limit for coworking offices and its occupants. The ability for startups and large corporations to be under one “office” roof will forever change the way people work. Coworking is the future and that future is only just beginning.”
Najeeb Khan, Author, Innovation Strategist & Social Entrepreneur & Founder of 1For
“As autonomous cars start to become more common and laws passed that allow more autonomous vehicles to drive in public roads, we’ll start to see a drastic transition with people driving from further distances.
This means that as Artificial Intelligence start to take more basic repetitive jobs, co-working spaces will be network hubs for different communities. These will be places where people spend more time to work and telecommute from as companies will be happy to get the best people regardless of locations. At the same time, it will also be places where people who are looking to learn or network come to co-working hubs simply to find jobs with the rise of freelancers.
It will also be a self-sufficient community, where even an entire corporate division will be in co-working hubs to better interact with the community, find the best people, experiment and innovate.”