Going to a corporate office from 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, is not the future of work. Even working from home full-time sounds ‘so 2020’ today. A flexible, hybrid work economy supported by coworking spaces is the here and now.
How we think about workplaces should change as the future of work also does. The traditional model of a required office for all employees is no longer practical, and coworking spaces will play a big role in the new dynamic work landscape.
Stay updated on what’s evolving in how we work, and learn why coworking should become part of your routine to stay ahead of the curve.
The Changing Landscape of Work
There’s no denying that the future of work is changing. Even before the global pandemic, there was a growing trend among companies embracing remote work.
In 2021, approximately 25-30% of the US workforce was working remotely part-time, according to Global Workplace Analytics. However, the same research estimates that 82% of US office workers preferred to work from home because they have jobs compatible with remote work.
Remote work is a popular trend, but it doesn’t end there. From technology propelling us forward to the ever-growing gig economy, asynchronous collaboration tools, hybrid work structure, coworking space popularity, and the shift to a job seeker’s market – work looks different today than ever.
When workers “quiet quit, ” they stop being motivated and start doing the bare minimum. This is a recent term that blew up on TikTok recently. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing use of technology in the workplace, the rise of the gig economy, and changing attitudes about work/life balance.
For many people, working isn’t what it used to be. With more and more employers expecting employees to be available 24/7 thanks to technology like email and smartphones, workers are feeling increasingly burned out.
Technology is playing a key role in how work is changing. Automation, virtual assistants, and artificial intelligence have taken over many tasks previously done by people in offices.
Some jobs will soon be obsolete, while others will become more in demand as we rely on technology to do more. Others will still require a human touch but evolve into more tech-enabled and tech-supported roles.
For example, manufacturing and industrial jobs that once relied on human accuracy for quality and productivity can utilize automation to manage menial, repetitive tasks so workers can focus on higher-level tasks and responsibilities.
Rise of the Gig Economy
The gig economy is also on the rise, as more and more people are freelancing or working temporary jobs. Between 2021 and 2022 alone, the number of freelancers in the US increased by over 20%, according to Zippia.
Such significant growth is partly because there are now many more opportunities to work remotely or on a freelance or contract basis. With more companies willing to hire workers remotely, there’s no longer the constant need to be tied down to one location or company.
All of these changes are making the traditional work model obsolete. We can’t continue to rely on a single office for a single company when work is flexible and, in most cases, can be done from nearly anywhere.
With the rise of remote work, asynchronous collaboration is becoming more popular. Asynchronous collaboration is when team members work on their own time rather than having to be online simultaneously.
Instead of having a video call to discuss a project, team members can leave each other comments or questions in shared places. Then, everyone can review the discussion and add their thoughts when it’s convenient for them. This allows each team member to productively allocate their own time.
Asynchronous collaboration is more flexible and can be done from anywhere, which is perfect for a world where work is no longer tied to one specific location.
Hybrid is the New Normal
With all of these changes, it’s clear that the future of work is hybrid. While many jobs can be done from home or practically anywhere, some tasks, meetings, and jobs will still need to be done in person. This shift has already begun and will only become more evident in the coming years.
The rise of coworking spaces is also playing an important role in this shift. Coworking spaces are a great solution for hybrid work. They provide a place to go when you need to be in person and offer the flexibility to work from home when you don’t.
The Growth of Coworking
Work is heading hybrid, and coworking spaces are a flexible solution for this new working method.
Coworking spaces have experienced sizable growth in recent years, which is only predicted to continue as more and more people embrace the hybrid model. In 2017, there were over 4,000 coworking spaces in the US. By 2022, that number has increased to over 6,200.
Employees who may have changed to working from home and disliked the arrangement now have the option of a coworking space, which can get them out of the house without relying on a company-provided workspace.
It’s also a good option for self-employed or freelance workers who want a workspace outside their homes or need to supplement their home offices with additional workspace or meeting rooms.
Shift to a Job Seekers’ Market
There has also been a shift to a job seekers’ market as a result of the Great Resignation, which saw workers leaving their jobs en masse due to toxic work culture, lack of flexibility, poor COVID response, and the possibility of finding a better, more flexible job.
Employers will need to provide more perks and benefits to attract and retain employees in a market where they are at a disadvantage.
The perks employees tend to look for include a hybrid or remote work structure, optional access to a coworking space, more time off or a flexible work schedule, better healthcare, and an improved work/life balance.
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Why Coworking Is Important to the Future of Work
Coworking spaces are helping to support the future of work. First, they provide the perfect solution for hybrid work. Second, they’re already seeing much growth, and the trend is expected to continue. Finally, they offer employees perks and benefits that are increasingly important in today’s job market.
Flexibility for Business and the Workforce
Coworking spaces are flexible, which is important for businesses that may not have the budget or space for a traditional office. It’s a great solution for businesses who want to hire for talent, not location, without limiting workers to their homes – where many people don’t have the space, resources, or privacy to work effectively from home.
Using coworking spaces also helps to save money because businesses don’t need to formalize offices in multiple locations but can still provide an office option for their workers who would prefer it.
They also allow employees to work from home (WFH) when needed but give them a place to go when WFH isn’t ideal. Workers today see flexibility as a need, not a want, and many won’t take a job (or would leave a job) that didn’t offer the option to work remotely sometimes.
It’s a common-ground solution between office work and home work because attendance isn’t required but optional, and it’s more formal and constructive than working from home can be at times.
Community-Driven Connection and Collaboration
In a coworking space, you’re surrounded by other people working on their projects, which can lead to serendipitous collaboration and connection. It’s the perfect environment for networking and building relationships with other professionals in your field.
Rather than collaboration and community connected solely through a job, people become better connected by the kind of work they do, where they live more generally, and their lifestyle.
In coworking spaces, same-company coworkers can still work together, too. If a company hires a few remote workers all out of the same city, renting an office at a coworking space provides a way for the team to collaborate and connect in real-time in a more tangible way than Zoom happy hours.
Working from home can be lonely and isolating, and coworking spaces are communal and social places designed for work and connection. It gets workers out of their houses and gives them a reason to get dressed, people to interact with if they so choose, and an inspiring place to focus on just work.
A Source of Inspiration With Less Distraction
While working from home has its perks, it can also be distracting. It’s easy to get sidetracked by things like laundry, dishes, or other household members when trying to focus on work.
It can be difficult to find a place to work at home that is both comfortable and inspiring. And if you do have a dedicated office space, it can be hard to keep it feeling fresh.
Coworking spaces are designed to be places of inspiration and creativity, with different areas to suit different working styles. For example, some people prefer to work at a standing desk, while others want to take advantage of the lounge area or outdoor terrace.
Most of these spaces are also cleaned regularly by professional teams, so housekeeping in your office is one less thing you must deal with.
Filling in the Remote Work Gaps
Remote work is ideal for many people. Still, it can remove some of the perks of environments. Coworking spaces do an excellent job of filling in those gaps and providing small “extras” and perks that go a long way.
Socializing is one of the biggest things. It’s hard to socialize when you work alone physically, and coworking spaces often house happy hours, mixers, and other events so you can mingle and connect with like-minded individuals.
Additionally, learning and development opportunities are often scheduled and programmed by a coworking space. They may bring in niche experts and motivational speakers or offer training sessions to upskill and continue your personal and professional growth.
For those who value wellness, coworking spaces can also have a lot to offer. Some include gym spaces, yoga classes, discounted gym memberships, outdoor spaces, healthy snacks, and water.
Many people moving to remote work look forward to the break it provides from often toxic office cultures curated and controlled by HR. Coworking spaces offer an alternative, crowd-sourced kind of culture. The culture at a coworking space is influenced heavily by its community and members, so there are different environments you can choose based on what you want to get out of your workspace experience.
Coworking spaces allow you to socialize or keep to yourself as you see fit, without pressure to collaborate unless it feels right. Members can be as involved or uninvolved as they wish, allowing them to curate their ideal work environment.
Coworking is the future of work. With the rise of remote work, the shift to more asynchronous collaboration, and the growth of the gig economy, coworking spaces have had a corresponding rise. And for good reason – coworking spaces provide several benefits perfect for the modern worker.
They are flexible in ways that are attractive to both workers and businesses and drive collaboration and connection through the community, not through an employer.
Coworking spaces are also communal and social places designed for work and connection. They provide an inspiring and creative environment free of home distractions with different areas to suit different working styles.
Additionally, coworking spaces often fill in the gaps left by remote work, offering socializing opportunities, learning and development programs, and wellness perks.
And finally, the culture of coworking spaces is crowd-sourced from its members, so you can find the environment where you will work the best and thrive the most.
If you’re looking for “what’s next” in the work world, look no further than coworking spaces.