The modern workforce has undergone some rather tumultuous changes over the past decade; the ever-increasing digitization of the economy and continued globalization has drastically reshaped how many people all around the world make a living.
One of the most notable trends in the past few years is a renewed surge in co-working or the use of a shared workplace that enables independent individuals to collaborate freely with one another as they go about their private business or work for different companies.
The enduring vibrancy of the gig economy all but ensures that co-working arrangements won’t be going away anytime soon. Here’s how we can expect coworking to reshape the workforce in the immediate future as it continues to grow in popularity across the nation.
Say hello to the office of the future
When most people think about the future of the modern office, they often imagine smart buildings that are defined by the interconnectivity of their digital devices.
This is only natural, as we’re regularly inundated with news articles, blog posts, and pundit musings regarding “smart cities” and the IoT.
The real future of the office could be determined by the growing trend of co-working, however, which is less about the infrastructure of the building itself and more about establishing a collaborative environment where diverse professionals can mingle with and bounce ideas off one another.
Coworking began in San Francisco, but it’s since then rapidly spread around the world, particularly when it comes to well-developed areas that need creative, well-educated intellectuals in order to remain productive.
This should come as little surprise, as those professionals most well-suited to co-working arrangements are usually those with open minds and a willingness to embrace peculiar new perspectives with the hope that they’ll deliver useful new insights.
The huge number of co-working locations around the world today attest to the fact that this professional arrangement is only going to become more common as time goes on.
But why are so many professionals eagerly embracing co-working?
After all, open-office plans that force workers to sit with one another and receive various stimuli from a multitude of sources are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past.
The real reason that co-working is taking off is that it enables gig economy workers and creative professionals to combine the best of their talents while drastically cutting down on the costs associated with running a place of business.
Startups and freelancers are lapping it up
One of the reasons we can be so confident that co-working will endure as an employment model is that freelancers and startup companies are eagerly embracing co-working arrangements which enable them to keep their initial costs under control.
The gig economy has been rapidly expanding in recent years, with at least 60 million people currently falling under its purview, and these non-traditional workers can’t operate within a traditional workspace if they want to succeed.
By tapping into the creative gusto and technological insights of their co-workers, modern freelancers and even some rogue corporate professionals are discovering that co-working arrangements are simply more productive than their more-traditional counterparts.
It would nevertheless be insufficient to argue that co-working arrangement is taking off solely because they’re an excellent fit for the gig economy.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons that co-working will indisputably remain a major facet of the economy is because even larger businesses are beginning to embrace the idea of housing their hard-working employees in suitable, shared spaces that are co-inhabited by workers from other companies.
It’s easy to see why companies of yester-year may have been hesitant to embrace such an arrangement.
After all, a co-working setup could jeopardize the security of their intellectual property or lead to their less-well-compensated employees leaving for greener pastures.
In the modern era, however, where collaboration is king and the free exchange of information is crucial for the ongoing vibrancy of the economy, co-working arrangements have evolved into a highly desirable tool that large companies can use to innovate and cut costs.
An analysis of what co-working spaces will look like come 2020, for instance, persuasively argues that national players are slowly but surely making their way into the middle market of the country, and thus are highly likely to embrace co-working arrangements.
There’s a focus on innovation and creativity
The final reason that co-working is set to define the future economy is that it’s virtually unmatched when it comes to bolstering innovative and creative potentials of those workers who rely on co-working arrangements.
For as long as humans have been working, we’ve been trying to arrange more productive work arrangements that enable us to achieve more by doing less.
These days, coworking is the latest step in the long line of workplace revolution which has consistently enabled us to tap into one another’s creative energies.
Sometimes, this even means benefiting from the advice of your competitors!
Furthermore, the low-cost setup of most co-working arrangements will continue to make them alluring for corporations trying to venture into new markets across the country.
All in all, the future looks very bright wherever co-working is concerned.
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Image Credit: Shridhar Gupta