Coworking News

We have a lot of exciting news about coworking this week. Chicago is getting a huge, new space for creatives. In Asia, coworking spaces are evolving to attract more corporate clients. Coworking is booming in India. And a recent survey found that coworkers are more relaxed and balanced. Here are the best articles published recently.

Inside Life Creative, a 20,000 Square Foot Coworking Space in Fulton Market

Coworking spaces offer members shared resources, a sense of community, a place to collaborate, and cheap office space. That, along with plenty of coffee, is all most startups need out of their workspace.

coworking space in fulton market

But if you're getting started in the creative community, you might need a few other resources: say, a CNC router for carving designs, a carpentry department for building theater sets, yards of fabric for upholstering event furniture, a workspace to arrange flowers, to name a few.

And this week, a coworking space with all those resources (and more) is set to open to the creative community.

Life Creative, a new coworking space out housed in event management company Event Creative's 80,000 square foot Fulton Market headquarters, will officially open doors to members this week. The goal is to create community and collaboration, as well as help fledgling artists, engineers, and founders get access to unique industrial and education resources.

New Coworking Spaces Offer Opportunities to Jakarta Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurs

Jakarta. Historically, entrepreneurs have had few workspace options when starting new businesses. They can work from a coffee shop (or their basement), or find an office space just for their company. But recently, Indonesian entrepreneurs have been given another option to start their businesses: coworking spaces.

Coworking spaces are places where entrepreneurs can work in a shared office with other companies. They offer services ranging from meeting rooms to mentorship and in some cases, workout facilities and happy hours. Jakarta is home to more than a dozen of these spaces, and the number is growing.

For Aryo Ariotedjo, founder of Freeware Spaces in Kemang, South Jakarta, collaborating and mentorship are huge benefits of using a coworking space. His space hosts a variety of companies ranging from men's fashion, to online media, to high-end retail concierge services. One of Freeware's tenants, Danny Widodo, chief executive and cofounder of the concert demand platform Konsaato, said coworking spaces offer many advantages and opportunities for social engagement.

"I'm able to talk to people from different startups, to gain knowledge from them and share knowledge as well," Danny said at Freeware. "When we have issues with our company, [other tenants] can offer a new solution. That's what a coworking space is all about."

The Evolution Of Coworking In Asia

Although co-working is a relatively new trend it’s already evolving. As larger corporations get in on the game, co-working is adapting and changing to suit different needs.

In the beginning co-working spaces were about young, entrepreneurial companies needing space. They were about accommodating really lean businesses while also creating a sense of community. A few people with a great idea but no funds to set up big infrastructure could use a co-working space to get that idea off the ground.

As Angela Ferguson, MD of workplace design firm Futurespace, puts it: “Co-working was about getting people to network and share ideas, creating a community around work and what that meant. What we’ve seen now is that they’ve become so much more than that, the concept has evolved very rapidly.”

Ferguson identifies three main evolutions of co-working:

Are Empty High-End Restaurants The Next Coworking Trend?

Turning empty offices into coworking spaces isn’t cheap: You need to pay rent and buy desks, chairs, perhaps a fancy coffeemaker for the kitchen. So while a coworking membership is often cheaper for entrepreneurs and freelancers than renting their own office, it can cost several hundred bucks a month depending on the city and how much access or privacy they want.

coworking at high-end restaurants

But what if freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs worked out of existing space that sits unused during the day? Several entrepreneurs are testing that concept by turning restaurants or coffee shops into coworking spaces.

CoworkCafe opened last year inside of Arlington, Virginia, coffee shop Boccato. After 6 p.m., the area of the shop reserved for coworking opens up to the general public. For $150/month, CoworkCafe members get a $50 food credit, access to reserved space and high-speed Wi-Fi ($20 day passes are also available but don’t include any food credit). LinkLocale, more traditional coworking space in the area charges $30 per day, $175/month for flex space or $475/month for reserved space.

Demand For Coworking Spaces Soars In DC

Co-working space — office space that rents out shared or private desks and small private offices with shared amenities like Wi-Fi, kitchens, meeting spaces and copy machines — now totals 1.8 million square feet in the District alone.

Over the past 18 months, nearly half of the D.C. region’s expansionary leasing activity has fallen within the co-working segment, as well as incubators and TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) segments, according to commercial real estate firm JLL.

“The co-working industry is booming across the region and especially within the District,” said JLL’s Scott Homa. “The growth has been exceptional, and by all indications, the spaces are very well subscribed. Many of them have waiting lists that span several months.”

Is Coworking Becoming The New Normal?

Technological advances have given employees more independence and mobility to work from nearly any location at any time. Large and small employers are permitting and even encouraging their employees to work from out of office. This growing trend has even birthed a new niche market — co-working — as more entrepreneurs and traditional workers, needing only Internet connection, choose to live alternative lifestyles which let them dictate their location and hours.

An article in Harvard Business Review titled, “Workspaces That Move People” describes the origin of co-working as coming from San Francisco, Berlin, and London in 2005. “Technologists, programmers, and creative professionals wanted to work outside confining office environments but also to avoid the isolation of home offices,” wrote its authors. What they formed is now called co-working.

Coworkers Are More Relaxed And Balanced

The majority of Maltese workers favour moving away from a ‘typical’ office environment, according to a survey conducted by Regus, a global workplace provider.

The survey found that across the globe co-workers are seen as the most relaxed and balanced workers.

Co-working is a style of work that sees employees of different companies working in a shared office environment.

Two-thirds of business people globally (66 per cent) report that co-workers have a better work-life balance and are therefore more able to juggle the competing demands of personal and work life. Sixty-two per cent of Maltese respondents agreed with this.

Over 70 per cent of Maltese workers who work from home said co-working could play an important role in combating loneliness, while 54 per cent said it would help them live a healthier lifestyle. The survey found that greater choice of location along with a better social environment probably contributed to lowering stress levels and users of co-working spaces were seen to enjoy more diverse friendships and relations.

Uniting The Suits And The Beards: Coworking’s Rise

Co-working the latest trend in ultra-hip working practices, has now hit the mainstream. The word conjures up images of bearded, flannel-shirted hipsters working on iMacs in Scandinavian inspired “spaces”. Yet more and more corporates are now adopting it, with the likes of Microsoft, Philips and several mainstream retail and investment banks creating specialised working environments.

So does this mean your office is soon going to be invaded by a start-up crowd? The answer may be yes. But fear not. Co-working provides a number of benefits for any forward looking company.

Let’s start with the basics. There’s co-working and then there’s co-working. It comes in many shapes and sizes, each with different characteristics. For example, some businesses are implementing internal forms of co-working, to help increase internal collaboration, with the creation of “hubs” where people from different departments can work together.

Then, there is the specialized co-working office (think WeWork and Central Working) – an offshoot of the serviced office – which (generally) puts freelancers and start-ups not only in the same building but sometimes even on the same desk, giving them the chance to meet like-minded people, discuss ideas and trade advice.

Why Coworking Spaces In India Have Startups And Entrepreneurs Hooked

The monumental work that follows starting up truly begins to manifest itself when investors and other stakeholders come knocking. As meetings on precarious subjects are scheduled with the weight of deadlines hanging in the balance, pending utility bills or malfunctioning internet networks may be enough to break the momentum. Sharing office space with existing establishments could serve as a quick fix. Fortunately, eliminating administrative hassles is, but the most basic benefit such collaborations have on offer.

Co-working spaces essentially work around the concept of leasing office infrastructure and resources to individuals or groups of people, often on a subscription basis. In addition to flexible working hours, these centres foster an innovation-inspiring atmosphere, bringing together groups of like-minded people under one roof.

"The idea was essentially to set up a plug-and-play option for anyone looking for a serviced office space," says Virtuous Retail (VR), Director, Rajiv Raichand. "When people start their own businesses, they need to experience the exchange of ideas while maintaining a wide network of connections. With co-working spaces, we give them the option of picking up contacts from simply working together, thereby bringing much more value to people running businesses," he says.

VR is one of the latest entrants tapping the surge in demand for co-working spaces in Bangalore. Launched in February this year, its in-house collaborative office is about 65,000 sq ft spread across three floors. In addition to a desk and other paraphernalia, it also has a conference room, various entertainment facilities including access to a gym, private telephone areas and plays host to various networking events.

2016: “The Year We’ll See Over 10,000 Coworking Spaces Open”

Technology and a younger workforce are spurring a revolution in office design across Asia. Traditionally a region known for conservative and conventional workspace, companies are now drawing inspiration from flexible workspaces, co-working centres and incubators to attract talent and maximise the use of often limited space.

Simon Gunnis, Managing Director of Project Control Group, says the historic split between East and West is changing.

coworking at the desk

“When you consider  the dynamics in terms of  ‘polar extremes’, the South Pole is what we regard as the traditional workplace solution or ‘allocated real estate’, whereby every employee has an assigned desk or office which is a paradigm dating back to the industrial revolution. The ‘North Pole’ by contrast, would today have to be the purest form of activity-based working(ABW) whereby there are no assigned work points and employees match their accommodation needs to the activity demands of the daily schedule,” Gunnis says.

Now, despite traditionally being “a laggard in the adoption of emerging global workplace trends”, Asia is now “moving to the North Pole”. Gunnis cites several trends that are influencing this.

First and foremost is the continuing urbanisation and “densification” of Asian cities. This calls for the creation of innovative new architecture, engineering and technology solutions. India and China alone account for 40% of the global population growth to 2025.

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