by a Twin Cities Industry Professional
The CoWorking industry has taken the world by storm. In 2005, there were only 3 verified CoWorking spaces in the entire world. And as of 2017, that number had skyrocketed to a staggering 15,000 and that number is slated to double by the end of 2018. These figures are a testament to the rise in digital workplaces and remote working.
I just came back from our Global Workspace Association conference in Austin, Texas and came away with a few interesting facts:
In July and August 2018, 306 new CoWorking centers were opened worldwide. 169 being in the United States. The number of new CoWorking locations are estimated to grow to almost 1,000 in the U.S. by the end of 2018. At the end of 2017, 44% of coworkers were female. By the end of 2018 that number will grow to almost 50% of coworkers being female. By the end of 2019, there will be approximately 1 million people coworking.
But CoWorking is not just for small businesses anymore. Global companies are using flexible space solutions as alternatives to taking or building their own workspaces. They are turning to large CoWorking companies like WeWork to house entire divisions of a company for special projects or teams, and in some cases entire divisions of a company. Studies providing workspace is expensive and can tie up capital. CoWorking can reduce their liabilities and long-term commitments by using flex space providers to house their workforce. Instead of CoWorking communities growing by one or two people at a time, large companies will place 40 or 50 people in a workspace and as many as hundreds of people at one time or over a short period of time.
These facts tell us that the workspace has changed dramatically. Particularly since trends in entrepreneurship and the evolution of the home based business has changed not only how work is done but also where work is done. In addition, technology has played a large part in the ability for workers to use the Internet to work anywhere they choose. CoWorking supports businesses by offering flexible workspace solutions, short term space commitments and the economies of sharing facilities and staff. In short, flex space and CoWorking works! Not just for small businesses but for every business.
“Life is short. Work someplace awesome!”
My background as a CoWorking service business started in 1981. I have seen the workspace evolve and change dramatically. In our early days, we looked for usually “one guy” to take a permanent private office. The offices looked very similar in that they had a basic desk, credenza, chair and a couple of side chairs. That format worked for years. And then technology took the lead. Computers and the internet allowed people to communicate at a different level. Email changed correspondence norms and encouraged less paper and mail costs. The pace of workspace became lightning fast, no more worrying about the fax machine or document delivery. Our target clients are road warriors who carry their office wherever they go whether it is home, auto, hotel or designated workspace.
Technology changed the definition of work. Today almost 90% of businesses created are home based. And home can be an excellent place to work: the dress code rocks, the commute is non-existent, and the economics for a small business make sense. But many people found home is not ideal for those who find distractions a challenge. The number one complaint of businesses that work from home is isolation. There is just no interaction with like-minded professionals or coworkers hanging out at the coffee station or the water cooler. That is where CoWorking hits a home run.
At OffiCenters we have conquered the isolation of entrepreneurial workers. Our workspaces push beyond four walls and include over 1,200 members in our community. We offer not just the space to work but options on collaboration and business challenges. We have networking groups, educational seminars, community outreach and charitable events, and mostly opportunities to meet the five generations of members in our workspaces. In my over 30-year career in workspace as a service, it has never been so exciting.
A recent survey of OffiCenters’ members (August 2018) showed 100% found our spaces conquered their isolation problems. 81% of members have made critical professional bounds within our community. 83% feel that joining a CoWorking community makes them more productive. 78% say they have increased their bottom line since joining OffiCenter. These are powerful numbers and we are proud to influence our community to success. We really emphasize working within our own community and for members to buy from one another whenever possible.
Over the last 8 years we have completely remodeled our workspaces to include not just single private offices but more meeting and conference room choices, team spaces, collaborative workspaces and 60 seat open areas in all of our locations. Our CoWorking spaces have a coffee shop type of environment only with a more professional feel and a lot better Wi-Fi connections.
OffiCenters has 7 locations in the Twin Cities area, which include: Bloomington, Edina, Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Woodbury and the Minneapolis North Loop.
If you or anyone you know would like to try CoWorking,
please call us at (612) 349-2700 for a free day pass.
Lori Spiess, Founder of OffiCenters
Lori Spiess is the Founder of OffiCenters and has provided workspace solutions to the Twin Cities since 1981. She is an innovator; leader and motivator who help businesses do their best work. She was the first woman President of the Global Workspace Association (GWA). Her company won Most Innovative Workspace 2014 and she made Minnesota Real Power 50 list in 2015. Spiess, a recent cancer survivor, has a new motto: Life is short. Work someplace awesome!
You can view her location at https://officenters.com/.