Entrepreneurs and freelancers may seem like lone wolves, but recent trends are proving otherwise. Co-working spaces, where remote workers and companies band together to share an office space, are becoming increasingly popular.
In fact, our recent survey found that 66% of respondents expect to see an increase in the demand for business lounges, co-working spaces, short-term offices or drop-in centres. And it seems like these lone-wolf freelancers are at the forefront of this co-working revolution. Here’s why.
Stability. Affording a whole office space isn’t always easy for freelancers and small businesses, which is where co-working arrangements come into play. Affordable desk space, reliable Wi-Fi and on-hand receptionists to answer calls are all be part of the co-working office parcel. Around 74% of our respondents also say that working in a dedicated office space in a central location ensures your company is visible to clients, which is important if you’re competing against large rivals.
Mobility. Co-working is a global trend. 81% of business people in India and 60% in Japan expect demand to grow in the coming year. That’s great news for freelancers, as they’re already working flexibly in an increasingly flexible world.
Being able to travel to clients and take the company with you is a great way to respond to new developments. Our Regus co-working areas have packages that give you access to workspaces in cities around the world, as well as in and close to airports and around other strategic locations. Meanwhile, receptionists at shared or virtual offices make sure you don’t miss any calls or mail while you’re on your travels.
Opportunities. Sharing office spaces is more than just a money-saving or a social set-up. Wherever they are, co-working offices bring with them networks of exciting and varied professionals who can become a resource in themselves. Many of our survey respondents have found that their co-working neighbours become their clients or provide them with leads. Around 80% say that networking opportunities are driving the move towards co-working.
However, it’s not just about sourcing leads. Many more are finding inspiration and new ideas from their water-cooler colleagues. 69% of our respondents say they have benefitted from shared skills and experiences from others in their co-working offices, while 62% said that being in a co-working space has helped them keep their skills up to date.
Balance. Being an independent worker can be a challenge personally as well as professionally. Isolation can be an issue for freelancers, particularly for those who work from home. Being in an office environment with a kitchen space, where everyone can chat over tea and coffee, can make a surprisingly big difference.
Around 84% of people we spoke to say co-working reduces loneliness and 53% say it fights stress. These aren’t simply quality of life improvements either. Reducing stress and improving your wellbeing is regularly shown to boost productivity, which is a win-win in business terms.