CO-WORKING: THE OFFICE SPACE TREND THAT KEEPS EXPANDING
Сo-working is a distinct segment of the office space market that has grown rapidly over the last decade. Its growing popularity has been facilitated by the latest financial crisis, the global boom of start-ups and the construction of the new sharing economy. What future for co-working spaces?
The concept of a coworking space is simple and yet very functional: a comfortable and fully equipped work space is offered for rental to an interested party (worker or small or medium-sized company) for a specific period. Сo-working has started to develop as a separate segment of office space only in the last decade. This growing popularity is attributed to several factors: the latest global financial crisis, which has made employee optimization a must, the global startup boom and the emergence of the new sharing economy.
According to Knight Frank, the number of flexible workspaces in the world has increased by 3,500% over the last decade, while the number of people working there has increased by 8,000%. According to the same data, at least 18,000 of these spaces exist in the world and can accommodate at least 1.7 million people.
How do collaborative workspaces work?
All offices are fully furnished premises, equipped with modern office equipment and furniture. Workspaces are generally rented to individuals for periods ranging from one hour to several months, or even years. The operator who signs agreements with the building owner generally acts as the managing entity. However, owners and operators can organize their cooperation in several ways:
The lease model
The operator and the owner sign a lease (usually 10 to 20 years) and the management company agrees to pay regular rents while covering all maintenance and equipment costs of the facilities.
The joint venture model
The owner and operator sign an agreement whereby the former invests a significant portion of the initial capital. In exchange, the investor receives the first priority claim on profits from the collaborative workspace (the exact amount is specified in the agreement). The collaborative workspace operator becomes a management partner and monitors the operation.
The management model.
The owner of the building bears all operating costs. In turn, the operator supports the registration and promotion of space, as well as the search for new customers.
The franchise model.
The real estate owner is responsible for all investments and manages the premises independently. As a franchise, the owner pays a royalty and an annual royalty to the operating company. The operator guarantees that the coworking space is in line with the brand standards.
The owner-operator model.
A coworking space operator decides to buy the premises or the owner chooses to develop a flexible workspace independently.
Workspaces Can Be Used In Different Ways
The first and simplest is to create a flexible mixed office. In this case, representatives of different fields and companies can work side by side in the same room. Co-working spaces can also be specialized for professionals working in the same sector (such as IT) or young entrepreneurs to gather under one roof. Businesses can grow faster by exchanging ideas and information with other companies with expertise in similar areas, creating a common business environment.
Alternatively, a collaborative workspace can be organized in the same way as a lifestyle project. In this case, the focus will be on work-life balance (with the operator paying more attention to the ergonomics of facilities, such as salons). Users of such a collaborative workspace may be eligible for many benefits, such as gyms, discounts on restaurants, and so on.
There are also some types of unorthodox co-work, those designed specifically for athletes, players, parents of young children and even those who love silence. According to the Global Co-working Survey, a conventional flexible office typically occupies around 800 m² and can accommodate 70 workers. On average, people working in the collaborating offices are just over 36, of whom almost 41% are self-employed and 36% are in full employment. .
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