Coworking has evolved. What used to be for freelancers, independent contractors, small business owners, and startups now has corporations as one of its biggest clients. Shared office spaces in Singapore have proven their worth and efficacy, and corporate clients have made them even more profitable.
A Worldwide Phenomenon
From a single shared office space in San Francisco in 2005, the coworking trend grew to encompass 2,000 spaces by 2012. Today, there are over 20,000 coworking spaces around the world, and a big part of their success is due to corporate clients. Big names in the US tech industry like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have started allocating personnel into coworking spaces to increase worker efficiency and satisfaction. Corporations in the UK and other parts of Europe soon adopted the practice. Australia and Asia soon followed, and coworking has shown particularly strong showings in Singapore, South Korea, China, and India. Forty percent of all coworking memberships belong to corporations, and this number is expected to rise sharply in 2-3 years.
The concept of shared office spaces would not be prevalent today if the model were not successful. In a shared office setting, coworkers have more freedom to work at their own pace with little or no supervision. They need to finish specific tasks every day, and they can do whatever they want throughout the day as long as they complete their assignment. Contrary to expectations, coworkers performed better than their office-bound counterparts. The relaxed atmosphere or the lack of the usual office hierarchy made coworkers more efficient and happier. With no higher-ups looking over their shoulder and no semblance of office politics, coworkers are free to devote a more significant part of their time and energy into fulfilling the task at hand. Coworking spaces have also allowed companies to launch targeted campaigns without the need for opening a new branch; they can hire a few freelancers in the area for the duration of the project or campaign.
A Boon for Small Businesses and Startups
Coworking spaces make it a lot easier to run a small business. You don’t need to rent an expensive building that requires permits, maintenance, personnel, office furnishings, and a lot more. It allows you to borrow as much space as you need. Without the cost and headaches of renting an actual office, you can devote most of your cash, time, and effort into your business. Most coworking spaces also have dedicated conference rooms perfect for meeting clients or brainstorming with the team. A membership in an established coworking franchise also allows you to use the services of other branches located in different cities or even countries. This makes meeting clients or investors a lot easier as you can book a conference room in your destination even before you get on a plane.
Coworking has revolutionized work environments and practices. While it is too early to say that coworking is the new normal, it’s safe to say that there will be more coworkers and coworking spaces in the future.