Is Coworking Dead?
13 min read
Is Coworking Dead?
No, not at all! Coworking is not dead. However, virtual coworking spaces are on the rise!
Before the pandemic, coworking spaces were all the rage. As startups and solo entrepreneurs increased, people began looking for spaces that provided the resources yet allowed them to save money at the same time!
Nevertheless, when Covid first started, business owners had the option of either having employees work at their offices or allowing remote workers. There are pros and cons to both scenarios.
Today, this is especially pertinent given the significant impact Covid has had on how businesses operate. Let's figure out if these coworking spaces are actually "dead."
We Are Evolving On The Way We Work
Through the Industrial Revolution, workers developed awful working conditions that were created to accommodate the demands and needs of the era. During the Industrial Revolution, companies replaced sole proprietorships (remember when everyone was self-employed as accountants, bootmakers, and bar owners, for example), as well as technology, which led to the need for farm labor to be replaced by office workers. From a historical perspective, this was the next natural evolution in the workspace.
The Industrial Revolution evolved from sole proprietorships to cogs in machines and then to drones in companies. In many ways, the assembly line through the era of the gray cubicle is known as the "Dark Ages of Work." Unions arose, working conditions improved, wage disparities began to narrow, and child labor became unacceptable. Our work environment changed, and we celebrated the new environment for a while.
The coworking movement arose in recent years out of people's desire for alternative working environments. However, here's the thing about it – it's facing great competition!
Increased Competition For Coworking Spaces
Working remotely can be very time-saving. This is analogous to the idea of opportunity cost. You don't need to go to work or waste time in the midst of the rush hour. By not traveling to and from work, more time can be dedicated to productive endeavors.
Furthermore, expenses such as office rent, utility bills, etc., are eliminated, which is quite beneficial for business. This money can now be used for other purposes instead of being spent on these expenses.
Everything is, therefore, less stressful. Some companies, however, cannot afford or do not wish to go remotely. Most businesses are searching for hybrid solutions, especially since teams are expanding over different time zones and locations. Coworking spaces will play a key role in this.
Nevertheless, if coworking spaces want to stay relevant, they must step up their game. More and more businesses are opting for hybrid options or open-plan spaces where their teams can come and go as they please as remote work has increased.
This has resulted in an increase in the investments to convert the existing properties into functional and flexible workspaces.
The ability of coworking spaces to offer mental health services for locals will also expand. Nowadays, a lot of coworking spaces provide free mindfulness, meditation, and counseling sessions for members to improve their mental health.
In the future, it is expected that most coworking spaces will provide such lessons free of charge to their employees on weekends. Hopefully, this breakthrough will result in more coworking culture in the future.
Researchers have found that employees prefer to work from home, which makes them more productive as well. This shows the workers' preference for working from home. Even so, we cannot assume blindly that all employees would prefer to work from home.
Each individual has a different preference for how they work. Additionally, the employee's home environment may not be conducive to getting things done. Distractions are a hindrance that eventually affects productivity.
Connection problems will prevent the workers from completing their work on time. Therefore, the business organization does not have much control over the employees' working environment. The employee's kids might be running around, keeping the employee from full concentration! This will affect the quality of their work as well.
In addition, it is necessary to point out that some workers find it difficult to balance work and day-to-day responsibilities. Therefore, working from home is much more convenient and comfortable for the worker.
Employees are facing problems like not having enough time to spend with their families and never having a social life are pushed aside.
A coworking space encourages collaboration and daily interaction between the workers! Social interaction is an integral part of their daily lives. When that is taken away from the employees, it can strain their working relationships, even mildly. For workers who are outgoing and extroverted, this is particularly important.
Are Specialized Co-working Spaces The New Thing?
As the number of accessible places increases, more people are seeking something unique to make them stand out. Service-based companies often try to differentiate themselves from others by offering different services, but this rarely works since all services are the same.
The new coworking space stands out because it has been designed with a specific set of individuals in mind. Coworking spaces don't have enough female colleagues, and this isn't because there is a lack of desire or need for women; rather, women are frequently overlooked and downplayed, as they are in many organizations as well. All over the world, however, women's spaces and places for women are sprouting up, and they appear to be thriving.
There are specialized coworking spaces such as:
- Parental coworking
- Women-only spaces
- The coworking kitchen
- Rural coworking spaces
- The hackerspace
Another trend that has gained traction since the pandemic is corporate coworking. This trend has gained traction thanks to a number of factors such as short and long-term rentals, customized shared workplaces, offices that can be adapted to meet the needs of an organization, and offices that are extremely adaptable to companies with mixed workforces.
Say Hello To Virtual Coworking Spaces!
The concept of virtual coworking has become common in the 21st century. There are many benefits to virtual coworking spaces that are similar to physical coworking spaces, but without having everyone in the same place.
The benefits of coworking are the same as those of a physical coworking space, but without constant interruptions or having to go to one particular location. You would be even surprised to know that virtual coworking spaces even consist of floor plans, which makes you feel like you are present in the same office as others, knock on their doors virtually, and even attend different meetings!
Comparing Virtual Coworking Spaces With Current Coworking Spaces
Many coworking spaces are set up so that people can come to work and then interact with each other while they enjoy amenities like coffee and printing. Coworking spaces that provide virtual access let you work from anywhere, such as at home, without having to come in person or use the amenities. Virtual floorplans allow you to virtually sit at a specific desk, go to a phone booth or meeting room, as well as interact with others virtually.
What Are The Advantages Of Virtual Coworking Spaces?
COVID-19 has most definitely magnified the advantages of these spaces. These benefits include:
Getting to know a group of individuals without compromising their health. It helps to be part of a community to reduce loneliness and increase motivation for work.
Engaging with people in a wide range of geographical locations. You'll get different perspectives on a variety of topics, and your work experience will be enhanced.
It is more affordable to rent a virtual coworking space than to rent an office or even to rent a physical coworking space.
Coworking spaces of this type offer greater flexibility to individuals who travel frequently. There was, of course, a greater need for this particular benefit before the pandemic.
The Future of Coworking with Virtual Spaces
The benefits of virtual coworking, such as flexibility, lower expenses, and low overhead, are already drawing people to it. Especially with the advancement of virtual reality and other technologies, coworking could incorporate a virtual element in the future.
As companies realize that being physically present in an office does not always translate to greater productivity, more and more have started to offer flexible, remote work options, oftentimes spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the time when many employees and freelancers were forced to work from home rather than be physically present with their coworkers during the working day, virtual coworking spaces became more and more popular as a way of retaining existing members and attracting new ones.
Taking all these factors into account, it's clear that virtual coworking spaces will continue to become more popular. Companies, in fact, already provide virtual coworking spaces, along with many others who utilize these services.
Virtual Coworking Space With Pipewing
Now that we talked about how beneficial a virtual coworking space is and how it would be the future of working together, Pipewing allows remote employees to interact with each other, learn from each other, and share experiences. It aims to promote a sense of community among employees from different backgrounds.
Pipewing is a virtual coworking space that pairs you with an accountability partner for focused 50-minute sprints. It allows you to be much more productive when working remotely. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and employees can all benefit from Pipewing.
You can either create or join a 50-minute work sprint with an accountability partner.
Before the sprint, you take one minute to share your sprint goal with your sprint partner.
Finally, you and your sprint partner can work in silicene, with the camera on and mic muted, and hold each other accountable.
Especially with virtual reality technology advancing, virtual coworking is set to gain even more popularity. Coworking spaces will likely choose to incorporate virtual elements in the future, with many experts predicting the growth of virtual coworking companies.