What is coworking?

By: Pedro Ferreira - February 26, 2021

What is coworking?

It is one of the most recent and striking trends in the professional world, and its organization, in recent years. And the question illustrates the gradual entry of more and more professionals in this type of work: but, after all, what is coworking?

Translated from English, the concept designates co-work, that is, collaborative work. Imagine working in a rented office (per year, month, week or even hour), with dozens of professionals from other companies, from different areas of activity - or not at all - and (perhaps) diverse professional functions, with different business missions and objectives, but sharing the same infrastructure, logistics and services inherent to the normal and fluid functioning of the space. That is ... coworking.

What is coworking

The creation of the term, in 1999, is attributed to the North American game creative Bernie DeKoven, at a time when, little by little, side by side with the computational development, a new model of the work environment germinated, in a component remote / online, to the extent of the so-called “normal” work.

With the Internet providing the fertile ground to receive the foundations of teleworking, as we know it today, it was up to the entrepreneur Brand Neuberg, in 2005, to give the first practical answer to those who were wondering about what coworking is.

In San Francisco (United States of America), Neuberg created, in a kind of residential loft, Hat Factory, the first coworking space designated as such. The contract started with three workers from technological areas, initially called “9 to 5 group”, but opened doors to independent professionals who needed a headquarters to develop their activities and who sought to share knowledge and experience.

What is coworking: changes, evolution and profiles

The stage represented a change to the concept, which started to illustrate, more, a collaborative physical space, after being first associated with an external online work environment in the extension of the traditional company.

Many coworking hubs were founded by entrepreneurs from various business areas and, equally by the so-called “nomads” of the technological universe, in search of alternative facilities to work.

The evolution, the particularities and the rules of the labor market took care of the rest. And that is why, today, we are witnessing the proliferation of coworking spaces (with meeting rooms, training units, social areas, high-speed Wi-Fi, printers, air conditioning and other extras - such as a car park or public transport in the immediate vicinity - in addition to the work points themselves).

meeting rooms

All over the world, both in the most developed and developing countries, new projects are born every day, like mushrooms, with distinctive factors, which give an answer, not to the doubt about what coworking is, but to a demand growing, diversified and full of specificities.

Although the profile knows some variations, from country to country, the statistics say that, in general, the vast majority of coworkers who use the available spaces are men (two thirds of the total), between twenty and thirty some years old (the average is 33/34 years old), who entered (four fifths of them) in the work world with a university education behind them.

These are, above all, independent professionals (more than 50 percent) linked to creative industries, new media and technologies, that don't have to “poke the point”. At least in the traditional way ...

(In) certainties, challenges and advantages ...

But, little by little, the profile of coworkers is changing and there are countries in which employees make up more than 30 percent of the total users of coworking spaces.

We got used to seeing the collaborative work centers occupied by entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises, small business employees, some of them local and / or regional, but the number of national and multinational companies that see in coworking a capable solution, full of support resources, flexible, and tailored to the different strategic stages that have been outlined.

Because? Because the new model of work carries advantages, and also because of the unpredictability of new public health phenomena with social and economic impact ...

That is why, thinking about productivity and the control of multiple variables, countless companies, brands and projects seek to reduce costs - if not with all employees, at least with a part -, namely with equipment and logistical resources. In the long run, the indirect and operational cost of any activity ends up allowing for even greater optimization.

Consequently, the number of institutions and people asking about what is coworking and about what challenges, benefits and characteristics the model carries is constantly increasing.

What is coworking? It's creativity, synergy and networking

Of course, there are jobs that are not compatible with telecommuting (or remote work) and work functions that are not compatible with the concept. Secretary and / or office metiers, however, can enjoy the magic of the Internet to give virtual, digitized expression to the sharing of ideas, experiences, decisions, using tools such as videoconferences, remote servers and platforms of shared data.

In reality, we are witnessing the formation of a new paradigm of workspace, which even increases with professionals who have had enough of working alone, at home, without the possibility of stimulating creativity, networking (increasing the network of contacts), create job synergies or increase business opportunities.

On top of that, especially in the millennial generation (the great dynamo of work for many organizations) who do not have many doubts about what coworking is, the number of professionals who prefer to be evaluated for the fulfillment of objectives and deadlines for carrying out tasks is exponential, instead of working hours.

Moreover, one of the trends in the current job market is the need to adapt to the changes taking place, this is if companies want to attract and continue to retain talent. Job satisfaction and productivity come in threading ...

Flexibility that leads to balance

It is not surprising, therefore, that recent studies by human resources companies place the option of remote work in the top spot, whether part-time or full-time, in surveys conducted at university.

More than that, flexible working has seen record growth across the globe in recent years. And it is predicted that it will be able to grow even more, in the next five years, in a percentage that some specialized reports note that it can easily reach 30 percent.

Flexibility is therefore a watchword and, in a professional context, it turns out to be the one that best combines work with life and personal and family goals. Balance is key, and, in this particular, coworking turns out to be an ideal solution.

Arriving here, we ended up realizing that coworking is much more than the concept closed in itself: it is not just a way of working based on the sharing of an infrastructure, where there may be professionals who do not necessarily work for the same company or in the same activity and / or function.

What is coworking beyond the fundamental…

In order to go further on what coworking is, and to differentiate themselves from competitors, several operators offer concepts with innovation factors and value-added proposals - in line with the typology and requirements of market demand.

Some provide the necessary support to start each business, even helping customers - the future coworkers - to choose the best location for the workspace in the available offer, developing even the interior decor in detail. Other operators add support in recruiting and training the workforce that will work in the coworking space.

In another way, there are coworking brands, with a strong international presence, which place the marketing and sales team not only promoting their collaborative work centers but also forwarding business opportunities to their respective customers (coworkers, understand ), which involves, in some instances, forwarding leads online. And there are market promoters offering, in addition, solutions for offices and virtual meeting rooms.

Even in countries where the offer of collaborative work centers is large and diverse, the market is far from saturated and there is still a significant margin to innovate and make a difference for many businesses.

The sector has, in fact, several events that elect the proposals that, here and there, are distinguished in the areas of operation, and raising to another level the goals that define what is coworking.

Coworking is the new normal, for millions around the world

With the nuances of each country and community, it is certain that, for millions of workers spread over six continents, flexible work and coworking are seen as the new normal in their respective careers, and a key factor in the evaluation of new job opportunities. career. More: between seeing the increased holiday allowance and having the power to choose in the work environment, some studies point out, more than half of the workers prefer the second option ...

Flexibility - which teleworking and coworking allow - currently plays a critical role in today's working reality.

Now, it is changing. Even due to unforeseen factors - such as the pandemic caused by Covid-19 -, which is opening furrows in coworking spaces to receive new growth seeds, with greater security, including cybernetics.

The global public health and sanitation crisis allowed us to realize that the meaning of the workspace underwent an irreversible change in 2020, as it was disconnected from a specific geographic location.

Henceforth, there are no doubts for many specialists, it will be the era of the hybrid office and teleworking will emerge as the standard modality. Which, on a planetary scale, will compel thousands of companies to provide employees with efficient work tools, safe and adjusted to new needs.

The spaces that specialize in collaborative work are at the forefront of preparation and adaptation to be made, in response to the challenges that lie ahead. Which will eventually imply a new update to the concept of what coworking is all about.

On the verge of a new era for what coworking is all about?

But, after all, what is at stake?

Now, a study by Ricoh Europe focused on the issue: small companies are 42% more likely than large companies to lose employees due to technological frustrations related to teleworking. As such, as small business owners continue to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, professionals expect the employer to offer a modern mixed approach to how - and where - they work.

At a time when business continuity is at stake, it was found that about a third of employees did not have adequate technology to collaborate with colleagues in teleworking. Conclusion aggravated by the fact that a quarter claims not to have the necessary tools to deliver results to customers while working remotely.

Companies, especially small ones, do not have time to waste on the path of digitalization, towards hybrid solutions for remote work. And this transformation is expected to imply, at the same time, a new approach in terms of security, since they have significantly changed the parameters to protect business.

Cybersecurity is a critical factor

Coworking spaces, as areas technically and technologically prepared and imbued with a great motivational spirit, are privileged solutions to meet new challenges.

One of them, critical, is cybersecurity. Because in the era of the “hybrid office”, as Konica Minolta recently noted, cybercrime has quickly adapted to the new reality of the workspace and has begun to tackle unsafe work at home processes.

Concomitantly, there is a new type and a new wave of people discovering what coworking is.

In addition to representing a safe, efficient and sustainable compromise between the traditional office and homeworking, coworking is, more and more, the safe haven to deal with frustrations arising from difficulties with technology and the inability to collaborate effectively. when telecommuting - a symptom that is demotivating about a third of employees, according to studies by some international technology companies.

Now that you've learned more about what is coworking, and the brave new world that revolves around collaborative work, don't hesitate to visit the CoWork Lab spaces and schedule a visit.

FAQ's

What are the advantages of coworking?

As well as environments designed to promote creativity, the ideal context for networking, good coworking spaces provide a range of services and resources, which allow companies and independent professionals to keep the focus on their business. Find out more at CoworkLab.

What services can I enjoy in a coworking space?

In CoworkLab spaces, clients benefit from a number of advantages: reception service, courier, cleaning, internet, security, among others. Additionally, they have access to a meeting room, can choose private offices, or even have a virtual headquarters. Get to know all the CoworkLab possibilities.

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