What Is a Coworking Space?
Coworking space is a fully functionable workspace, which includes open space, shared office, private office, and has a strong community. The community factor is what differentiates coworking spaces from all other types of offices, such as serviced office, shared office, or business center.
There are other definitions of coworking spaces:
Wikipedia says coworking is a "style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and a social gathering of a group of people who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with like-minded people."
In Oxford dictionary, coworking space is defined as a type of "an office or another working environment used by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge".
Deskmag explains more broadly "coworking is a self-directed, collaborative and flexible work style that is based on mutual trust and the sharing of common core objectives and values between members."
Co-founder of Hubba Coworking Space, Amarit Charoenphan, said "Coworking spaces are the communities to bring the cooperative and collaborative cultures back to our cities, our communities, our society and if we can help to foster more coworking spaces to be everywhere, we have many more spaces with a soul across the cities and that will lead to a rise of a quality of life"
Types of Coworking Spaces
Coworking space is a broad term which may include:
A large open space with individual desks, where you only pay for your coffee. Coworking cafe can be easily found in student areas, and sometimes referred to as "study cafe." Examples:
Shared and created for open use throughout the community. May be supported by government or local authority. Here are some examples of such places:
A large room with hot and fixed desks, where individuals work. Check out some examples:
A building with many private offices and open spaces, where many companies reside. Normally includes all kinds of services from desk to office, and many additional benefits for members. For example:
A business center for startups, where they have mentorship and support for a limited period of a time. Examples:
Creative space which is kind of different from regular office, because it has photo or recording studios, and other production facilities. Examples:
A separate room for a team in a coworking space. Here are examples of coworkings with a private office:
A virtual office is a service that provides an address to register your company, but not necessarily physical space. In some countries, governments don't allow to register company using residential address, so you will need to ask for virtual office service to a coworking space nearby. Examples of coworking spaces that offer virtual office service:
A company which helps new startups to grow from the idea stage to a global growth stage. Unlike accelerators, they do not set up specific timeframes. Sometimes they are supported by a large private company that wants to cultivate future growth engines.
A coworking space may offer one or many of the above services. You can also find some similar terms like collaborative workspace, cosharing office, coworking center, communal office, but don't worry: all of these words are synonymous to "coworking space." However, coworking space is not about desks and coffee. It's about a community. Coworking spaces challenge an outdated corporate culture with dress code and atmosphere of exhausting.
How Many Coworking Spaces Are There?
By the end of 2017, there were 14,411 coworking spaces worldwide and this number is expected to grow to 17,725 by the end of this year. The number is truly huge and revealing. Such a high market growth index (~21%) wouldn't be possible without a high demand for such services. 2.3 million people visited coworking spaces in 2017, a number that is predicted to double by 2022, as more and more people travel and prefer remote work, becoming so called digital nomads.
One of the hottest digital nomad destinations is Asia-Pacific region. It has great combination of travel destinations, cultural experiences, affordable accommodations and exotic nature.
Why Coworking Space?
|Coworking Space||Quiet, fast internet, community, events||Limited coworking space availability|
|Coffee Shop||No commitment, easily found everywhere||Noisy, few seats, sometimes no power outlet, unstable internet|
|Home||Comfy, no extra fees||Temptation to just lie down and sleep, lonely|
|Office||Fully custom interior for your company||Long term commitment, expensive|
Ultimately, it is up to your working style and the size of your team. Smaller teams with a flexible work routine tend to choose coworking spaces. Larger teams with fixed working hours may prefer a private office.
How Much Does Coworking Space Cost?
The price of coworking space membership varies from city to city. In New York, for example, an average price for a hot desk in a coworking space is $500, while in Ukraine roughly $100 per month. The average monthly membership price worldwide is $274 per month, though statistic says that only 53% pay from their own pockets. In most cases, a company covers the expense. Of course, the price will depend on the amenities and services included: a luxury place in the city center with a shower and a cafe can be very costly. In addition, just like in any other industry, you may pay premium for a famous brand. For example, the first coworking space network WeWork is famous for beautiful spaces, useful events and certainly not for its low prices.
To sum up, coworking spaces are not a future anymore. They are our comfortable, flexible, adventurous present that gives us much more opportunities to be free from office slavery. So why sit at a walled office and complain about your boring life? Pack up and go work anywhere!