8 Types of Coworking Spaces You Want to Know About
Since the introduction of the term by Brad Neuberg in 2005, the coworking movement spread its way all over the globe which resulted in launching new spaces of all sorts and types. The choice and variety are always great as they enable members to find exactly what they need and let the operators cater to residents' requirements better.
Some people search for a luxury workplace similar to the ones NeueHouse Hollywood provides, others are more ascetic and require only basic amenities as long as their membership is cost-efficient.
So what are the main types of coworking spaces available in the market? This article is aimed to update you on that.
Coworking spaces of this type are usually located in downtowns of large cities. They dazzle with beautiful, professionally designed interiors. The centers are staffed with community managers, offer yummy snacks, and cater mainly to established businesses and well-funded startups.
Membership fees are far from being low at luxury coworking brands. Sometimes community in such spaces is divided by floor or membership type. The culture of luxury coworking spaces depends on members that attend the events and interact with one another. You won't see everyone every day here.
This is the largest group of coworking spaces. The majority of hubs fall under this category. Conventional workspaces can be of any type, size, and location. Traditional or conventional coworking spaces have generic nature. They are popular and welcome freelancers, remote workers and startups with teams of up to 10 people that need desks or offices to rent on a flexible daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Conventional coworkings may not be professionally designed. They have a community manager and offer a variety of events. Conventional spaces embrace and encourage the original coworking spirit of community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability.
Traditional coworking spaces are usually not large and occupy not more than two floors. The main attraction of this type of space is its culture. It's easy to nurture it because all members are in the same area together all the time. This proximity boosted by networking events drive the community and teams together and facilitates interactions.
Nomadic coworking spaces are getting more popular with the rise of workation and digital nomads culture. Rural coworkings and coworkings in the countryside give entrepreneurs the possibility to find inspiration and a perfect balance between business activities and leisure.
Nomadic spaces usually combine multiple services. For instance, they may offer tours and coliving. Some nomadic spaces attract freelancers with exotic destinations and opportunities to get acquainted with the local culture and the business community.
Coffee shops and local Starbucks are obvious examples of workplaces digital nomads can use to check their email boxes, close some urgent tasks, get a stable WiFi connection and good power supply while sipping a skinny latte.
However, today's nomadic spaces choose a more sophisticated approach. They’re appearing in a greater range of locations, including restaurants, libraries, and hotels.
Renting, hotel, and coworking are closely-related hospitality businesses. So, it's not surprising when an apartment building owner converts their business center to a coworking space. It's a good business idea to create a coworking space in a building of condos or apartments. Coliving and coworking are a great combination.
Treehouse, Los Angeles is an example of a condominium coworking community.
Professional coworking spaces are targeted at companies that are looking for a corporate style of premises where they can look more trustworthy and serious for their customers. Coworking centers of this type are totally focused on persistent work.
Most of the professional coworking spaces provide their residents with ergonomic furniture and lots of light. The reception desk is always tidy with friendly personnel welcoming guests. The larder of a professional coworking space is stocked with tea, coffee, as well as other beverages and snacks.
Meeting rooms are well designed for productive business discussions. Besides, you can find plenty of couches and quiet nooks if you feel like a relaxed atmosphere fit the moment better.
Speaking about professional coworking spaces I can't help mentioning those started by established businesses. Corporations like Bosch with their Stuttgart Connectory set up workplaces that bring together startups, corporate and university partners, and Bosch project teams focused on digital innovation in the supply chain, logistics, and data-driven technologies. The hubs operate in co-creation models that foster collaboration, networking and problem solving among partners. Collaboration focuses on digitization, incubation and educational experience.
The rise of niche-specific coworking brands can be called a kind of industry evolution and one of the multiple coworking space trends. The law of the market is severe. The more coworking spaces appear, the greater the competition you have to endure. So, if you want to build a powerful coworking space brand that is going to bring profit, you must be different. Otherwise, consumers won't understand why they should choose you.
- Female-focused coworking spaces
- Family coworking spaces
- Coworking spaces for cooks
- Coworking spaces for pet supplies entrepreneurs, the list goes on.
It's a good idea for a coworking space to target a specific market and bring together industry-specific innovators. Choosing a unique brand positioning you have a wonderful opportunity to tailor your services and make them really valuable for a certain group of people.
For instance, most of the niche-specific coworking spaces include mentorship and training schemes as well as unique amenities (studios for artists, gyms for dancers, kids' playgrounds for parents, professional kitchens for cooks, etc.)
If this business approach is implemented right, a niche coworking space may become so popular that you will need to create a waiting list for the applicants, like the one (8 000 +) run by the Wing, a women-only coworking network.
Minimal coworking spaces are ideal for modest freelancers who need only a desk and WiFi to be productive. In some minimal spaces, you will get your coffee, some don't provide it for free.
Those coworkings are frequently operated by coworkers who want to reduce their office bills. This is a cheap and quiet option that covers basic requirements.
The vibe and the community of minimal coworking spaces depend on the founder/manager. As a rule, the community in such small spaces is welcoming and tight-knit. Events usually consist of fellow coworkers gatherings and meetups initiated by the most active members.
I have united several coworking business models under this heading and you will soon understand why.
Sometimes big brands like WeWork outsource the creation and running of a coworking space to a space-as-a-service provider. Such coworking spaces usually have branded design of the initial owner/landlord. If you are interested in jumping into business as a space-as-a-service provider, a landlord may offer you a design portfolio with several options to choose from.
Actually, this venture may result in running any type of coworking space listed above. A space-as-a-service model is an option for landlords to get regular income hassle-free, while members will never guess what’s going on behind the scenes.
Sometimes landlords launch coworking spaces at premises that were not initially intended for hubs.
For instance, the combination of hotel and coworking may seem like a marketing trick. Though, some operators manage to make this combination work offering hotel amenities like gym, pool, restaurant, whatever as membership perks.
When done right, a coworking hotel may gather a consistent group of members like Nest in Dubai.
Restaurant + Coworking
Some restaurants that work at night transform their halls into coworking spaces in the daytime to improve the economy of business. This may be a good idea as the premises have fancy designs, can offer tasty coffee and snacks. However, I am not sure about the communal vibe and sense of community at the coworking restaurants.
The same is true for coffee shops and Starbucks used like workplaces by some freelancers. I don't think that a coffee shop is the best place for business calls, however, you can meet with a customer/partner there, send some emails, read, etc.
A day at a nice coworking coffee shop may be really enjoyable if you don't mind higher expenses due to coffee and pastries that are not free and a kind of isolation because very often the only person you are talking to at the coffee shop coworking is a barista. Other freelancers come there just to be plugged in, not to build business relationships.
Some businesses decide to turn the office space they don't use into coworking. Supposing you have an entire empty floor. Why not to bring there a couple of companies to fill the desks and reduce the overall bill.
Such kind of space may operate as a regular coworking or separate offices. If you know any great examples of thriving communities in this type of spaces, please let me know in the comments as most of them leave you with a feeling that it's a temporary workplace where coworkers don’t care much about the community.
In-store Coworking/Big Box Stores
I am sure you've heard about Staples initiative with their Staples Studio that opened the first locations in three Staples stores in Massachusetts.
Designed for small businesses, entrepreneurs and commuters, the new format was created to foster an environment where “businesses can focus on creating, collaborating and connecting in shared workspaces and private or shared offices.”
Staples Studio membership benefits include:
- Access to a collaborative workspace
- Private or shared office
- Community kitchens stocked with beverages and snacks
- Meeting rooms
- Podcasting studio
- Unlimited black and white printing
- 500 color printed business cards
- TSP pre-application program enrollment.
Sounds good, what do you think?
Coworking with Storage Facilities/Logistics Centers
Do you know any coworking providing space for keeping products members could ship on a daily basis?
For businesses selling physical goods, this synergy of a coworking and logistics center makes huge sense. They don't need to look for other premises when business meetings, operations, and management duties can be performed in a front office environment while products shipping/receiving can be done in the back.
The integration of shared workspace and storage considerably reduces the costs, which is a tangible help for business owners.
You have just learned about major types of coworking spaces. However, this list in no sense claims to be exhaustive as new coworking options and variations are opening and evolving every day.
Anyway, in this article, I've shared some smart business ideas for those who are operating in the coworking, renting, and hospitality niche. It's your turn to share coworking space types, names, and experiences. It would be cool to hear about other ways to group, categorize, and differentiate coworking spaces.