The first official coworking space was a San Francisco Coworking Space, which opened its doors in 2005. Since then, coworking spaces have seen continual evolution. From empty cubicles and open tables to office suites with all the amenities modern businesses need to thrive, coworking spaces have become a fixture in how solopreneurs, startups, and SMBs get work done.
However, although hybrid is a sweet spot, maintaining a productive and secure technology infrastructure that supports both in-office and remote work can be costly and complex for many small and medium businesses. That is where flex-spaces such as Quest Workspaces come in. With flex spaces, your employees can work remotely from home most days and attend company meetings every one or two weeks in a private meeting room located in a coworking space near you. This blog discusses ways you can compete effectively against WFH positions and benefits and how coworking spaces can help.
CoWorking Spaces Started Simply As Available Office Space
Coworking spaces were originally built for independent workers. While professionals can run businesses solely on their own, working in isolation can be just that: isolating. By offering access to open office spaces—desks, tables, cubicles, and private offices—these solo workers could enjoy a feeling of community and companionship. These spaces were intended to provide independent professionals structure, access to a work area dedicated just to work, and a quiet, professional environment with just the right amount of chitchat and connection. They are similar to short-term vacation rentals' position in the sharing economy, but coworking spaces initially focused on 'working alone together.'
With workers being able to 'subscribe' to a single hybrid office or a connection of offices in different locations – the idea caught on in 2006, and saw year on year increases of over 20% right through and until 2020.
Virtual Services Came to the Forefront in a Post-Pandemic World
During COVID-19, the core concepts of workspaces changed. Offices closed wherever possible, and workers started creating home office setups. Coworking spaces also evolved to accommodate both safety standards and new business demands. If you had a coworking space in 2020 and the following year, you might have seen:
- Stronger network connectivity and options to provide cybersecurity and better uptimes—coworking spaces were competing with home Internet.
- A suite of virtual office services, including tools and platforms designed for business owners in every industry, from business consulting to accounting to architecture.
- Truly virtual offices services, like mail handling, phone answering, virtual receptionists, assistants, and more. Businesses could use this to create consistency across in-office and at-home work experiences and add a greater sense of professionalism to their businesses
The spaces also became more dynamic to meet the needs of different working professionals. As small teams ventured to coworking spaces, there was a rise in conference rooms, offices for multiple people, collaborative office workspaces and meeting rooms, and virtual meeting environments. Even more adventurous coworking spaces branched out to offer everything from outdoor workspaces to cozy coffee shop-style environments to dedicated private offices.
Coworking spaces were balancing the needs of people to collaborate and socialize with the need for distance and controlled spaces.
Today's Flexible Workspace Have Evolved to Offer Premium Services
Now that pandemic-related restrictions have ended, coworking and flexible workspaces have become even more vital. A significant percentage of working professionals simply do not want to go back to conventional office spaces—with the belief they are too too rigid, and too limited compared to the freedom of hybrid office options. As a result, interest in coworking and flex workspaces remained, and competition continues to grow.
This has led to some flex spaces offering additional services outside the narrow scope of traditional office options. In 2023, a hospitality-driven coworking space includes:
- Food prep and kitchen services inside the building, rather than easy access to neighboring restaurants and businesses
- Wellness services such as a fitness center
- Additional services, such as legal and financial hubs within the coworking environment
Through these changes, coworking spaces have become a hub of community. Individuals and teams can get work done in dedicated spaces, work creatively in a wide assortment of environments, and easily meet their professional and personal needs through a variety of services options.
Along with increased access to services, curious business owners, professionals, and solopreneurs can find local spaces with:
- Excellent physical environments with high air quality and plenty of natural lighting
- Social spaces for work-related collaboration and recreation
- Packages that allow users in coworking spaces to choose when and where they work within a wide variety of environments
- More refined virtual services such as receptionist and call support, mail forwarding, and video conferencing support
Find Better Employee Engagement and Productivity at Quest Workspaces
Businesses around Miami and New York City can thrive in premium hybrid offices that have evolved over time to include everything professionals need for productive, healthy work.