Julie Tucker
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Who uses coworking spaces?

Businesses in many different sectors, eager to take advantage of the energising atmosphere of collaboration and creativity, utilise coworking environments.

With shared desks and amenities, the question is who benefits the most from using this space?

This affordable, shared work space is ultimately better than the isolation of working from a home office, or the disruption of running your business from your laptop in a coffee shop. Typically, it provides an ambience and vibrancy ideally suited to the creative, media and technology sectors.

Technology workspace
Coworking space has traditionally attracted tech companies from the get go. While individuals, freelancers and small and medium-sized businesses have long used these environments, a new trend is for the tech giants to follow their lead.

Big corporations have been taking advantage of the benefits of coworking spaces, with technology giants such as Microsoft, IBM and Verizon trying them out. The idea is that the employees can be close to innovative start-ups, providing easy interaction with them.

Microsoft recently published a news release, extolling the virtues of coworking space. They revealed the results of a survey by Deskmag, which revealed 74% of respondents reported increased productivity. The report also suggested having peers on the “same journey” helped to keep employees accountable for meeting their goals.

Spotify is another tech start-up that began in coworking space. It now has more than 159 million active users and has an annual revenue of around $5 billion.

One of the biggest supporters of coworking space is Virgin Media. In a news release about becoming an entrepreneur, the media giant suggested coworking served the evolving demands of the growing culture of independent working.

Describing coworking’s rise to popularity as “meteoric”, the report revealed coworking spaces had raised close to $1 billion from venture capitalists. It had launched a “special revolution”, which was the next stage in the growth of independent working culture.

As well as being a place of work, coworking space had become a “home from home” and the users’ main source of social interaction.

The physical work environment should be inspirational and beautiful, as well as functional, as it plays a major role in our mood. With this in mind, working in an inspirational space can boost creativity and productivity. The best coworking space is one that combines an attractive physical environment with a thriving community.

The very concept of coworking space was designed to host entrepreneurs and other creative people, who endeavoured to break the isolation of freelancing or home-working, replacing it with a convivial environment that favoured collaboration.

According to a study by Bruno Moriset (a professor at the University of Lyon), coworking space was ideal for people with knowledge-based, digital and creative jobs. He concluded creativity must be “organically developed” through the “complex relationship of working and socialising” which coworking provided.

Employee demographics
According to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey, the average age of coworking space members is 36 years old. The oldest users are employers with staff, whose average age is 40 years, followed by freelancers, whose average age is 38 years. Around 43% of employees of coworking companies are under 30 years old.

Around 41% of all coworking space users are freelancers, while 36% are employees and 16% are employers. The biggest group has remained workers in the IT sector, accounting for 22% of all businesses, while marketing and PR professionals account for 14%.

A study of companies with more than 100 full-time employees revealed one in seven used coworking spaces. Most people who use coworking spaces have a high level of education, with 86% having completed their academic education, including 41% with a bachelor’s degree, 41% with a master’s and 4% with a doctorate. Men account for 60% of people who use coworking space, although the percentage of women is growing steadily.

Students are increasingly using coworking space, as it gives them the chance to network with experts from many sectors, boosting their knowledge and experience and helping them to find a job after completing their studies.

If you want to get in on the act, let the experts at Headspace Group take care of the hassle of running your office. Give us a call on 0800 953 0585 for more details of our coworking office spaces. Look forward to hearing from you!

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