Coworking: Perception vs Reality
There is a general perception that startups and small businesses (namely, the ‘one man band’ biz) should operate, or more importantly do operate from their spare rooms, sitting rooms, kitchen tables or garages at home. However, how fruitful is said workspace arrangement for one’s productivity, creative health and simply, social sanity? It has been reported that home-workers have benefited the most from converting to coworking communities with reduced isolation, the feeling of being part of a community and 32% increase in their income.
With the growing number of startups and consultancy based roles emerging worldwide, the need for a workspace which doesn’t involve signing long term leases to office space has significantly amplified. In 2016 there was an average 20% increase in startup growth per month compared to 2015 in Ireland.
(Coworking at Iconic Offices, coming in April 2017)
How Did Coworking come about?
The founding of Coworking was Millennial driven, with the first coworking, flexible workspace studio opening in New York in 1999! In contrast to previous generations, Millennials (or Gen Y’s) place a higher value on leadership, diversity, work-life balance and challenges. Stereotypically known as the narcissistic bunch; Millennial’s have come of age in a period of economic expansion. They have been raised in a digital age of technology, wanting things instantly, loyal to peers and yearning to make a contribution to society in some way is relevant to this collection of people – I should know, I am one! These traits are quite unique in comparison to earlier generations. With all of this in mind, entrepreneurial millennials now seek a new way to work and this pursuit has shifted the workspace world. And so, the relatively infant movement known as ‘Coworking’ blasted onto the office scene.
Studies have shown that the millennial generation are the kings and queens of entrepreneurship, easily surpassing their predecessors, the baby boomers and the Gen X army. Who are these ‘Gens’ I speak of? Well, to put it simply:
So…what is Coworking?
Coworking involves working in a communal working environment, where walls are non existent (excluding the meeting rooms, sometimes the kitchen and definitely the WC) and business alliances can be generated. Gone are the days of taking that leap to start your own business and worrying where or how you will afford to pay that long term office lease just so you can have a professional address, or setting up camp in your shed.
Research has shown that startups are four times more likely to succeed by working in coworking spaces than those who don’t.
DeskMag.ie have surveyed that the average age of members is 35, 48% being female, and most members working in creative industries with only 1 in 5 members being programmers.
A Collaborators Dream
Although the I.T. industry ranks the highest users of coworking space, consultants, pr, marketing and advertising, project management, research and design follow not far behind. This makes coworking spaces a gold mine of resources for networking, collaborating and effectively growing their businesses by utilising what fellow coworkers have to offer – a supplier base at their fingertips. Other reasons for making the move to coworking include interaction, community and social aspects, as per the research graph below.
Coworking is changing how we do business but it’s not just for startups and freelancers, corporate coworking is also making waves with many large corporations as they swap their suits for jeans.
Large corporates are not only offering memberships to individual employees, but they are relocating teams to these spaces. Infusing their team with a coworking community with more open and relaxed spaces can increase innovation, productivity and job satisfaction.
Even More Traditional Businesses Are Coworking
By ensuring workers are accountable for their work and also allowing them the opportunity to work remotely in a flexible environment can be a win win for both parties. Professional services company, KPMG, are an example of this since they now hold outposts in coworking hubs such as London’s Silicon Roundabout in the uber cool Shoreditch.
Based on industry research, most coworkers are in their mid twenties to late thirties, with an average age of 34. Two-thirds are men, one third are women. The same ratio of men to women is generally found in the wider entrepreneurial and small business statistics across Europe and the U.S. You will notice that most coworking spaces are relatively close to, if not in the centre, of the silicon district of a given major city. 70% of these coworking members feel like they are part of a community.
With more companies entering coworking spaces, the demand for desks is rapidly increasing. Ireland’s coworking scene is also growing with this appeal so with eager anticipation, 2017 is the year we open our first coworking spaces at Iconic Offices. Two premises located near Silicon Quay will span over 20,000 sq ft each and will both offer coworking membership as well as leasable office space, meeting rooms and onsite baristas and gym facilities. Both locations will open this Spring in the Silicon Dock area, surrounded by businesses giants such as Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter, Stripe, Accenture, HSBC, Grant Thornton – the list goes on.
(Coworking at Iconic Offices, coming in April 2017)
The aim of coworking communities is to offer ergonomic spaces designed to benefit all members of businesses, encouraging these businesses to grow, thrive and reach their ultimate goals. Coworking in Dublin will be reinvented to offer all the expected facilities a coworking space has to offer, this includes rock star services for reasonable membership rates to cultivating practical networking and social events to successively embrace the Iconic coworking community. Estimated at 11,000 spaces strong end of 2016, projected to increase to over 12,000 by the end of 2017 with over 1 million members worldwide, we are super excited to be part of that rapidly growing number!
Hot desking membership is currently available in SOBO Works located on Windmill Lane – this membership will then transfer to the new coworking spaces once we cut the red tape in Spring 2017. To enquire about Iconic Offices coworking membership, contact us today.
AUTHOR: LIANNE KAVANAGH – COMMUNITY MANAGER, ICONIC OFFICES
Lianne’s our Coworking Captain here at Iconic but we know her as “fro” (no explanation needed on that one).
When she’s not busy steering our Coworking ship, she’s probably off instagraming her travels
and nursing a good gin (on weekends of course, she’s classy like that!).