According to Deskmag’s Global Working Survey 2017, there has been a worldwide increase of about 5,500 coworking spaces from 5,800 to 11,300 since 2014, projected to reach 13,800 in 2017. PSFK also predicts that the next two years will see that number rise to 37,000. So the “trend” in our working world seems to be here for the long haul—making us wonder, how do coworking spaces impact the community in which they reside?
Making ‘Things’ Happen
Coworking spaces are known to host a variety of events and workshops, from small business support, to networking events, to social meet-ups and marketing seminars. Meet-ups that would normally be hosted in bars, restaurants, or airport hotel conference rooms are now being hosted in coworking spaces—a much more convenient, cost-effective, and professionally attractive choice.
Bringing People Together
One of the most noticeable outcomes in a town or city post-coworking space is collaboration. Coworking spaces provide a flexible platform for connecting likeminded individuals. In a city buzzing with successful young professionals and hustling entrepreneurs, it’s pretty nice to have a physical space where they can meet and connect in person…a real-life LinkedIn if you will.
It’s not exactly uncommon for freelancers to land a new client or startups to land a new investor or even partner while working in a coworking space. We see it at Bridgeworks all the time!
The Bricks and Mortar
Apart from the people aspect, coworking seems to be adding value to cities around the world from an infrastructure standpoint. “Coworkies” an organization connecting people between coworking spaces, researched 106 coworking spaces worldwide in 2016 and found that an impressive percentage of coworking spaces are opened in recycled or abandoned buildings in less than deserving neighborhoods.
In Copenhagen for example, Nomad workspace used to be an old courthouse; now transformed into a new and lively coworking environment for creatives. The former basement prison cells have been converted into innovative meeting rooms and studios perfect for freelancing artists. Given the fact that the adjacent building is still a functioning prison, the launch of the workspace was a major factor in the transformation of the Nørrebro neighborhood—by bringing a lively community of creatives to the area and giving that part of the city a new positive professional energy.
Bridgeworks and Long Beach, NY
Bridgeworks, a coworking space in Long Beach, NY has had a significant impact on the surrounding community — after hurricane Sandy a few years ago, Long Beach underwent a new resurgence in business. “Our Coworking space gave those a home with our close-knit community. The biggest impact we have made is bringing people together as clients, partners, and mentors to help push local business. Our space has brought new opportunity, giving people a new reason to base their businesses in our beach town,” said Graham Beck, cofounder at Bridgeworks Long Beach.