Much has been said about flexible workspaces as it relates to work-style, but little has been said about them in regards to how they help improve a city or neighborhood.
Flexible workspaces are all about providing workers with an option and a solution that adapts to their working needs. This goes from offering different rates and packages (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly), to also offering them with the option of where local business owners and local entrepreneurs want to work from.
Even operators that only run one location are able to provide this option of where, especially to those clients who aren’t freelancers or startups but whose company allows them to work remotely.
Though it might seem little, this option of where carries a great weight in the world of urbanism. For starters, it helps reduce traffic as many workers often choose to work from Centers that are near to where they live, if not in the same neighborhood. Less traffic means less fuel contamination; indirectly, flexible workspaces are helping improve the overall environment of a city.
On this same environmentally friendly note we can’t forget to include how shared workspaces of all types also share resources. Lighting, electricity, water, heating, cooling — it’s all shared, so it means less costs (financial and environmental) per person.
Flexible workspaces also help bring life back to a city by giving a new life to abandoned buildings. Take for example the Kellogg Snack Factory in Charlotte, instead of having an empty industrial size building, the factory was turned into a coworking space. A story that repeated itself in Brooklyn, when Leeser Architecture turned an underused factory in Gowanus into a coworking space for creative types.
In Detroit, an abandoned mansion was turned into a coworking space (well at least the first floor of it). In Sao Paulo something similar happened, when an old mansion was abandoned after serving as a mansion, nightclub, and clothing story, it was turned into a shared workspace that currently welcomes employees from 9 different companies.
In Govan, Glasgow the heritage building, Fairfield, was considered as being beyond saving and about to be demolished. However Govan Workspace took over the building, restored and renovated it, and turned the upper floors of the building into workspace for tech and design companies.
There are plenty of situations in which abandoned and heritage buildings were transformed and brought back to their glory days by being turned into shared workspace. By doing this, flexible workspaces are able to keep the historic value of a city or neighborhood.
Providing workers with a space to work in their neighborhoods or surrounding area also helps contribute to the overall development of a given region or area. Previously, most workers had to drive into the city or move to the city in order to find and be able to work — leading to exponential city growth and small town abandonment. Flexible workspaces can help towns and districts grow economically by attracting new types of businesses to the area; restaurants and shops are bound to open wherever consumers are.
In short, flexible workspaces contribute to the overall development and improvement of cities or towns by providing environmental benefits as well as economic growth.