In 2017, coworking spaces rose by 36% globally in an effort to provide a workspace for entrepreneurs, freelancers, corporations and startups.
Coworking spaces have been found in a variety of buildings, such as shopping centers and warehouses. Now, faith organizations are exploring the idea of dedicating their spare spaces to the trend.
Such spaces offer a low-cost, more comfortable office rather than the lavish offerings from brands such as WeWork.
“For the past 10 years I’ve had a latent desire to be a part of a community that’s not just digital and that’s not just from my past,” said Ted Henken, a 47-year-old sociology professor at Baruch College who works out of Our Savior’s Atonement in Manhattan. “[Being at the coworking space] feels like a revelation or a rediscovery of something I thought I didn’t need or didn’t want. I could very easily see myself not becoming a parishioner, but becoming a member of the community.”
The cons of working out of these types of spaces include little to no dedicated spaces, mail access, printing services and other amenities commonly seen at traditional coworking spaces.
Some churches have started renting out their spaces to coworking companies, rather than running the space themselves. For example, the basement of Dallas’ White Rock United Methodist Church is rented out by Mix, a shared workspace for creatives that features a dance studio, conference room and more.