Shaniqua Davis, founder of diversity recruiting company Noirefy and seasoned user of coworking spaces, has explored several locations across Chicago including 1871, WeWork and Novel.
“I’m a small company … I’m only one person,” said Davis. “Usually people like me aren’t doing coworking spaces (because they are expensive), but I’ve figured out the kinks. I love working in coworking spaces. It’s flexible.”
Coworking has been rapidly growing over the past few years, which has also led various versions of this model to emerge. For example, WeWork and Industrious are spending time acquiring competitors, while Regus is making investments to keep up with current trends.
By the end of this year, Chicago is expected to have 163 coworking spaces across 4.2 million square feet according to Newmark Knight Frank and Chicago Creative Space.
Coworking spaces attract tenants through their unique offerings such as yoga studios, childcare services, beer-on-tap, networking events and more.
“It’s all about creating a great tenant experience,” said Robert O’Brien, a global real estate and construction expert at Deloitte. “You’re basically taking what hospitality organizations have tried to do by creating a great guest experience and now applying it to co-workers in a work environment.”
Moving forward, coworking spaces are expected to continue focusing on niche offerings. For example, art consultant Anna Cerniglia, works outs of Works From _ Fulton Market at the Hoxton Hotel due to its high-end design and comfortable atmosphere. It also led her to open her own space called Art/Work geared towards the art industry.