- As we make our way through 2022, the umbrella term ‘coworking’ continues to widen and welcome more creative models of shared spaces.
- Coworking spaces are evolving with more services and amenities, enabling them to accommodate niche audiences and purpose-driven communities.
- DeShawn Brown, CEO of Coworks, highlights 4 innovative coworking spaces and how they’re continually adapting to meet the needs of their communities.
By DeShawn Brown, CEO of Coworks.
Just about ten years ago, the concept of coworking disrupted the way we think about where we work and how we work.
But coworking spaces were still the stomping grounds of the gig economy; freelancers and startup teams made up the majority of the memberships, and the traditional office still reigned supreme.
Then the pandemic hit.
We all know this in our bones by now: remote work was suddenly required, and it became commonplace. And once lockdowns were lifted, the world had a clearer understanding of how coworking spaces can benefit most laptop-focused workers.
Teams — even whole companies — found themselves at the end of expensive commercial real estate leases and thought, “Why not?”
As we make our way through 2022, we can see first-hand that the umbrella term that is coworking continues to widen and welcome in more creative models of shared spaces, communal resources, niche audiences, and purpose-driven communities.
Coworks software powers coworking spaces, and we get to meet these creative and innovative implementations in our user base.
I’m excited to highlight a few of them as inspiration. As you can see, they probably don’t conform to the general view of ‘coworking’ — and that’s why the future of coworking is so exciting.
1. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)
Birch Road, a multi-location operation, was originally designed as a social club for ‘bevvies’ who are passionate about wine, bourbon and other comestibles. We described it as a bar without bartenders, an eatery without a kitchen, and an office without a corporation.
But with the pandemic came a more acute need for conversation-driven community and connections, and their membership expanded drastically.
2. ‘Blue’ collar communities
Coworking spaces that serve small businesses aren’t unique, but Refinery46 is a sort of incubation space that primarily serves a segment of small business owners from home-services and trades.
The Indianapolis-based operation offers networking and resources for HVAC, cleaning companies, plumbers, and anyone else whose focus is on a building, whether commercial or residential.
3. Childcare is no longer a ‘nice to have’ feature
The flexibility working parents found when they no longer had to be in a physical office had a downside: kids don’t care that you’re on a Zoom call. Nexus Cowork & Event Space took a long hard look at the needs of their community and saw that day and after school care were at the top of the list.
So they responded by providing an onsite preschool, which enabled parents to work while keeping kids safe. During the lockdown, Nexus even introduced a scholarship program for children to help with the unprecedented task of remote learning.
4. Laptops and line cooks
“A coworking space for ‘foodpreneurs’” is how founder Jason Johnson describes HUBB Kitchens. With kitchen space and resources for rent by the hour, week, or month, the facility serves restaurant owners, private chefs, food truck vendors, beginning farmers, home-based bakers and producers, private instructors or demonstrators, and individuals seeking culinary arts classes and workshops.
While the definition of the ‘office’ has been thoroughly disrupted, I’m happy to say that the definition of coworking is fluid and nonconforming. It’s not a building anymore. Instead, coworking is shared resources, a spirit of community, and a camaraderie of common passions.
By DeShawn Brown, CEO of Coworks.
Coworks empowers coworking space owners and operators, through automation, analytics, and communication, to optimize their business and enhance the community experience, so they see growth in their space. www.coworksapp.com