What’s going on:
The remote-work era, which has led to high vacancies in traditional office spaces, is triggering a proliferation of coworking spaces into the retail markets and suburbs of Chicago, according to The Real Deal. These shared spaces, which house multiple companies and are managed communally, are appearing in unexpected places, including suburban shopping centers, apartment buildings, and even a health club.
The trend in Chicago is reflective of the rise of hybrid work arrangements. The Real Deal reports that coworking provider IWG is also planning to launch four new locations in Illinois — contributing to Chicago’s status as having the fourth-highest number of coworking spaces in the country. It’s reported that the city has 6.2 million square feet of coworking space.
Why it matters:
Companies are finding value in the flexibility that coworking spaces provide, because it allows them to avoid high rental and maintenance costs, while still providing employees with a communal space to work. This flexibility is particularly appealing in an era where hybrid work has been gaining popularity in the workforce.
How it’ll impact the future:
As coworking operators continue to diversify their locations for new spaces, they will likely influence the workforce by providing more flexible and distributed work options for businesses and employees. These trends may lead to increased repurposing of traditional office and commercial spaces, impacting both commercial real estate markets and urban development.