Officing Today: Coworking is Getting Bigger, Better and Bolder

We already know that coworking is growing. But what is it growing into?

Coworking has successfully settled into a niche that’s commonly associated as a cool, cost-effective solution for young entrepreneurs and ambitious businesses, run by creative types who appreciate the value of good company and community spirit. As it continues to grow, the market is expanding – strengthening within key cities, sprawling into the suburbs, cropping up in rural communities, and spanning out into new niche concepts.

We’ve already seen coworking take advantage of the work/play scenario, such as this ski-in, ski-out coworking space in Whistler. We have also seen a growing number of spaces complete with childcare and crèche facilities. Now, it seems the coworking market is progressively appealing to a more corporate clientele.

Check out this article from the Commercial Observer. Al Barbarino reports on a new coworking space, The Yard, which is set to open on Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 27th Street in the Madison Square Park neighborhood.

This is a sought-after area with a prestigious street address, and co-founder Richard Beyda certainly isn’t doing things by half measures. Beyda has signed a 15-year lease for 18,000 sq ft, which accounts for the entire office portion of the building. “We’re not about gimmicks here,” he said. “The Yard is the place to come to get work done.”

That’s a bold move, and this no-nonsense approach is an example of how the coworking market is developing a more corporate and upmarket solution. There is already a healthy number of luxury coworking spaces in prestigious locations, and interestingly, many of these are operated by business centres or serviced office centres.

In Paris, Multiburo’s coworking space is based on the famous Avenue des Champs Elysées, and Regus has a business centre with day offices here too. In London, The Office Group has a number of ClubRooms which are smart, upscale shared workspaces, while Avanta’s coworking offering is based in corporate buildings across the city. And of course for those wishing to live the American Dream, you’ll find coworking in Beverly Hills via BLANKSPACES.

So, we ask again: what is coworking growing into? Is it developing into a more corporate business centre environment? And as business centres continue to offer more shared workspaces, are the two solutions becoming more aligned?

This ‘hybridisation’ is a topic that has been discussed at length on OT’s LinkedIn channel. Ray Lindenberg of Select Office Suites believes that this trend will continue to evolve, and has commented previously that some independent coworking spaces are indeed moving towards a distinct business centre model, by privatising certain parts of their space. Similarly, plenty of business centres have de-privatised their space by opening it up as shared space with coworking facilities.

One thing’s for sure, coworking is still growing, and it’s diversifying. Business centres are diversifying. And from what we’re seeing, these hybrid spaces are growing. This is certainly a trend worth watching, and we’ll be covering this topic in fine detail at the next ABCN WorldView meeting in Budapest. You’re invited – why not come and join the conversation?

Do you believe hybrid spaces are the future of workspace? What other luxury or corporate coworking spaces have you seen? Let us know!

Source: Officing Today

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