More than just shared spaces, coworking and coliving spaces promote shared values.
It is no coincidence that "co words" have been mushrooming in recent years. Today, coworking, coliving, co-housing and collaborating are on everyone's lips.
This collaborative model of working and living is nothing but the reflection of a modern society growing around shared spaces like ivy grows around a tree. It is a clear sign that millennials want interaction, communication, and synergy.
Why is coworking so popular?
What is a coworking space? Simply put, it is a business model that revolves around several individuals or companies working in a shared office space.
Nomad workers, startups, freelance professionals, independent contractors and many more can reap the benefit from a collaborative working environment. And if coworking is the future, it comes as no surprise that blue-chip employees are trading smart for casual clothes and joining the coworking community too.
Truth is, it makes sound business sense and offers a few advantages, too – state-of-the-art offices at lower costs and in prime locations, shared printing facilities, no long-term leases, networking possibilities and a sense of community.
And let's be honest, the vibe is cool.
With over 75 locations around the world and 50,000 members, coworking operator WeWork has become a bellwether in the industry but there is room for more.
According to Deskmag's 2017 Global Coworking Survey report, "by the end of the new year, nearly 1.2 million people worldwide will have worked in a coworking space."
For commercial landlords, real estate developers and coworking operators, that is 1.2 million people to cater for; 1.2 million opportunities.
So, how do you attract new members? How do you run a profitable coworking space? For some, this is no longer the biggest question.
The coliving concept is gaining momentum
In April 2016, WeWork launched its progressive, albeit wildly expensive, coliving apartments in New York. A cross between student accommodation and hotels, WeLive describes itself as a community-driven concept revolving around, drumroll please, sharing. In other words, shared spaces for young renters seeking a more sociable environment.
In tandem, other coliving complexes are springing up, in the UK and around the world. The UK's first purpose-built coliving complex opened its doors in west London, in May 2016. The Collective Old Oak is at the vanguard of a new housing model that, however in line with young professionals' needs, remains on the expensive side.
Visionary architect Alexis Dornier has even taken the coliving trend to the next level with Roam, a innovative housing model that allows residents to move between properties around the world. Currently, the choice lies between Bali and Miami but the list is bound to expand with major cities like London, Madrid and Buenos Aires in the pipeline.
As co-working matures, co-living is picking up speed. Now is the time for landlords to react and explore new ways of living and working. Ways that are in keeping with the needs and requirements of Generation Y.