Millions of creative freelancers and contractors, such as graphic designers, communications professionals, and web developers have worked remotely for many years in coworking and creative office spaces. Many independent creatives feel isolated and uninspired when working from home, so they frequently gravitate towards coworking and creative office spaces to feel more connected and engaged in their work.
Statista data shows that before the pandemic, 47% of employees had never worked remotely before, and only 17% were doing so every business day. A survey of the World Economic Forum found that 65% of remote workers want to continue to do so. Some of the benefits they enjoyed most about working from home include:
- Saving money on transportation, clothes, and food
- Better work/life balance
- Avoiding traffic congestion and long commutes
The survey also found that many respondents who indicated they preferred to work from home felt they work far more hours from home, experience many technical challenges, and experience mental health challenges.
Coworking Spaces and Creative Offices – A Happy Medium for Freelance and Corporate Creatives
Many independent creatives enjoy open-concept coworking spaces, which enable them to make new connections, set their own office hours, and work in an environment that is closer to home. Shared creative office spaces offer tenants a great balance between privacy and community. They don’t lose out on the camaraderie of office co-workers, but usually don’t have to endure long drives, office politics, or working on somebody else’s schedule. Many creatives can “feed” off of the creative energy, encouragement, and ideas of their fellow creative office tenants in a non-competitive way.
A recent PWC survey found that 87% of the corporate executives surveyed expected to make significant changes in their office portfolios this year. They said they plan to consolidate their offices, spread out into satellite offices, or adopt hybrid or fully remote work arrangements. Many companies have retrofitted their offices to emulate coworking facilities, such as eliminating assigned seating and offering hoteling workstations and hot desks for employees who are only in the office one or two days a week. Many tech companies including Twitter, Pinterest, and Shopify have recently empowered their employees to work remotely on a permanent basis. Many professionals who work with sensitive information in roles like legal or finance find hotel/hot desk arrangements to be at odds with their responsibilities.
Creative and technical professionals are often the most adaptable workers. They tend to be the earliest adopters of platforms that enable them to work wherever there is reliable internet access, coffee, noise-canceling headphones, and a place to plug in their laptops.
Adapting During the Pandemic to Survive and Thrive
You may have read or heard about the devastating impact of the pandemic on some of the biggest coworking financiers and conglomerates.
Like many industries, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many coworking forms to pivot their business models. Many large coworking companies operating under traditional sublease agreements failed over the past two years. Yet others have found inventive ways to pull through and win:
- Well-known international companies like SAP, IBM, UBS, AT&T, and Allstate run their own “corpoworking” facilities in California and other states to give creative employees an alternative to traditional office settings.
Coworking spaces are creating communities where independent creatives and their corporate counterparts can work side-by-side in some cases. Collaborations and partnerships can emerge from “creative collisions” between professionals with complementary skills, personalities, and goals.
If you are working on a coworking business model of your own, or need funding for construction or joint venture equity, contact Mandri Capital.