“More than a space to work, coworking spaces are helping to fuel economic development in Indianapolis in many ways- supporting innovation, revitalizing communities, and encouraging entrepreneurship- one entrepreneur at a time.” - The Indy Chamber.
Despite being a fairly recent business model, co-working is a fast growing phenomenon which reflects the values of the 21st century working world. Regardless of profession, studies are suggesting you need to be a coworker. Don’t believe it? Here are three reasons co-working is so important.
Co-working provides a space for independence and innovation. In the European Conference on Knowledge Management, Jaroslava Kubatova stated that, “Knowledge workers, especially younger ones, need the possibility to choose, freedom to decide, flexibility and interesting and meaningful work where they could find use for their talents." To validate this, Kubatova provided a summary of a study done by Ed Gandia (2012) who, “examined around 1,500 freelancers from the whole world who represented around 50 professions” (Kubatova 2014). The goal of this study was to determine what motivates freelancers. Gandia found that the following were the motivations for freelancers:
- More freedom and flexibility in their schedule (28% of freelancers)
- Follow my passion (23%)
- I was not planning to become a freelancer but I fell into it (15%)
- I started after being made redundant (14%)
- I wanted to be my own boss (13%)
- A source of additional income (7%)
As seen above, people desire autonomy and this is why coworking spaces are so important. They provide space for “...independent, flexible, and creative work” more so than other job environments (Kubatova 2014).
Collaboration and Creativity
Along with promoting independence, sources state that co-working and event space is the ideal way to promote collaboration both on an individual level and between sectors. The Indy Chamber (2017) stated that co-working and event space advances collaboration on a personal level, providing space where, “entrepreneurs participate in idea sharing with people from diverse backgrounds they normally wouldn’t interact with in a typical office setting." The author believes it is necessary for entrepreneurs and business workers alike to have a space where they can collaborate and create together.
Co-working spaces are dynamically fueling social and economic capital. On a personal level, Kubatova (2014) cited the Global Co-working Survey (Deskmag, 2014) saying, “a majority of workers working in co-working centers expect that their income shall increase in the following year (72% of respondents-workers), that their amount of work shall increase (66%), and that their contacts shall increase (80%).” He argued that America is headed toward an economy of freelancers and, thus, co-working space offers the most “knowledge potential and social capital”. Furthermore, The Indy Chamber (2017) said that, “in an increasingly entrepreneurial city, these co-working spaces are playing a role in fostering economic development”.
The Coworking Manifesto stated that coworking is “reshaping the economy and the society through social entrepreneurship and innovation”, the Harvard Business Review claimed that, “people thrive in coworking environments” and the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, the largest coworking conference series in the world, cited that, “9 in 10 people are happier because of it.”
Basically, you need to be a coworker and there's no better space than the Switchboard.
Coworking Spaces Influencing Economic Development in Indianapolis. (n.d.). Retrieved October 03 2017 from http://www.indychamber.com/news/indy-chamber-news/coworking-spaces-influencing-economic-development-indianapolis/
Deskmag (2014) "The Coworking Market Report Forecast", [online], Desmag, http://www.deskmag.com/en/the- coworking-market-report-forecast-2014.
Gandia, Ed. (2012) "Freelance Industry Report", [online], Scribd, http://www.scribd.com/doc/104239888/Freelance- Industry-Report-2012.
Kubátová, J. (2014). The cause and impact of the development of coworking in the current knowledge economy. Paper presented at the , 2 571-577. Retrieved from http://ulib.iupui.edu/cgi-bin/proxy.pl?url=http://search-proquest-com.proxy.ulib.uits.iu.edu/docview/1672881587?accountid=7398