Social Innovation

This is what you need to know about the rise of the co-worker

Employees work at their desks inside Tech Mahindra office building in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi March 18, 2013. India's IT outsourcers are promoting "mini CEOs" capable of running businesses on their own, while trimming down on the hordes of entry-level computer coders they normally hire as they try to squeeze more profits out of their staff. To match Analysis INDIA-TECH/STAFFING  Picture taken March 18, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi THIS PICTURE IS ONLY TO BE PUBLISHED WITH THE STORY SLUGGED INDIA-TECH/STAFFING, WITH THE HEADLINE "The End of Indian IT Staffing As We Know It". - GM1E93P0C9X01

The co-working industry is expected to grow at a rate of 12% year-on-year over the next 5 years. Image: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Jeff Desjardins
Founder and editor, Visual Capitalist
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The Digital Economy

In the modern era, people can work from anywhere and everywhere.

Thanks to the cloud, wireless protocols, and collaboration software, it’s possible for workers to be productive from a nearby coffee shop, another town, or a different country entirely.

While this unprecedented freedom allows us to work further apart, it’s simultaneously enabled a new business model that brings people together. The rise of co-working spaces – led by companies like WeWork – is already a multi-billion dollar industry, and a growing mainstay of startup culture.

Co-working together

Today’s infographic comes to us from Raconteur, and it shows why companies – and especially fast-growing startups – are increasingly gravitating towards co-working spaces.

The co-working industry offers something to startups that traditional solutions cannot, which is the ability for office space to scale with the company’s growth both seamlessly and flawlessly. Further, by covering all the essentials, from working wireless internet to an unlimited supply of coffee, this new model allows startups to focus on what matters, such as achieving product-market fit or the latest pivot.

The industry is expected to grow at a 12% CAGR over the next five years, and there’s even talk that segment-leading WeWork will be raising money at a $35 billion valuation.

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Beyond the value prop

The prospect of “Space-as-a-Service” is certainly a compelling one for fast-growing startups, but what other valid reasons factor into the momentum behind co-working spaces?

According to co-workers themselves, here are the ten highest-ranking benefits of the model:

  • Social and enjoyable atmosphere (59%)
  • Interaction with others (56%)
  • Community (55%)
  • Close distance to my home (51%)
  • Like-minded people (47%)
  • Good value for money (41%)
  • Good transport connections nearby (41%)
  • Basic office infrastructure (38%)
  • Knowledge-sharing (35%)
  • Big open workspace (34%)

All in all, the value added by co-working spaces seems to be very real for the companies that call these shared spaces home.

As a result, it will be no surprise to learn that the global co-working industry is expected to expand to 30,432 spaces and 5.1 million members by 2022.

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Related topics:
Social InnovationJobs and the Future of WorkBusiness
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