Over the last decade, there has been a dramatic growth in the global demand and supply of co-working office space. What first started as a workspace trend in the US has now developed right across the UK, particularly driven by demand in London and the main UK regional office markets.
Rapidly Evolving Market
Since 2017, the growing market has continued its upward trajectory and dominated office market headlines, as a diverse range of occupiers continue to seek much more flexibility with workspaces. This trend is set to continue, driven by an evolution in working practices across the UK.
Flexibility remains the watch word with co-working and this makes the concept very popular with freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and tech companies.
Space can be taken for as long or short a time as is required for a fixed monthly fee, which includes internet access, meeting rooms and other shared facilities. Workspaces are usually accessible 24/7 and people can balance their day around work.
Flexibility for Freelancers
Freelancers, particularly those involved in the tech and creative sectors, tend to value the autonomy of the flexible set-up that co-working space offers, but it can also offer a degree of structure and routine in their working day. They can feel part of a community, which helps with motivation and network building. Co-working space is ideally suited for freelancers, offering them the complete flexibility they are seeking, within a collaborative environment.
Excellent for Entrepreneurs
Co-working is proving increasingly popular with entrepreneurs and fledgling start-ups. With this option, only the required desk space needs to be taken, with entrepreneurs not being tied-down to a long-term lease contract. They can work alongside other business people in the co-working space, which helps to create an innovative and dynamic business environment. It often offers access to a useful network of freelancers.
Perfect for Larger Occupiers for Projects and Outsourcing
Co-working space can also be a beneficial concept for larger more established employers, who are looking to take advantage of direct and indirect benefits, perhaps for key projects or contracts, where additional space is required for a limited period of time.
In the last five years, high-skilled outsourcing has been the main source of jobs and business growth in the UK regions. Larger employers are increasingly looking to outsource back office functions to small, highly skilled and tech-orientated specialists and co-working space provides the perfect workspace solution.
Banks, Insurance and Professional Firms
In the UK, banks and professional services firms have also warmed considerably to co-working, to offer flexible workspace, in addition to their traditional offices, as and when required.
Companies Experiencing Growth or Expanding into New Markets
Companies expanding into new markets or regions may require additional or satellite space, whilst the operation becomes established. Co-working space provides a perfect short-term solution for individuals or teams.
There seems to be something special and unique about co-working spaces, that has caught the imagination of occupiers, with diverse groups of people wanting to work together in a shared environment.
Co-working space has become a vital and dynamic component of office market and occupiers have come to expect a flexible co-working option to be available to them - the trend is set to continue in the ever-changing UK office market.