Coworking is a new way of working that has become increasingly popular over the years. Indeed, having first appeared in the United States, this concept, which aims to enable self-employed workers and entrepreneurs to make significant savings on their professional real estate charges, is undoubtedly attractive.
The burden of finding a place to work or an office and then having to pay for it is one of the main obstacles to entrepreneurship in France and in many other countries around the world where rents and real estate prices can quickly become high. Indeed, many self-employed people are reluctant to start because of this obstacle, which can be very complicated to deal with. Many companies, too, are looking for more economical space solutions. It is with this vision of the difficulties linked to the world of professional real estate that the concept of co-working spaces was born. A completely redesigned organizational mode, these are shared places for the benefit of several self-employed workers, or even company employees. Indeed, in these spaces, we share the resources made available to all, such as photocopiers or computers for example. The flexibility of such systems, combined with the interactivity they encourage, make them increasingly popular spaces. Discover the many advantages of co-working.
Everything was born in the United States in 2005. Indeed, it was in the city of San Francisco, California, that self-employed workers began to imagine this concept. In a city renowned for its exorbitant rental costs and real estate market, several entrepreneurs and freelancers have joined forces to combine an end to their loneliness and professional isolation with significant savings.
This way of working has really developed on a global scale at the beginning of this decade, with around 900 co-working spaces counted around the world in 2012, mainly in North America and on the European continent. Today, many areas of co-working continue to appear, sometimes with public or private funding, in many European countries, particularly in Spain, Italy and Belgium.
Interaction is at the very heart of the concept of co-working. Indeed, within these unique spaces, subscribers, who generally access them by means of a ticket system, can meet to discuss and share ideas, or even to collaborate on joint projects. Of course, some go there mainly to work alone, but there is always interaction within these shared spaces where all expenses are divided and managed by the different workers. Indeed, every month, it is a question of taking care of the payment of the various resources such as electricity, internet subscription or even the various telephone costs. We also meet to discuss the management of the various devices made available to all or for the purchase of future tools or devices that professionals may use.
Generally, co-working spaces offer access systems depending on the chosen subscription. Thus, the professional working in such premises will be able to access it for half a day, for a whole week or even for one or more months.
It is this flexibility that is attracting more and more workers who find themselves in this type of organization. Indeed, a study showed that 96% of new workers were looking for greater flexibility between their personal and professional lives. This is probably what explains the success of co-working spaces that allow this greater freedom of professional activity management.
The first workers to whom we think, when we have in mind the spaces of co-working, are of course the self-employed, those who by nature have greater flexibility and freedom in the organization of their activity.
Nevertheless, other actors in the world of work can be seduced by co-working. Company employees who undergo a relocation of their work premises will have every interest in taking advantage of the benefits provided by the co-working spaces. Indeed, such professional premises will allow them a more peaceful transition, avoiding the case of teleworking alone at home, which can sometimes be complicated as the way of working is different and brutal.
Thus, we can see that co-working spaces come at the right time at a time when the vision of the world of work is constantly evolving. Today, more and more working people are expressing their desire to live a less stressful working life thanks to greater flexibility, which such spaces allow. Even if some fear that such premises could jeopardize the confidentiality of their activity, a fear most often opposed by this innovative work system, professionals working in co-working spaces can easily demonstrate that this important place left to the sharing of resources and collaboration has the opposite result, quite the contrary, of bringing a good number of benefits to the development of their activity.
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