We recently sat down with Kontor London to get their thoughts on what's behind the exponential growth in coworking spaces around the world. We wanted to know their take on why people are flocking to coworking spaces, the magic behind coworking design, and where this trend is heading. See what they had to say below.
How has the coworking space industry evolved over the past few years?
Over the last few years the coworking market has exploded. From our experience dealing with both those who operate the space and businesses looking for desks, I could easily see London’s office market soon comprising 25% flexible, coworking spaces. It’s not only SMEs taking these spaces and changing the make-up of our economy, but large international brands also see the advantage of such flexible spaces, exposing them to new ideas whilst helping them to attract the best talent. All industries, not just technology, are changing so rapidly that the ability to take as many or as few desks needed at any particular time is really appealing to a wide spectrum of businesses.
How does the design of a coworking space contribute to creativity and productivity?
Most coworking operations offer both social, shared space and private offices. This gives a growing business the perfect balance between an area for concentration and a space to foster collaboration with like-minded businesses. Start-ups flourish among other start-ups and can draw on each other’s services.
Do you see coworking being limited to small businesses and entrepreneurs or scaling to larger companies?
Kontor works with businesses of all sizes looking for flexible, coworking space. While the set-up is ideal for a smaller business that might grow rapidly, more established businesses may still need flexibility. In this fast-paced business world, more and more businesses are turning away from signing long leases on fixed space and choosing more fluid solutions that they don’t have to manage themselves. An added benefit for a business operating in a coworking space is access to talent – what better place to find employees than in a building full of entrepreneurs?
If you had to make a prediction about the influence of coworking and the future of work what would it be?
Coworking is only going to increase, in all the markets Kontor operates within. The number of small businesses and entrepreneurs is still increasing, particularly in the UK, and I can’t see this growth halting soon. The number of freelancers is also on the increase, workers who might come together for specific projects in temporary spaces. There will always be large businesses taking whole offices, but with the rise of the sharing economy – both in business and social life, if a line can still be drawn between the two – means that coworking will increasingly become the standard way of working.
Kontor London specializes in helping creative and tech businesses of all sizes to realize their property needs in a dynamic, competitive marketplace, from lone operators and small businesses in the early stages of growth to well-established, international brands. We offer a range of services to both tenants and landlords, including long- and short-term space planning, flexible solutions that allow for fast-paced change and traditional lease advisory on creative space. Kontor operates in the UK and across mainland Europe, so our broad network of contacts allows us to offer tailored, well-informed advice in many geographies.