Coworking spaces: how cities are adapting to this new work concept
My list

Author | M. MARTÍNEZ EUKLIDIADAS

Coworking spaces have gradually established themselves as interesting solutions in terms of sharing the workplace. These urban environments offer a flexible response in the search for places in which to meet other professionals and even carry out an activity with very reduced structural costs. That is why it has become a popular model among teleworkers and entrepreneurs, helping them create contact networks.

What is a coworking space?

Coworking, also known as cooperative work, or integrated offices, consists of a form of work in which a group of entrepreneurs, who do not necessarily have to be affiliated with one another, share a work space with the aim of sharing knowledge, identifying common projects, synergies or working on future projects. It is an up-to-date version of the business centers of the past.

It is common to find these types of initiatives in many cities, with a focus on specialist coworking spaces. The aim of these is for desks to be occupied by workers dedicated to the same sector. They are a way of boosting a specific sector such as software development, social integration, robotics or public transparency.

Initiatives such as Coworkies, a directory of coworking spaces, help professionals find their closest coworking centers. This will enable them to work with other professionals.

Why is coworking interesting?

Coworking produces results because people from different areas of knowledge can share a space. As is the case in many high-density cities, social interactions are condensed in innovation. Sharing the same space, whether this is a physical or virtual space, is key to creating new ideas.

It has long been established that concentrating certain industries in the same area (a hub), has a strong impact on businesses, as is the case in Silicon Valley in the U.S. or Zhongguancun in China. And the same occurs with companies and freelancers when they coincide in the same space.

PIC 1

Attracting talent: the difficulty of these work centers

Coworking spaces have serious problems in small cities or in those in which there is not a critical mass of professionals from a specific sector willing to work in these centers. In other words, they struggle to attract talent. This is why so many coworking spaces are deserted.

Best coworking spaces: what must they provide?

If the aim of coworking spaces is to create new work opportunities by bringing numerous professionals together, the first key aspect is affordable access via public transport, if possible in the heart of the cities and close to where people live.

They must also be equipped with all the characteristics required for these professionals: ergonomic desks and chairs, well-lit spaces, high-speed internet connection or conference rooms. And, if it is feasible, additional services such as kitchens or rest areas.

How does coworking fit in with COVID-19?

The theory regarding how to adapt coworking to COVID-19 is not too complex, however, its implementation may be. In essence it involves designing larger and well-ventilated spaces (preferably with natural ventilation) in which workers must use masks and maintain a safe distance from one another at all times. It also involves limiting the capacity.

The situation is complicated in any event. The leading real estate consultancy Knight Frank indicated in September that it expects most independent spaces to struggle to survive, which is complicated when around 80% do not form part of the Top 10. A prolonged lockdown may result in these companies closing down, so we can expect a reduction in the number of these on offer and a greater presence of major firms or, at least, those with more resources.

PIC 2

It is difficult to predict how the market will evolve. There are firms in India, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, that have managed to stay afloat and are on course for a V-shaped recovery, while in Spain, where this formula was gaining supporters, the demand for coworking spaces dropped by 80%. Given this situation, many spaces have started offering virtual training sessions and meetings, leaving physical spaces for tasks that require attendance-based work.

Curiously, some experts believe that coworking could experience a recovery as the pandemic abates. A report by Cushmand & Wakefield indicates that coworking spaces may be more attractive to many workers seeking an office closer to home, and could also be boosted by the “resurrection” of the suburbs in countries such as the United States, where travelling to the center is often costly in terms of time and money, not to mention the issue of crowds on public transport.

The general idea is that some large firms could start showing an interest in dispersing some departments, looking for smaller and less expensive offices, while they maintain the highest number of workers possible close to their homes, renting coworking spaces when and where needed. Could this be the solution the industry requires? It seems that a great deal more will be required, but it could be a start.

Images | iStock/Maryna Andriichenko, iStock/Maryna Andriichenko, Johnson Wang

Related content
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Proprietary or open-source software? Arguments in favor and against
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Tomorrow.Podcast 1x01: Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
Smart AMB: can data lead us to deliver better urban services?
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
A New Space For Mayors. Bloomberg to Fund Harvard Center for Cities
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
Barcelona Provincial Council: this is how a smart region works
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
PODCAST 1x01 - Are our cities more resilient than ever?
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Barcelona’s strategy to drive the 2030 Agenda in the city
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: cities become smarter by forming smart regions
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Pablo Soto, regional representative of Transparency and Participation in Madrid: “Technology should be used to enhance institutions”
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
Metropolitan governance: extending municipal governments as a response to new urban challenges
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
How to go from being a town to a Smart Town
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
The G20 creates the Global Smart Cities Alliance to establish universal norms and guidelines for the implementation of technology
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Paul Duan, co-founder and President of Bayes Impact: “We should trust in the power of the multitude”
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
Open government and citizen participation: a journey through history - Infographic
Pontus Westerberg, UN-Habitat:
Pontus Westerberg, UN-Habitat: "People need to be allowed to offer their own solutions to the problems in the places in which they live"
How and why do cities die?
How and why do cities die?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
Digital natives, technological illiterates?
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
New COVID-19 outbreaks: this is what the hammer and the dance will be like
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Citizens policing our streets: is it lawful to report the inappropriate use of cities?
Smart cities that failed along the way
Smart cities that failed along the way
Can technology foster democracy?
Can technology foster democracy?
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
Welcome to the Smart City Live!
What makes a city attractive to talent?
What makes a city attractive to talent?
Imec: Open digital twin framework
Imec: Open digital twin framework
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
x-tention: Towards post covid-19 smart tourism
Arca: Wave control for better health
Arca: Wave control for better health
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
Smart Buildings: Enabling reliability and resilience for a better future
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
DMAP: Unlocking the power of transportation analytics
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
These were the urban utopias that preceded us - Infographic
Medellín: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
Medellín: data and infrastructures in contrast to its troubled past
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
Live
2030 Agenda and Urban Agenda for Catalonia: from Strategy into Practice
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
How smart cities are contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
From Crisis to Opportunity: Transforming European Cities in the COVID Era
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Cities as Testbeds for Innovation
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
Smart Cities Germany – an emerging market for urban technologies providers
CIOs as linking pins: bridging IT and European digital policy for smart cities
Live
CIOs as linking pins: bridging IT and European digital policy for smart cities
Barcelona Smart Region: innovative projects to improve connectivity and sustainability
Barcelona Smart Region: innovative projects to improve connectivity and sustainability
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Barcelona Smart Region: providing smart services for citizens
Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole: The New Smart Place
Live
Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole: The New Smart Place
City-states never disappeared: Hamburg, Hong Kong, Singapore
City-states never disappeared: Hamburg, Hong Kong, Singapore
G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance – Launching the Policy Roadmap
G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance – Launching the Policy Roadmap
Reinventing Cities with Technology after COVID-19 – Unpacking ideas from Japan
Reinventing Cities with Technology after COVID-19 – Unpacking ideas from Japan
AdvanGrid: Staying ahead in the energy transition
AdvanGrid: Staying ahead in the energy transition
Neareo: Powering QR codes
Neareo: Powering QR codes
People-focused Smart Cities: Urban Digital Transformation Working for the Benefit of All
People-focused Smart Cities: Urban Digital Transformation Working for the Benefit of All
Strengthening Metropolitan Governance
Strengthening Metropolitan Governance
Economic and social recovery leaving no one behind
Economic and social recovery leaving no one behind
Adopting Technologies Responsibly: a Global Policy Roadmap for Ethical Smart Cities
Adopting Technologies Responsibly: a Global Policy Roadmap for Ethical Smart Cities
Smart Villages & Territories
Smart Villages & Territories
The Global Voice of Cities
The Global Voice of Cities
Recommended profiles for you
Remember to activate your profile to network!
Activate profile
mr
mario regis
Abundance Program
Co-Founder, directory board
CV
Camila Ventura
Universidad Nacional de Rosario
Student
Ewelina Konarzewska
Ewelina Konarzewska
Comtegra S.A.
BDM
ED
Emerson Duran
Clúster Orinoco TIC
Clúster manager
BD
Braulio Diaz Castro
Unión de Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas
Advisor
JZ
Juan Carlos Zuleta
Lithium Economics Analyses
CEO
Igor Calzada
Igor Calzada
University of Oxford
University of Oxford
IN
Ivana Nincevic Pasalic
Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split
Research and Teaching Assistant
NC
Naveenkumar Chilgod
Simulation Lab, Pune
CAE Engineer
ML
Marina Landabaso
Mainara Prod.
PM
CA
Carlos Eduardo Alves Cordeiro
UCDB
Student
AS
Annis Sopenlehto-Jokinen
City of Turku
Six City Strategy Coordinator
Ronit Purian
Ronit Purian
Tel Aviv University
Data science, behavioral and social aspects in the smart city
José Alejandro Vargas Castro
José Alejandro Vargas Castro
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
professor, researcher
Francesco AMARI
Francesco AMARI
REALIZ3D - Groupe MyCloud3D
Partner
AL
Adria Lorente
Adrià lorente
Self employed
Joan Enric Ricart
Joan Enric Ricart
IESE Business School
Professor
Emrah ASAL
Emrah ASAL
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality
Physicist
Pascual Berrone
Pascual Berrone
IESE Business School
Professor of strategic management Director of IESE Cities in Motion
MH
Malin Hansen
Design and Architecture Norway
Urban development

Only accessible for registered users
This content is available only for registered users
TO: $$toName$$
SUBJECT: Message from $$fromName$$