The shared office spaces of the future will exploit technology, be increasingly populated by big corporations and some will be hyper-targeted to specific industries, according to one co-working expert.
Margot Van Der Poel, the Asia Pacific brand manager for Spaces – the Dutch co-working outfit which has 120 locations across 39 countries, including three in Melbourne and one in Sydney – says change is a constant in the growing industry.
“The future of shared office spaces will continue to evolve and we can definitely expect to see changes over the next 10 years,” she says.
Van Der Poel says technological advances will be a huge driver for what can be achieved within co-working spaces, and operators will have to keep their tech offering in line with those expectations.
“Co-working providers like ourselves need to always be thinking about how we can design the best possible environment for businesses to succeed.”
Another significant change will be the growing number of big businesses embracing the model, she says.
Co-working spaces are increasingly attractive to small businesses and entrepreneurs at the moment, but Van Der Poel predicts that in the coming years bigger business corporations will start moving into shared spaces.
Bigger firms, across many different industries, will take advantage of the collaboration opportunities co-working offers, Van Der Poel says.
“We already work with partners like Microsoft, Uber and Booking.com to provide them with flexible and co-working solutions. Large businesses are already recognising both the cost-saving and human resources benefits of working with companies like us and we expect this trend to continue,” she says.
Industry trends: The future of co-working
More industry-specific operators are set to join the industry too, Van Der Poel says.
“As the market for co-working grows, we are certainly seeing some providers entering the market with propositions that are hyper-targeted to a certain industry or demographic of worker.
“One reason for that may be that some businesses feel they need a specific type of working culture or environment that enables their employees to be most productive. Or they might want somewhere with opportunities to collaborate only with certain types of people,” she says.
But not all operators will go that way. “At Spaces, we try to encourage an environment where our clients feel they can bring their own individual company culture into our workspaces, without having a particular working culture imposed on them by ourselves,” Van Der Poel says.
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