The North American workforce is changing. As of 2017 there are close to 3 million workers in Canada who are working freelance, when combined with temporary workers they constitute 20% of Canada’s entire workforce. In the States this number is much larger. It is predicted that by 2020 non-standard or contingent workers will make up 40% of the workforce.
Coworking spaces started as a necessity to address issues faced by this rising number of non-standard workers, creating a place for them to come together to reduce the costs of operating in a professional environment while providing access to the necessary tools. Luckily these spaces also came with a number of additional benefits. By combining these like-minded people new relationships were formed, ideas were challenged, and problems were solved. In these open spaces conversations happened more freely and innovation and collaboration followed.
Corporate and governing entities (including the Government of Canada) soon realized the tangible economic and environmental benefits of coworking spaces. These spaces allow for modular and flexible arrangements meaning companies can quickly adapt to fluctuations in their workforce and efficiently expand into new markets or make adjustments based on the needs of their employees. The combination of larger companies and individual freelancers opened up further collaboration opportunities and increased the importance of coworking spaces from a social and professional standpoint.
With the increasing number of non-standard workers and the investment in such spaces from all levels of business it is clear that coworking spaces will maintain a vital place in the North American workforce. But it is this modern take on a work environment that necessitates modern solutions to changing needs, including the decrease in privacy that comes with these open concepts.