Dawn’s excellent comment on my last post prompted me to research current office trends further revealing a second, more insidious, reason behind the office space boom in my fair city: coworking.
At face value coworking spaces seem innocuous. According to Wiki, Coworking is an arrangement in which workers of different companies share office space, infrastructure, and equipment. It is targeted towards freelancers, startups, and small companies.
However, coworking providers are not selling office space. They are selling a deceptive sense of community and productivity. Consider the following written by a company heavily vested in the coworking boom: Walk into a coworking space and you’ll immediately notice that it feels different from a regular office. The smell of fresh coffee in the air is second only to the electric atmosphere that the energetic and excited occupants bring to the space. You’ll see a mix of those in deep focus at private desks and others striking up engaging conversations at large shared tables. This is the culture of the coworking space.
Despite COVID-19 coworking is booming. Depending upon location people will pay up to € 500 per month for a hot-desk so this is a great business opportunity. To get in on it just follow my easy ten point plan:
- Pick a painfully cool name like Cocoquadrat, Mindspace, or House of Bandits.
- Your layout should be open-plan to facilitate all those “engaging conversations.” Don’t worry about noise control (see point 6).
- Package your offering as a membership complete with a community app. Renting office space is so yesterday.
- Only grant membership to people who use Apple devices. See photos.
- Provide citrus infused tap water.
- Pump in funky music. You’re looking for a relaxed club atmosphere.
- Organize networking parties with lots of craft beer.
- Operate a coffee shop and give members a discount so that they feel special. They won’t even notice that non-members can’t access the coffee shop.
- Uncomfortable designer furniture is an absolute must.
- Whatever you do, NEVER mention the word “work.” Remember your members are creative free-lancers who thrive on being their own bosses and “crushing it every day” in an open-plan Instagramable environment. It doesn’t matter if they bill their clients too little or if they even have clients. They are paying you to give them illusion of being productive in the brave new world of New Work.