In the past 5 years, a fundamental change has taken place, from coworking space mainly for only freelancers and start-ups to greater adoption by SMEs enterprises and companies who now form a large customer base for all coworking space in Malaysia.
This change in the coworking space audience can be attributed to several factors, including greater emphasis on work-life balance, evolved requirements for workspace, flexibility in the lease period, and expansion of seats while expanding the size of the team. The coworking space of key drivers of growth and great success can be attributed to the following factors.
1. Established bodies are moving into coworking spaces
Large corporations often require their staff to work long hours, although the increase in productivity is not always directly proportional, it is what it is. As research shows, the loss in productivity due to the loss of focus across long working hours as most humans would. Hence, employers are starting to look into the necessity of a more entertaining or relaxing workspace. The environment of a coworking space fits this purpose perfectly, and without them knowing, coworking spaces came under their radar.
Besides that, the flexibility of a coworking space is getting sought after by established bodies as they often require some of their staff to work in different time shifts, more so if they were to expand towards foreign markets and match their respective time zones.
Moreover, a coworking space’s scalability in expenditure is a big benefit for most bodies as the amount of seats required can be adjusted as accordance to their staff’s headcount. Whenever there is an employee dropped out, the seat can be forfeited in a coworking space, saving the cost.
2. More start-ups are appearing
More start-ups appearing increases the demands of a coworking space in general. A start-up company usually has a tighter budget and unstable working hours and the basic needs in an office is something they’d wish to care less about. It is exactly these reasons that a coworking space is what they need the most. It is as if coworking spaces are designed to cater to start-ups and freelancers as the facilities are often made used the most by these groups.
3. Increase in self-employed workers worldwide
While it is hard to rely on statistics for the exact figure of self-employed workers worldwide, it has been confirmed that the amount of this working group is growing as well. As current work fields are shifting towards digital media and online services, the opportunity is opened even wider for those self-employed to work online. As such, independent programmers and online-based designers are among the few that spike in numbers.
Since coworking spaces are aimed to cater to these groups of people in the very first place, it is not a surprise that the increase in self-employed workers would result in the continuous growth of coworking spaces. The amount of people resorting to self-employed status is even more obvious when we take into consideration the recent economic situation. With the global pandemic still ongoing, more people are resorting to work by themselves. Judging by how things are going, who knows how much the group of self-employed workers would grow after the pandemic.
4. Specialist spaces are expanding the coworking market
Workspaces with specialist-appeal are also growing rapidly. Spaces with specialist appeal are spaces with specific facilities which are useful to certain types of business, such as having a shared biolab or commercial kitchens. Other specialist-oriented coworking spaces accept only coworkings of a specific industry or demographic, such as female-oriented spaces or e-commerce-only coworking spaces.
These specialized coworking spaces attract smaller groups to move in as accordance to their respective field as it is beneficial for their businesses. As an example, tech-based workers might like the idea of moving into a coworking space that is fully catered to only tech-based bodies. This will be extremely helpful in resource and information gathering or even go a step further and start building partnerships or work on a new project together.
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