We're increasingly living in the era of the "solopreneur," independent workers managing their own careers and office environments. Today, a flexible work location is often more important than an impressive, personalized office. That's why more workers and small companies are turning to coworking spaces — where individuals or small teams rent desks or offices in a shared workplace.
And as real estate prices in major cities continue to rise, business owners, especially startups, are seeking ways to liberate themselves from legacy financial burdens, like a commercial lease.
Cost savings to business owners extend beyond that of a lease, of course. Who wouldn't love the perks of free coffee, tea, fruit, beer, and food offered by many coworking spaces? But all sorts of overhead costs decrease, benefiting the bottom line.
Still other perks provide access to professional and educational services for accounting basics and HR. But most business owners who use coworking spaces praise the economic advantages they realize by being in an environment with other, like-minded people.
And with 35 percent of the US labor force classified as independent workers, a number expected to rise to 40 percent by 2020, shared workspace will continue to evolve. Already, coworking spaces are increasing their value proposition by offering niche services like recording studios, green screens, and 3D printers. And shared creative and hardware labs are making it increasingly easy for small businesses to offset risk and, possibly, throw away their office leases forever.
Video and content created by Chase for Business