Creatives and start-ups are not the only ones demanding flexible workstations in a professional business environment with the necessary infrastructure, especially high-speed Internet. Companies from industry, along with SMEs and international corporations, are increasingly enthusiastic about co-working. Not being tied to a fixed office, but being able to work professionally from almost any location, is the essential factor for business travelers who co-work.
Digitalization and globalization are driving growth in the industry. In practice, the term, co-working, is not clearly defined, but the core idea is that people from different sectors and professions share a workspace. They can act completely independently of one another or share their work – co-working spaces also offer freedom in this respect.
A thriving business model has evolved from the tiny niche in the start-up scene. Growth rates of 100 percent per year make this business model increasingly interesting for investors – and ensure ever more diversity in the industry. Fully furnished offices with high-quality design, simply furnished, flexible monthly memberships, a permanently rented desk, a place in the common area, or a single office – the spectrum is as broad as the preferences of the users.
Perhaps the most unusual co-working space in the world is Coboat. The 25-meter-long catamaran can accommodate 20 co-workers minimum stay of one week, there are no other time limitations. Coboat, with its lounge and conference rooms where co-workers can network, and a special WLAN satellite for boats, has been recognized as one of the most innovative co-working spaces in the world.
Co-working at sea is, however, the exception. As a rule, co-working spaces are still found on terra firma. For example, Berlin-Mitte’s St. Oberholz café is one of the cornerstones of the German co-working scene. The actual co-working area, with individual and team offices as well as meeting rooms, is above the café. The music platform, SoundCloud, is one of the most successful business ideas created in St. Oberholz, and the food delivery service, HelloFresh, has its origins here.
The café is mindful of the most important criteria of a co-working space – an inner-city location with good public transportation access. This is because, independent of the various business models, co-working spaces are supposed to offer one thing above all: an easily accessible workplace. The Fritz, a new residential tower in Berlin-Mitte, goes one step further. It integrates co-working space into the building, soon home to many business people who don’t have a classic, stationary workplace. This approach is also the exception rather than the rule, but it shows the breadth of possibilities that have evolved in the world of co-working.
Pictures and picture credits:
Title: Co-Working-Space in The Fritz © Zabel Property
01: Coboat © Coboat
02: Co-Working-Space in St.Oberholz © St. Oberholz