That Was The Year That Was: Coworking

Posted by Dieter Wood on 14/12/2018

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The number of members using coworking spaces globally is predicted to reach one million by the end of the year.

Although it’s been a buzz word for a few years, this year it’s been more popular than ever...

Coworking Space, Bristol | Interaction Bristol alone it is estimated that major new co-working spaces launched are expected to account for 120,000 sq ft of the 600,000 sq ft total office space let in the city by the end of this year. We saw this booming trend first hand through working with Runway East, a fast-growing company that helps start-ups and growing businesses with their unique coworking spaces and private offices.

With this in mind, we thought we’d cast our minds back to why coworking took off in the first place – and take a look at where it may head in the future; all illustrated with images of the vibrant Bristol workspace we created for Runway East.

"Coworking is centered on creating space that supports collaboration, openness, knowledge sharing, innovation, and the user experience”. JLL

Why so popular?

Facilitated by technological advances and the emergence of flexible working, coworking has quickly become a critical part of the evolving workforce. The last decade alone has seen the rise of hugely successful multi-national companies such as WeWork, whose vision is to “create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living”.

A key component of coworking enterprises is community. Users, whether they be freelancers, startups or mature companies, are free to benefit from low administrative duties, the possibility to exchange views, and opportunities to learn from each other – all under one roof.

Coworking spaces are great for a positive work/life balance: they combine both working and breakout areas.

Pictured: ‘Runway Eats’ café, Bristol

A local example: Bristol

With coworking spaces making up a large proportion of all commercial square footage, Bristol is the perfect place for tenants wanting a vibrant community to immerse themselves in – and its therefore great news for companies like Runway East too, who are keen to develop their portfolios.

Robert Buckland (Editor, Bristol Business News) describes the rise of Bristol's flexible workplaces: “Starting in London’s Silicon Roundabout tech hub, traditional property firms and serviced office suppliers have embraced co-working and now few office schemes are launched without an element of shared space.

“Key players to open recently in Bristol have been the second Desklodge, in the former Unum building on Redcliffe Way, on following the success of its first venture on one floor of 1 Temple Way – and Runway East, off Bristol Bridge, while another two sites are ‘under offer’ to co-working providers in the city centre. Other recently opened spaces in the city include Origin Workspace in Berkeley Square and HERE in the former HTV studios on Bath Road".

Runway East's coworking space has a multifunctional breakout space (complete with bunting).

Looking to the future

With a continued shortage of commercial space coinciding with demands for more flexible forms of working, coworking is set to become even more common. This is because it can help satisfy demands for agility and fluidity of space, whilst allowing companies to experiment with a community-based environment without the need for organisation-wide change.

More traditional office space will still be suitable for others, particularly those with more stable and predictable growth predictions, but coworking is definitely here to stay – so we’ll be keeping a close eye on its developments, both in Bath, Bristol and the wider UK…

We’re thrilled to have helped Runway East with their coworking vision. Take a closer look at what we created for them at 1 Victoria Street by heading to the Bristol case study.