Worldwide, co-working spaces have increased by almost 700% since 2011 and have expanded from startup companies and hackerspace adventures to attract more traditional users as well as large corporations. So what is co-working and how have companies adopted these spaces?

Co-working is a spectrum.

Most co-working spaces offer a range of space options from the freedom of hot desking in a common area to a dedicated desk within a shared space to a fully furnished private office. Membership costs are based on type of workspace as well as location, and member benefits can include access to conference rooms, well-stocked office amenities and private events.

coworking space data graphicCo-working builds a community of members.

Co-working spaces provide the ability to connect with member networks. Increasingly, established companies are looking to leverage those networks by providing memberships for employees to operate from a co-working space. Some large organizations have started satellite offices within co-working spaces to enable employees to collaborate and interact with external organizations.

Co-working realizes business benefits.

One prominent study found benefits that include improved collaboration, productivity and overall job satisfaction. Co-working embraces communal benefits and allows knowledge-sharing, which appeals to many early-career employees’ ideas about a comfortable and flexible workplace. As companies battle to attract talent, they are driven to provide the kinds of team-based work environments that are embodied in co-working.

Related Content: Incubator Spaces, Innovation Hubs – How to design Workplaces for Big Ideas >