Co-working spaces such as WeWork have seen a rise in demand (pre-COVID), and co-living spaces are not far behind. While many people may shoo the smaller living and working areas, the popularity of these spaces comes down to the key benefit of “co”.
For younger professionals or mature students, especially those moving to a new city or area, co-living spaces can provide a community of like-minded individuals. Reza Merchant’s The Collective is a co-living space with buildings in London and New York that not only offers its residents communal areas to work in, but also a roster of daily events to help them bond with one another, such as yoga and dance classes, art sessions and movie screenings (most of which have pivoted to virtual on-line experiences amidst COVID). Similarly, Bermondsey’s application-only Mason + Fifth run meditation workshops and cooking classes with an in-house wellness team. This fosters a community atmosphere that helps newcomers create relationships and join a community.
Co-working spaces also strive to create an inclusive atmosphere where you can meet and hopefully collaborate with people who have similar interests to you. The Wing is a women-only co-working space that boasts “networking for businesswomen” as its tagline. With spaces in London and across the US, the club hosts events and includes an app that helps you connect with other members and forge better relationships.
Co-working spaces, with their communal areas and meeting rooms, also offer a cheaper alternative than large office spaces, letting you hold team gatherings or business meetings in a professional atmosphere without the hefty rent costs. Spaces such as Mayfair’s The Clubhouse and Hammersmith’s Kindred both boast expansive and luxurious meeting rooms and libraries where you can impress new clients or host important talks.
Thus, co-working and co-living spaces, just like member’s clubs, are a great way to engage with others, expand your network, or deepen existing relationships, all with (mostly) affordable price tags. With much of work heading remotely or at-least semi-remotely because of COVID, it’s also not unlikely that a lot of smaller businesses will pivot from rented office spaces to co-working memberships once they begin face-to-face work again, and we can understand why – like-minded people, event-filled calendars, and lounging spaces…who could say no?