Coworking spaces are becoming very popular with the generations born after 1981. Small Business Trends report that over 2,000 coworking spaces were opened in 2018 alone and nearly half of them were in the United States.
To date, it is estimated that there are currently more than 18,000 coworking spaces worldwide. This shift in how people now work is due to the workplace solutions offered by these spaces, as they are ideal for every type of worker. A Chicago Based coworking space, Industrious, notes how these workplace solutions include conference rooms for large meetings, private offices for individuals and large teams, and community memberships, where you can get a dedicated desk or use flexible seating, which are ideal for professionals who usually frequent coffee shops. With more workers looking for more flexibility, it is no wonder that these spaces hold mass appeal among the Millennial and Generation Z workforce.
Digital tech experts at Modern office visitor registration and check-in app Greetly point out that Millennials are mainly driving the coworking market, largely because they comprise the largest, most diverse generation today. So, the pertinent question is, why are coworking spaces working so well for Millennials and Gen Zers? The answers have something to do with their mindset and preferences.
Marketing manager at The Farm SoHo, Sancar Ayalp, explains that Millennials benefit greatly from the ‘tribal’ aspect of a community. This is why they thrive in “working side by side with their fellow freelancers, share space and the occasional conversation.” The sharing and accompanying small talk — both hallmarks of coworking spaces — present job and collaboration opportunities that are, in turn, crucial to Millennials’ financial and career goals.
Moreover, Millennials tend to be nonconformists, which is another reason why they flock to coworking spaces. In other words, this demographic is more likely to break from traditional constructs, including those that involve old-school working setups: corporate hierarchies, 9 to 5 mentalities, and in-office workstations. But to be fair, Millennials aren’t breaking tradition just for the sake of it. They do so because they crave a new way of doing things, one that encourages individual expression on top of idea sharing and open conversations.
The Generation Z population, born between 1996 and 2010, know very little about life pre-internet. Therefore, they value technology more than their Generation Y predecessors. In fact, Gen Zers are more than just tech-savvy; they are actually tech-innate. They were literally born into technology, and as such, they are using it to skirt traditional ways of doing work. Instead of common practices, Gen Zers are inventing innovative and functional work cultures that feature technology prominently. Coworking spaces, incidentally, are positioned to fill this need, with their provisions for technological tools that enhance both productivity and engagement, like laptops, hi-speed internet, and smart devices.
Lastly, Millenials and Gen Zers both want work-life integration, where career growth actually goes hand-in-hand with personal and family goals — meaning one is not sacrificed over the other. Flexible arrangements offered by coworking spaces allow this integration to happen, with Millennials and Gen Zers having access to the full office experience without necessarily needing to stick to the full-office 9- to 5-schedule.
In a nutshell, today’s coworking spaces seem designed specifically for the Millennial and Gen Z workforce. Given the many amenities and benefits they offer, we can expect Millennials and Gen Zers to continue to flock to these spaces for work.
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