Coworking: the third way for corporate environments?

Named as the office of the future, coworking is a shared work space, where different companies and professionals can access the features of a corporate environment without, however, having the same costs or commitments with bureaucratic issues. Created in 2005, coworkings are known for being a more social and modern environment, following the trends of startups. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the global market for coworking spaces is believed to have shrunk, between 2019 and 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -12.9%. Despite this, the market is expected to recover and reach a CAGR of 11.8% in 2023. In this sense, it is clear that the sector has promising growth prospects during the economic recovery. According to JLL, a multinational real estate consultancy, coworkings represent less than 5% of the commercial real estate market today, but will reach 30% in 2030. 

Among the main advantages of coworking, one can highlight: (1) the immersion in an environment of innovation and creativity; (2) access to corporate structure, with meeting rooms, internet connection, office supplies and furniture at a lower cost; (3) professional and personal interaction, facilitating networking and enabling a work environment less isolated than home offices and more peaceful than public spaces; and (4) flexibility, since there are different plans, with rents that vary from a few hours to weeks, months etc. 

Among the disadvantages, there are: (1) higher costs, when compared to working at home, since there are, for example, expenses with rent and fuel for commuting to work; (2) greater possibilities of distraction; and (3) restriction of schedules, since most coworkings work in business hours. 

It is also important to note that, even being more popular among small businesses and self-employed professionals, coworking has been gaining space among medium-sized companies. This is because the digitalization of business and the hybridization of work, advanced by the pandemic, enabled the closure of own offices, which have been replaced by the union between home offices and small corporate cores, central or regional, in shared offices. 

So, it is possible to observe that, while many discuss the dichotomy between office and home office, coworking has increasingly assumed a prominent position, being an option viable not only as a single model, but also as a more economical possibility for hybrid work. 

Article by Pedro Yunes, intern at GCS Consultoria & Auditoria.

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