Co-working space itself is seen as a relatively new concept. A survey by the website Deskmag, which tracks the trend, found 7,800 coworking spaces worldwide as of October 2015, up from 3,400 in 2013 and just 75 in 2007. WeWork, the poster-child for the industry started in 2010 and by the end of 2014 had 12 locations. In 2015 alone that figure rose to 52 locations with 40,000+ members. Thanks to technology, its easier than ever to work remotely and remain connected hence why by 2020, 40% of Americans will be freelancers/temps or independent contractors. As this evolution continues, new variations of the traditional ‘co-working’ space are becoming popular in New York.
Ace Hotel – Offers free co working space in their lobby to freelancers who can rent the hotel’s conference rooms when holding meetings. The cohort of people in the lobby help create an atmosphere, plus the bar makes more money selling coffee & snacks
NeueHouse – A co-working space in NYC, LA & London who now offer a ‘Noir’ membership which gives members access after 5pm on weekdays and all day at weekends at a discounted rate when it is typically less busy
WeWork Co-Living – WeWork are now offering a co-living option at their Wall street location where freelancers can live & work from the space. Members get a private apartment and access to community facilities.
Yest despite the vast array of options in New York, for one creative agency firm (Visualhouse), none of the options felt quite right, so they decided to build their own. Their creation; Thompson Square Studios is a conglomeration of a co-working space and a private members club: a sexy, niche space perfect for creative firms to call home. The space in SoHo opened in January and brings something brand new to the city, said Herrick (CEO). “Just to be clear we’re not a social workspace. We’re a private members club for work and play.”
The concept is growing. An app will launch in April, giving members access to their own personal concierge as they differentiate on service and a personal touch (All staff know you by name). They are launching a new office in LA and by 2018 they plan to have 5,000 plus members worldwide. Read more here.