Recruiters
October 1, 2020

Understanding the Rise and Fall of Co-working Spaces

Aesthetically pleasing co-working spaces were suddenly non-existent when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now workers need to find new creative outlets to occupy their time.

There’s been a lot of talks recently on how much workers love their WFH experience. Over the course of the past few months, survey after survey has suggested that remote workers, when given the option to return back to their office full time, would at least prefer to work from home 50 percent of the time. In the Survey of Business Uncertainty, by the Atlanta Fed, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, employers predicted that post-pandemic, 27 percent of their full-time employees would continue working from home. Their numbers could fall short depending on how things go.

In any case, workers from home still need to adapt and innovate their experience of being at home— or at least going to a coffee shop from time to time for a change of scenery. One aspect of working from home that is hard to re-create is the collective spirit of working in an office together with other people around. Even though many Americans have criticized office culture and praised working from home, there are still some who miss the collectivism of the office spirit and the aesthetic taste of some office layouts. This came from somewhere, mostly from the shift of traditional office spaces in the 1990s to WeWork’s and co-working spaces in the 2000s that have since transformed what working culture means.  

Working cultures before the pandemic hit

Even if we didn’t have a real physical office to go to before the pandemic, entrepreneurial attitudes were still creating a sort of working world at co-working spaces like WeWork and other cafes where it seemed fashionable to take an afternoon meeting.  

WeWork has been the new edition of co-working spaces that seemingly reinvented how office space is supposed to look and feel like. If you’ve ever had a friend who works at a WeWork, they might not even know how to describe the space to you other than, “Oh, it’s a WeWork”. In any case, WeWork is just a co-working service where tenants can rent office space for different periods of time. But there’s also a certain startup culture that attracts workers to these spaces.  There’s a clever aesthetic—from the organized lobby with leather couches, to the signage on doors and mantles, and also from the varying room sizes that go from a full conference layout to a small pod for one founder of a startup to work at.

WeWork is sort of ingenious because it combines the collective spirit of the modern workforce with the individualism of the “innovator” who needs a nice place to work from. 

Re-creating the co-working space at home

Recreating a WeWork type environment at home is not easy, and for some it's not even possible. This means that workers everywhere, and the ones who might prefer to go back to the office, have to fare with their actual job responsibilities over the aesthetic and collective spirit of co-working environments. For some, this might be a big deal and the isolation that comes with working from home might be a lot to handle.

Thus, the rise and fall of co-working spaces have implications on the workforce because now with the coronavirus pandemic, workers are trying to re-create that same aesthetic appeal, wherever they can. It has also forced some workers to think about what they value more—having a job that they enjoy, or that feeling of collectivism that unites all workers into a building with unlimited coffee and snacks. 

Certainly, there are some distractions with co-working, which is part of its appeal, and going forward workers everywhere will have to make to do with their home offices, the work they are invested in, and not simply the appeal of co-working spaces.

TagsCo-working SpaceWork PlacePandemic
Michael Robbins
Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

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RecruitersOctober 1, 2020
Understanding the Rise and Fall of Co-working Spaces
Aesthetically pleasing co-working spaces were suddenly non-existent when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now workers need to find new creative outlets to occupy their time.

There’s been a lot of talks recently on how much workers love their WFH experience. Over the course of the past few months, survey after survey has suggested that remote workers, when given the option to return back to their office full time, would at least prefer to work from home 50 percent of the time. In the Survey of Business Uncertainty, by the Atlanta Fed, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, employers predicted that post-pandemic, 27 percent of their full-time employees would continue working from home. Their numbers could fall short depending on how things go.

In any case, workers from home still need to adapt and innovate their experience of being at home— or at least going to a coffee shop from time to time for a change of scenery. One aspect of working from home that is hard to re-create is the collective spirit of working in an office together with other people around. Even though many Americans have criticized office culture and praised working from home, there are still some who miss the collectivism of the office spirit and the aesthetic taste of some office layouts. This came from somewhere, mostly from the shift of traditional office spaces in the 1990s to WeWork’s and co-working spaces in the 2000s that have since transformed what working culture means.  

Working cultures before the pandemic hit

Even if we didn’t have a real physical office to go to before the pandemic, entrepreneurial attitudes were still creating a sort of working world at co-working spaces like WeWork and other cafes where it seemed fashionable to take an afternoon meeting.  

WeWork has been the new edition of co-working spaces that seemingly reinvented how office space is supposed to look and feel like. If you’ve ever had a friend who works at a WeWork, they might not even know how to describe the space to you other than, “Oh, it’s a WeWork”. In any case, WeWork is just a co-working service where tenants can rent office space for different periods of time. But there’s also a certain startup culture that attracts workers to these spaces.  There’s a clever aesthetic—from the organized lobby with leather couches, to the signage on doors and mantles, and also from the varying room sizes that go from a full conference layout to a small pod for one founder of a startup to work at.

WeWork is sort of ingenious because it combines the collective spirit of the modern workforce with the individualism of the “innovator” who needs a nice place to work from. 

Re-creating the co-working space at home

Recreating a WeWork type environment at home is not easy, and for some it's not even possible. This means that workers everywhere, and the ones who might prefer to go back to the office, have to fare with their actual job responsibilities over the aesthetic and collective spirit of co-working environments. For some, this might be a big deal and the isolation that comes with working from home might be a lot to handle.

Thus, the rise and fall of co-working spaces have implications on the workforce because now with the coronavirus pandemic, workers are trying to re-create that same aesthetic appeal, wherever they can. It has also forced some workers to think about what they value more—having a job that they enjoy, or that feeling of collectivism that unites all workers into a building with unlimited coffee and snacks. 

Certainly, there are some distractions with co-working, which is part of its appeal, and going forward workers everywhere will have to make to do with their home offices, the work they are invested in, and not simply the appeal of co-working spaces.

Co-working Space
Work Place
Pandemic
About the author
Michael Robbins -Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.

Related Articles