Are Collaborative Programs The Future of Coworking?
The number of coworking spaces is steadily increasing worldwide. It’s no surprise either - not only do coworking professionals report increased creativity and production, but research has found that anywhere from a third to a half of new workers are mobile (or will be soon).
Now, we’ve previously discussed the influx of freelance and contracted workers reshaping these collaborative spaces. However, in this world of the mobile entrepreneur, the question now is simple: How does coworking evolve? What’s the future of the collaborative space?
Luckily, we don’t have look to far for the answers. Or, at the very least, the possibilities. There are several coworking spaces around the globe that are pushing the envelope by offering innovative group coworking plans.
Take for example the first coworking comprehensive insurance plan. The program, which is available to members of Coworking Ontario, is called the Coworking Health Insurance Plan (COHIP) and offers members customizable health options for health, dental, disability, travel, and term life insurance. In addition, the plan provides members with discounts on health services, fitness centers, and spas. Though this type of coworking options has (as of yet) failed to gain significant traction within the global community, it presents a practical solution for the inflated prices of health benefits that independent workers face.
Another major facing threat to the modern coworking space is retainment. There’s little incentive for someone who travels a lot to pay monthly rates for an empty office space or desk. Yet, there’s hope for that, too. And it comes in the form of a coworking program called the “coworking passport”. The coworking passport allows members of a passport space to cowork (free of charge) at several different locations within a state or region. Versions of this coworking program have already sprouted up in places like Florida, Indiana, and Colorado and are spreading like wildfire. This creative solution not only gives mobile workers the ability to avoid crowded coffee shops, but also allows them to sustain a collaborative and connected working space while traveling without having to pay daily drop-in rates.
It’s the hope that by offering more comprehensive and flexible plans like the ones above, coworking spaces will not only retain independent workers, but also attract entrepreneurs and professionals hesitant to leave the comfort and security of a big company. And who knows, at this rate perhaps coworking will become the new standard of work!
What do you think the future of coworking looks like?