What comes to mind when you think about coworking? For many, the idea of a co-working space inspires visions of skinny jean-clad bloggers with asymmetrical haircuts, sipping coffee and typing away on lighter-than-air laptops. However, the coworking trend is gaining traction in a variety of industries, demonstrating that it can benefit more than just freelance writers and that it’s completely transforming the way we think about work.
Coworking in the food industry
The culinary world is smashing traditional concepts of coworking by designing spaces equipped with kitchens that allow food startups, freelance recipe developers, and chefs to test out their ideas. No longer is coworking limited to an office-like atmosphere–stovetops, ovens, and countertops are the new desks and laptops. These appliances and types of equipment would typically be inaccessible or astronomically expensive for many up-and-coming foodies, but food coworking spaces allow them to get their projects off the ground with less funding. And the collaborative benefits of coworking are just as prominent in the food space as they are for freelance writers or tech developers: cooking alongside like-minded food entrepreneurs and getting to know others in their field helps individuals to network and establish themselves within the industry.
Biotech gets in on the co-working trend
Even outside of the food world, many coworking professionals are looking for more than just office space for rent. In the case of the biotech industry, scientists have started creating fully functioning laboratory co-working spaces. The NYU Langone Medical Center and shared lab space provider Biolabs have recently come together to open a large co-working space complete with both labs and offices for biotech startups and scientists. The goal of this space is not only to provide scientists with the material resources they need for research and technological breakthroughs but also to foster educational programmes and networking opportunities for the larger biotech community.
Large corporations give coworking a try
Creative office space is no longer limited to people in strictly ‘creative’ professions. Many big-name companies are turning to coworking spaces and nontraditional work environments to increase wellbeing and productivity among their employees – and co-working spaces are, in turn, catering to both startups and larger businesses. Business clubs such as The Brew in London provide more traditional, café-style co-working spaces while also offering stylish studios and workspaces to established businesses looking for a creative alternative to typical offices. This setup places big businesses side-by-side with up-and-coming entrepreneurs and startups for an exciting mix of ideas and working styles. Spaces like these allow big companies to explore how the freedom of coworking can benefit their employees.
Coworking breaks the mold of traditional offices by embracing personal connections, collaboration, and inspiration, and more and more businesses are realizing that its flexibility can be translated into a variety of industries and settings. Its growing popularity makes it evident that this working style is here to stay – for scientists, tech developers, foodies, high-profile business people and everyone in between.
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