Co-Working Has Become Increasingly Niche as the Market Matures

It’s 2019, and co-working is as big as ever, projected to double in membership from just 2 years ago by 2022 based on recent statistics. As the concept of working with strangers continues to gain traction, the idea of segmenting co-workers by industry or common interests have really taken hold in 2019, and for good reasons.

Do you identify as a female professional? There’s a co-working space that caters to your demands. Are you a tech startup owner? Yep, there’s one for you too. What if you’re in the “delicate” cannabis business? You guessed it, there are co-working spaces where you can connect with other cannabis operators to get help and share strategies on navigating your business.

Called niche co-working, the following are some of the market segments in 2019 where niche co-working have really established themselves as better models for working together compared to traditional flexible workspaces.

Co-Working for Cannabis

For entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry, the list of challenges they encounter when trying to raise awareness and recognition is pretty long. With the highly restrictive and often confusing laws, not many cannapreneurs live to tell the tale of being successful.

Fortunately, co-working providers have recently begun creating spaces customized for cannabis activists. These shared workspaces have helped them to create a conducive environment for educating, marketing and encouraging the growth of cannabis.

A case in point is Gateway Works, a co-working space based in California. You can join the Gateway community of cannabis fiends by choosing one of their two plans: Flexible co-working or Dedicated Desk.

With Flexible co-working, you pay $250 per month. In return, you’re given a unique space with high-speed internet, access to conference rooms, meeting room with projector, Gateway partner deals as well as discounted events and coaching. You’re also free to work at any open desk or table.

The Dedicated Desk plan costs $350, and it covers everything in the basic plan. You also get extras such as a designated desk, lockable personal storage and complimentary office hours with Ben & Carter.

Co-working for Women

Much as we’d like to believe that there’s gender equality in the workplace, we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that men in many corporate environments currently do have an upper hand. This is particularly true for women working in male-dominated industries. Enter female-only co-working spaces.

These are shared spaces that are solely devoted to addressing the needs of female professionals. With such a female-oriented work environment, they are able to speak up, share tales about their failures and successes as well as collaborate.

A good example of such a co-working space is the Riveter. This co-working provider has locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas and Minneapolis. When you become a member of their co-working community, you can enjoy perks such as round-the-clock access to any of their spaces, mothers’ rooms, conference rooms, private phone booths, fast Internet and more.

Co-working and Wellness

It is no secret that integrating health and wellness programs in the workplace benefit both the employees and employer. Based on this study cited in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, companies with wellness programs save an annual amount of up to $353 per employee in recouped productivity.

As such, wellness-oriented co-working spaces are becoming an attractive choice for more and more workers. Apart from providing a place to work, these shared workspaces also provide fitness perks, meditation classes and even in-house physicians.

Take the example of co-working with Wisdom, a flexible workspace that doubles up as an all-rounded fitness centre. In addition to a conducive work setting, you can attend their meditation classes, stress-relief classes and yoga.

co-working with Wisdom, which is based in Berkeley, California, offers three main plans: The Open Desk costs $375 per month, Dedicated Desk goes for $465 per month while Office costs $1300 per month.

Co-working for Legal Professionals

Whether you’re an attorney fresh out of law school or breaking off from a big law firm to launch your own practice, there’s one key factor you have to consider: the best location to set up shop.

Luckily, there are co-working spaces that can provide all the resources you need to get your practice off the ground. We’re referring to flexible workspaces for lawyers. These are affordable and fully functioning office spaces designed with legal professionals in mind.

Law Firm Suites, which is based in New York, is an excellent option for a shared workspace for lawyers.

Apart from having a place to work from, this co-working space gives you an opportunity to seek help from pros. Let’s say you have a case that involves legal work outside of your expertise. You can consult your fellow coworkers and request them to co-counsel on the case.

Become a member of the legal co-working community at Law Firm Suites by choosing one of their two plans. Though the costs of these plans will vary depending on the location, the average monthly price for the Floating Deskspace is $250 and $300 for the Dedicated Deskspace plans.

Co-working for Dog Devotees

Dog-friendly shared working spaces are another concept that’s becoming very popular. Instead of leaving your furry friend at home all day long, you can now bring them with you to become a part of the co-working community.

The benefits of keeping dogs in workspaces extend to other members as well. Numerous studies have shown that dogs not only boost one’s happiness but also reduce risk of stress.

If you want to bring your pup to your co-working space, check out East Side Collective located in Austin, TX. This place is home to designers, builders, artists, developers and anyone else who likes to take their dog to work.

To enjoy their services, sign up for one of their three membership plans: Day Pass, Non-Dedicated and Dedicated. If you’re in town for only a few days, Day Pass that costs $25 a day is the best option.

Alternatively, you could pay for the non-dedicated and dedicated plans that cost $250 and $500 respectively.

Green Co-working

By their nature, flexible workspaces contribute to environmental sustainability since they’re founded on the principle of sharing resources, space and supplies.

For the eco-conscious workers, there are tons of green co-working spaces to pick from. One such establishment is Green Spaces, which has its headquarters in Denver Colorado.

Devoted to encouraging sustainability, this firm provides green amenities ranging from reclaimed wood planter boxes to an organic garden with outdoor setting. You will also find car-sharing hub and bikes. Plus, the entire co-working space is powered using solar energy.

Co-working for Tech Startups

Startups in the IT industry have unique needs for flexible workspaces. For instance, they need spacious rooms to create and test their prototypes, devices such as 3D printers, lasers and more.

To address these demands, some providers have created co-working spaces specifically for tech startups. Galvanize, which now has 9 locations throughout the U.S., is a great example of such a co-working space provider.  

With over 700 tech companies already members, and partnership with industry leaders like IBM, and Amazon Web Services, you have everything you need to scale your IT business.

Finding Your Niche

As the market for co-working spaces start to mature, especially in North America and Europe, the next frontier is clearly about catering to people based on shared interests or professions.

For people in select industries that may find it hard on their own to network with people in their space, niche co-working not only provides a place to easily consult with and get help from peers on their businesses, but also to potentially work together to the benefit of all parties.

Similarly, people who are extremely passionate about certain issues or a type of lifestyle will likely gravitate towards a niche type of co-working where everyone around them share the same ideals. Dog lovers or environmentalists where their passion is an integral part of their lives are two good examples.

Looking ahead, while I don’t see the traditional model of co-working going anywhere, it’s clear that in certain market segments, niche is the wave of the future.

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