Why Is the High-Rise Dying but Coworking Flourishing?
2020 showed us many things and one of the ways, the office high-rise is pretty much dying. It’s causing mass panic among investors and although they might be hoping for a comeback in the near future, the sad news is, there won’t be any such comeback.
The normal working space as we once knew it is gone. The pandemic has shown us all that working in cramped conditions is not always the best thing for our employees. Come to think of it, the office can sometimes feel like a trap that can cause mental health problems too. So why is coworking still continuing to grow if the office building is not? Let’s dive deeper into this puzzle.
The Charm Has Worn Off
The appeal of working in a corporate high-rise building was very alluring once upon a time. Just recently, many entrepreneurs and small business owners would have jumped at the chance of working in a building that has major players inside it, owning their own floors. It’s a source of inspiration and pride to know that maybe Apple has a few floors above you where your business is situated. However, this has worn away and the charm is but a distant memory. Why?
Well, lately, the pandemic has really brought a dampener onto these workspaces. In-office buildings, there’s no way to get out of the place without needing to cram into an elevator. The windows can’t usually be opened as the floors are regulated by HVAC units alone. The space feels crowded, old, and very constrained.
Natural Working Areas
The world’s psychologists and office design experts have all asked, what is the ideal working area? Well, according to the best coworking space that the market can offer, it’s natural! Conversions of old pubs, homes and or restaurants, to offer a more natural space to professionals, seems to be why coworking is continuing to grow. The spaces are situated in parts of a neighborhood, in the city, or in a town. They aren’t always located in the heart of a busy city where there is constant noise and clutter. They are local! Localization is so important to coworking spaces as not everyone can or wants to get a ride into a city center anymore; especially with the pandemic on.
Office High-Rises Amenities
Remember how office high-rises used to boast about their internal amenities? Yeah, that seems to be a detriment now. As most people will continue to work at home even after the pandemic, the floors that were dedicated to gyms, restaurants and even swimming pools will now be wasted. You can bet that fewer businesses will be clambering to get their own corner office or floor in a high-rise, so you have a dilemma. High-rises will need to use up as much space as possible, for clients to work, not to work up a sweat! So, now you need to rapidly convert these floors back into actual working space. This will cost time and money and will also change the culture of high-rise office design.
So, Coworking Is Special?
Many of you will be thinking, coworking in high-rises is not going to go away and so, why on earth are we comparing the two? Yes, you are right, it won’t go away. The key difference is, corporations are not doing or expecting what coworking spaces are offering. As mentioned, these coworking spaces are local, usually in converted properties. They offer clients a lot more flexibility and more of a natural feeling.
However, coworking is also doing something else that high-rise office buildings are not. Coworking is offering floors or niche ones for different types of businesses. You could have in just one building, one floor for design companies, 2 floors for marketing companies and 2 for risk management firms, etc. This allows for industries to compete against each other in real-time! The cultures shift rapidly, as does the thinking, designing, and approach to the unique sector or industry problems. Expect to see more collaboration between small businesses in the same industry in coworking spaces. This might mean sooner mergers or perhaps, products and campaigns that gain momentum because of two or more companies working together to take on a large corporation.
Unlike high-rise office buildings, coworking is evolving. This is quite alarming for high-rise building owners and investors but it seems inevitable at this stage. Thankfully coworking is showing great signs of promise for the future.