Coworking and collaboration were undoubtedly the buzzwords of 2013. So it wouldn't be too presumptuous to say that coworking has already gone mainstream.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest so. DeskMag is constantly churning out impressive figures charting the rise of coworking. In March last year, the publication announced that coworking was growing at a rate of 4.5 new spaces and 245 new members every working day.
Global organisations such as Google, Vodafone, P&G and Accenture have embraced the concept. Associations geared to support the coworking movement are springing up across the globe, such as Italy's CowoProject, CoworkingCroatia, and coworking associations in the UK and US.
And major worldwide news channels such as Reuters, Forbes, the BBC and the Wall Street Journal frequently report on the fast-paced evolution of coworking. After all, you know you've 'made it' when you become a regular on Reuters.
Closer to home, here are 3 more reasons why coworking has gone mainstream:
1. Coworking Officially Recognised by the EU
On 4th December 2013, coworking was officially recognised by the European Union. The European Parliament hosted a conference discussing the role of coworking in EU economic growth, and how the concept can fuel the sharing economy by creating a more social, productive and beneficial work environment for creative startups and entrepreneurs.
This video shows Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the EU Commission, making the case for coworking as a key component in a stronger future for the EU. As Ms Kroes puts it, with the help of coworking, "we can deliver a European dream":
2. "This is the industrial revolution of our time"
This video by MSNBC, shared by Ray Lindenberg, stokes the coworking fire and brings yet more examples of collaborative workspace to the fore.
Watch and listen carefully. We know that the wider workspace movement is undergoing a seismic cultural shift - and one quote that jumps out is this: "We're standing on the brink of the largest shift in workplace dynamics that we've seen in 100 years."
This video doesn't tell the workspace community anything new; rather, it shines the spotlight on coworking for the benefit of 'outsiders', and those who aren't familiar with the concept. How does MSNBC sum it up? With the memorable line: "This is the industrial revolution of our time."
3. More Business Centres Take On Collaborative Workspace
In 2012 and 2013, the BCA reported on scores of business centres that have introduced or expanded collaborative workspaces. While serviced offices remain the core element of the flexible workspace industry, many operators are reacting to demand for yet greater flexibility - and the need for a more social, stimulating environment - by offering collaborative workspace in many different forms.
From coworking spaces and hot-desks to business lounges, project rooms and communal hubs, the industry is alive with a diverse and enriching range of shared space. These spaces each encourage creative spirit in their own unique way; from the friendly, coworker-run vibe of Newcastle Business Village and the upmarket appeal of Avanta's new shared workspace range, to the dedicated and community-focused coworking spaces operated by Club Workspace.
Another example is Bizspace, which launched its own collaborative workspace initiative in 2013, The Work Lounge. Following the successful launch of its first location i