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The History and Future of Coworking

While it hasn’t been around for a very long time, its growth and prominence are undeniable. With almost 20,000 spaces around the world, coworking has grown from a small venture into a global business. The concept has been popular among remote workers, startup owners, and freelancers for quite some time, but today’s coworking spaces are home to people from all professions and walks of life. Here, we’ll discuss the earliest days of the coworking movement, along with some predictions for its future.

How It Began

Brad Neuberg, a software engineer, is given credit for opening the first coworking space. As evidenced by the commonality of coworking spaces, that small effort changed the way the world works. The San Francisco Coworking Space first opened on August 9, 2005, inside the Spiral Muse feminist collective. Neuberg’s goal was to give independent workers a place to come together, create, and collaborate.

While the self-employed can set their own hours and work their own schedules, it’s all too common for them to feel isolated—and that isolation may lead to the formation of bad habits. Working in a conventional office provides a sense of structure and community, but it leaves employees without the control they need. Neuberg wasn’t fond of the modern workplace’s inflexible routines and strict rules, and he wanted to give workers a choice other than working for themselves or someone else.

Neuberg’s concept proved to be extremely popular, and within just a year, he’d outgrown the space at the Spiral Muse. The San Francisco Coworking Space moved to the Hat Factory, becoming one of only 30 coworking spaces in existence at the time.

How Coworking Has Changed

From its humble beginnings, coworking has become one of the work world’s hottest trends. In 2020, the pandemic forced millions into work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, and people everywhere are still working remotely. With WFH and flexible arrangements becoming more popular, we’re excited to see and participate in the growth of coworking. Below, we offer some of our predictions for the future of shared workspaces.

Greater Flexibility and More Choices for Workers

In the not-so-distant past, most coworking spaces were found in or near major cities. However, as demand grows, we’re expecting to see more places popping up in rural areas. As coworking becomes more common in small towns, people will gain the flexibility needed to choose a work location that fits their lifestyle.

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a place to get things done without WFH distractions, or the owner of a startup, coworking ensures that you only pay for as much space as you need. These flexible spaces don’t require long-term, costly leases, and it’s easy to scale up or down as your needs change. With built-in amenities like printing, mail reception, conference rooms, and high-speed internet, small business owners can reduce costs and free up more resources to fuel future growth.

A Greater Focus on Health and Wellness

As people become more aware of the importance of good health, we’ll likely see an increased incorporation of health and wellness offerings into the coworking environment. From on-site gyms and yoga classes to standing desks and healthier food options, the coworking spaces of tomorrow will be more health-centric.

According to a 2018 survey, almost 90 percent of those using coworking spaces reported feeling happier, while over 80% said they weren’t as lonely. Working in shared spaces allows employees to emphasize their well-being by making healthier choices, and the amenities mentioned above make it easier for them to do so. With the right coworking arrangement, anyone can improve their health and work-life balance.

Easier Collaboration

A primary advantage of coworking is the collaborative opportunities it creates. As these spaces grow in popularity, we expect to see even more collaboration within and across locations. With closer collaboration, companies create productive, welcoming, and inclusive cultures while giving employees the time and ability to interact socially.

Coworking spaces are unique in that they allow individuals from various occupations to work side by side, forming lasting connections that would be nearly impossible to duplicate in a conventional office. In most cases, shared spaces offer tremendous networking opportunities, which can help business owners find new partnerships, recruit new clients, and get input from like-minded people.

Global Connections

As technology advances, it’s becoming easier to connect with others from around the world. Modern coworking spaces facilitate these new connections, as they allow team members to work with people from different backgrounds, socioeconomic classes, and cultures.

Diversity and Openness

Another great thing about coworking is that it’s accessible to everyone, regardless of their profession or work history. With the growth of the coworking movement, we’ll see even more diversity in these spaces as new approaches and perspectives are introduced.


As the world looks for ways to reduce its carbon footprint, we will see more coworking spaces focusing on sustainability. These initiatives may include the use of recycled materials, investments in renewable energy sources, and secure bike storage areas for nearby commuters.


The coworking movement has an important goal: to make work accessible to all, regardless of their background or ability. In the next few years, we’ll see coworking spaces designed with an emphasis on accessibility, with features like sensory-friendly rooms and improved wheelchair access.

Why People Are Turning to Coworking Spaces

A person searching for the perfect work environment is likely looking for a couple of things: amenities and people with which to enjoy them. Inside today’s coworking venues, you’ll find desks, monitors, meeting rooms, and other office accoutrements, but you’ll also see coffee machines, comfortable chairs, and open spaces.

While the features of coworking spaces make them popular, it’s the spirit of collaboration and community that’s the main draw. Today’s workers are moving into shared spaces for various reasons, with cost, convenience, and flexibility being the primary motivators. Getting things done when working from home can sometimes be difficult, but those immersed in the can-do world of coworking often find their productivity increasing. When businesses focus on openness, collaboration, and cooperation, their results naturally improve—and that’s a development we can all get behind.

If you’re exploring investment opportunities and want to take advantage of an exciting option, take the time now to discover everything SUCCESS® Space has to offer.

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