Alkaloid was started when I wanted to work in a unique, historic building near my home while having the benefits of urban commuting. Little did I realize that the space I valued would quickly grow into a coworking community that others also appreciated and enjoyed. My humble beginnings of 4,000 sq ft and 20 members has resulted in three expansions with now over 100 members in under three years.
How did we get to where we are today and where are we going from here?
In 2017, coworking experienced the largest growth ever and saw all-time highs in the numbers of spaces opened not to mention the tremendous increase in the number of members worldwide. As the industry grows, with an estimated 25 new spaces in Atlanta in 2017, here are some major coworking trends to look for in 2018.
According to the Intuit 2020 Report, in 2020 more than 40% of the American workforce will be independent workers; freelancers, contractors and temporary employees. If this statistic becomes reality, the demand for coworking will continue to rise. It is estimated that there could be 5,500 coworking spaces in the US by 2020. Alkaloid itself has grown in size more than 30% in the past three years. We started with just 20 members in April of 2015 and have become a thriving community with well over 100 members.
Wellness of mind and body will see more value being placed upon coworkers. Many Alkaloids come here to find more positivity of having a community around them. When you add the current member offerings of Alkaloids such as chiropractic, psychotherapy, speech therapy and access to group physical activity, you have the recipe for improved health. Having the Beltline right outside our back door to improve our daily commute doesn’t hurt either.
Independent coworking spaces like Alkaloid, tend to gear toward small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs. However, more large companies have started to realize the value of having remote workers join a coworking community. Larger companies benefit from being able to broaden their labor pool options thereby allowing them to tap into talent from all over the globe. And more and more companies are including a coworking membership allowance with employment benefits.
Cowork In Unexpected Places
In the not so distant past, offices and coworking spaces were relegated to typical commercial office spaces; think Buckhead, the Perimeter, etc. No longer. Coworking spaces being housed in underutilized and sometimes abandoned properties are becoming more commonplace. Alkaloid is a prime example of this trend; a 130 year mill, recently used as residential space, is now taking advantage of Atlanta’s urban renewal and alternative transportation hastened by the Atlanta Beltline.
Technology is not a new trend but with improvements in keyless door access, remote security, conference room booking, remote temperature control, etc., we are seeing easier and more efficient usage of coworking spaces. Additionally, remote coworkers are taking advantage of internal communication tools such as Slack and video conferencing to stay connected to clients and coworkers.
With growth in coworking expected to continue at a rapid pace, taking advantage of advancements in technology will be important. However, at the end of the day, creating community will be the element of coworking that members will find to be the highest value. The benefits of coworking in making members more motivated and successful will continue to be Alkaloid’s number one mission and our key to positive growth for our members in the coming years.
Join the friendliest coworking space on the Atlanta Beltline today!