Consider this; by 2030 coworking in Australia is set to triple with 12% of all commercial office space in Australia being used for flexible working. That prediction from Development Economics would save Aussie workers 56 million hours a year off their commute!
Other studies put the global freelance workforce at more than 30% of all workers by next year.
Australia already ranks 7th in the world for co-working with more than 300 spaces around the country.
There is no doubt we are witnessing a work revolution. The type of jobs and the way we work would have been unimaginable not too long ago. But technology, insecurity in the traditional job market and the entrepreneurial confidence of younger generations have rewritten the rules.
WIFI, skype and cloud software has freed many workers from the shackles of the daily grind.
Others have turned redundancies or unstable employment into an opportunity to regain control, take the leap and escape the rat race. The rise of the gig economy continues to divide opinion as to the benefits and disadvantages to workers but, regardless, it’s not slowing down.
Small businesses are popping up at record rates and it seems nearly everyone has some form of side hustle.
Adding to that, according to recent data collected by invoice2go found almost two in five micro businesses are now operating remotely or on the road. The average adult spends around a third of their life at work. People are still working hard but work is now better worked in with life.
But for many the downside of working for yourself is working by yourself. Loneliness, isolation and lack of motivation can be crippling for people who are used to thriving in the company of others. The majority of people using co-work spaces list community as the number one benefit. Co-work spaces have shifted their focus from facilities and fit-out to people and perks and in doing so set about killing off the home office.
But it’s not all beanbags, ping pong and pizza. Large corporates are rushing to find better solutions to help avoid inflexible leases with expensive fit-outs, reduce operational costs and improve productivity and staff retention rates. Recent studies suggest, managed carefully, companies who give employees the opportunity to work remotely some or all of the time stand to reap the benefits too. Certainly, co-working has experienced a rapid rise but many believe its future depends on the ability of operators to listen and shape their offerings to meet the constantly changing needs of their clients. The workers truly have taken back the power.