Co-working Options Showed Major Expansion in 2010


The number of co-working spaces has continued to grow in popularity during the last year. According to a recent report, the number of co-working facilities almost doubled in 2010, and there are now over 650 such locations worldwide. The statistics come from a study by Deskwanted, an online marketplace for co-working desk space.

The report’s authors expect the number of co-working spaces to increase by another 50 percent by the end of 2011. They trace this popularity to the increase in freelance workers brought about by the economic downturn of 2008, and the increased number of small start-up entrepreneurs, particularly in technology and online industries.

We’ve written previously about the growing network of independent café-like collaboration spaces for freelance professionals. The trend began in 2005, and co-working spaces are now available throughout the U.S., the UK and Europe. Facilities have also been opened in South America, Australia and Asia.

As Simon discussed recently, costs for a dedicated desk at a co-working space can be pricey. But one can opt for a “hotdesking” arrangement where desks are shared. And while some of the commenters to his piece recommended hotels, libraries and other public spaces as alternatives, there’s obviously a market for professional workspaces that cater to independent professionals.

Do you use a coworking space? Would you, if there was one in your area?

Photo courtesy Flickr user hyku.

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Coworking is such an interesting topic, I only wish there was more outreach and incentives available for students who wish to start a company before graduating. Imagine if these spaces were not just for the seasoned entrepreneur looking for a more formal support, but a place where students looking to venture into these ideas could go at it!


I worked in such a space 6 years ago here in the SF Bay Area. It worked pretty well. It is interesting, as you can sometimes have a couple different cultures in one office, which can be good or bad. Like adding employees, there needs to be a culture fit between the two companies. Surely, you relinquish some of that input with the other company’s personnel decisions. It is also probably best to lease a space with more than one conference room!


Coworking is growing very fast here in San Francisco too. Our pariSoma Innovation Loft is moving into new larger offices to keep up with the ever-growing demand. Desks and offices are selling out even before we move there. It is great to see such a vibrant community getting larger and richer over time.
We accomodate both kinds of coworkers, freelancers working together in the open space or startup teams using private offices, for added privacy.
Check out our new space!

Karin Vonk

The way we work is changing fast. There is no way back to the ‘safe’ employment agreement, showing up 9-5, commuting to a huge building with cubicles. Recession or no recession, more and more people prefer to work independently. The work force is replacing job security by income security. That’s why co-working and co-working places are here to stay and is the new norm.
The new way to work requires new ways of handling benefits, insurance, taxes, IT infrastructure, all formerly provided by the J-O-B.
That is also here to stay.
My company provides 1-stop, turnkey back office support for independent professionals. We handle day to day admin hassles, taxes, billing, IT, even healthcare and 401k for solo’s, personally owned and permanently tied to THE individual.
You got the space, we got your back, all you need to do is love to work and focus on your clients!

Cadu de Castro Alves

I’m a coworking space owner located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, called BeesOffice Espaço de Coworking.

In our country, the number of spaces in 2010 was 400% higher compared to the same period in the 2009. Coworking was chosen in a recent article as a trend and are planned to be opened at least 10 new coworking spaces here, which will almost duplicate the number of spaces available.

Julie Clark

I think 2011 will also be a year in which the global coworking community will internally develop technology and management tools that will assist the startup and management of the coworking businss model. It is inspiring to watch this community support each other on a global scale. Congrats to all space owners for creating a much needed resource for freelancers, startups and entrepreneurs.

Coworking is not the ideal environment for all types of businesses, particularly those that require privacy or are on the phone a lot. There has also been a huge increase in available business to business shared office space for rent that is a great option for those that are not the right match for coworking spaces, but are still in need of affordable office space and the potential for collaboration. Check out for available B2B shared office space options in your city.

Julie Clark

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