Pioneering change and transformation, many entrepreneurs are drawn to the flexibility and creativity found in coworking spaces. True to form, these trailblazers, always seeking the new and improved, are now elevating open work communities into niche spaces—highly specialized environments with amenities tailored to specific industries. This might be a good time, with the start of a new year, to take a look at what’s developing in this world of niche coworking spaces. What we’re about to see is exciting.

Co-Warehousing
According to Optix, “Co-warehousing is the newest coworking trend to take the flexible workspace industry by storm.”  It addresses the small business need for affordable and flexible shared space in which to receive, store, package, and distribute goods. Co-warehousing includes collaboration on a wide variety of logistics solutions: information sharing, technology integration, shared transportation, inventory management, planning, forecasting, and sustainability initiatives.

One of the big drivers of co-warehousing is the growth of e-commerce. Increasingly, those businesses will look to avoid long-term lease obligations and high maintenance, operation, and equipment costs. Furthermore, co-warehousing eliminates the hassle of remodeling, buying furniture, setting up the internet, and setting up utility accounts. As consumers demand more, better, and faster, the collective management of a co-warehouse can dramatically improve supply chains and enhance profits.

Music Hubs
About a year ago, a musician on Reddit expressed the desire for a recording studio combined with a coworking space. He stated, As a musician, I really wish this existed. I feel like there are 103,209 coworking spaces but nothing designed for us. Fast forward to today and, more than likely, he’s found a niche space that meets his needs.

Such a place would include soundproof rehearsal studios, individual workstations, music libraries, instrument workshops for repairs and adjustments, communal areas for jam sessions, and networking/mentoring events that bring together artists, producers, and agents.

Health-Themed Environments: Wellness, Medical, Therapeutic
Physicians, nurse practitioners, massage therapists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, wellness coaches, fitness trainers, medical researchers, medical device sales representatives, and mental health professionals are discovering the benefits of niche co-working. Tailored amenities include exam and procedure rooms, shared equipment, relaxation and reception areas, medical waste disposal services, continuing education resources, scheduling and billing support, health and wellness events, and ready access to fellow problem-solvers.

Well-being co-working spaces allow practitioners to scale their practices and reduce costs while also providing their clients with convenient locations, community engagement, holistic approaches, and more welcoming environments.

Makerspaces
Here you’ll find dynamic spaces for builders, inventors, students, artists, and hobbyists who develop hands-on creations. Shared tools could include 3D printers, woodworking and metalworking equipment, soldering stations, textile machinery, workbenches, leather punches, and laser-cutting machines; so many of these would be expensive or impractical for individual ownership.

There are a number of advantages to these creative co-working hubs, starting with environments that promote new-skill acquisition and are conducive to prototyping and product development. Think tanks that encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration, workshops and seminars, labs for idea generation and experimentation, and a DIY culture are additional benefits to makerspaces. Furthermore, another extremely important element of hackerspaces [makerspaces] is their lifelong-learning mindset.

Legal Professionals
Starting a practice is expensive, no matter the profession. So, hanging up your attorney-at-law shingle within a coworking space might be a good solution. Not only is the rent and overhead more manageable, but you’ll also have substantially more credibility with clients and benefit from a collaborative work environment where you can grow alongside your peers.

Specialized amenities include legal research databases, private meeting rooms, law library, secure document storage, copying and shredding services, mutual referral programs, and administrative staff. For more, see, “8 Benefits of Shared Office Space for Lawyers.”

Esports and Gaming Coworking Center
These environments cater to the unique needs of game developers, who often require flexible setups to accommodate different stages of the development process. Specialized amenities, can be found in these coworking spaces—gaming stations and lounges, streaming booths, tournament areas, consoles and accessories, Virtual Reality (VR) spaces, ergonomic gaming chairs, and studios for podcasting, photography, and production.

Like other niche coworking spaces, these gaming centers provide like-minded individuals with the opportunity to network with each other, develop skills and professional opportunities, and participate in events and competitions that foster creativity, innovation, and troubleshooting.

As one can see from the examples up above, the future of niche communities is limited only by the imagination of coworking providers and their members. And there are so many more spaces to discover, such as coworking and child care/private members’ clubs/tech start-ups/film industry/ and science. Each field builds its own unique synergy due to shared passions and purpose. It’s exciting to contemplate the growth and success of one’s own business within a niche environment.