Collaborative, entrepreneurial, diverse, adaptive, and networked—these are some key descriptors for occupants of coworking spaces. The shared office environments that coalesce out of their individual and collective efforts are dynamic. They’re hubs of creativity, innovation, and engagement. Fortunately, all of that synergy doesn’t stay confined to specific buildings or complexes; it flows into and invigorates the surrounding neighborhoods. Let’s explore how that happens.

Flexibility and Affordability Are Draws
Coworking spaces provide entrepreneurs and early-stage companies affordable alternatives in which to grow their businesses. It’s all dependent upon the provider, of course, but here’s what could be offered: flexible membership plans, cost sharing, all-inclusive pricing, access to premium facilities, short-term commitments, prime locations, scalability, and reduced administrative burden. Such spaces become magnets for entrepreneurs, who, in turn, patronize local restaurants and coffee shops, gyms, office supply and print shops, technology repair services, event venues, professional services, child care, delivery services, caterers, etc.

Increased foot traffic leads to increased revenue for local merchants, a key contributor to a community’s economic health.

Collaboration Heightens Community Feel
Coworking members are known to be great collaborators. They’re comfortable seeking out the best and brightest for new ideas, projects, and problem-solving. That could be on-site, across the street, or down the block. By partnering with area businesses, coworking spaces bridge gaps between their members and residents. This, in turn, fosters a sense of unity and inclusion. The greater the connectedness, the more the trust, the bigger the rewards.

Shared work spaces also initiate and participate in community-centric projects, such as collaborations with local non-profit organizations, schools, and/or government agencies that address community needs. This is another way that the bond between the hubs and their surrounding areas are strengthened.

Commitment to Environment Shows With Sustainability Practices
Increasingly, coworking spaces are focusing on sustainability with shared resources, waste reduction and recycling, eco-friendly building materials, and energy efficiency. Sustainable practices such as these are often visible in the daily operations of the coworking space, including recycling bins, energy-efficient lighting, and signage promoting eco-friendly practices. Some coworking spaces now have gardens and green places, encourage sustainable transportation such as electric vehicles and bikes, and have an “everything off at night” policy (unused electronics are turned off).

The community can see these efforts in action and appreciates the help in achieving local government environmental goals and the contributions to the local economy.

Talent Attraction and Retention Is Key To Vibrant Communities
Progressive, leading-edge work options appeal to a wide variety of professionals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs which is crucial for the long-term vitality of a community. As these individuals and businesses succeed, they spend money in the community, pay taxes, hire employees, and buy homes, all of which leads to job creation and increased economic activity.

People who use coworking spaces tend to be highly networked. Actively engaging with others to expand their professional connections and opportunities, they’re no strangers to hosting special events, workshops, seminars, charitable initiatives, etc. This attribute also leads to more workforce acquisition and heightened economic development.

Local Culture and Identity Is Promoted
Many coworking hubs collaborate with local businesses and enterprises that are developing their own unique niche within the area. From the community, for example, coworking operators pull speakers and educators, offer cultural programming, host art exhibitions showcasing regional talent, partner with neighborhood restaurants and cafes, feature locally crafted products and merchandise, and promote heritage festivities. These initiatives preserve and celebrate local traditions while strengthening the area’s economy and identity.

By supporting neighboring businesses, creating jobs, initiating green policies, attracting talent, and promoting local culture, coworking spaces play integral parts in their communities. As these spaces integrate more and more into their surrounding urban areas—even smaller cities and towns are expected to experience a surge in coworking—they’ll continue to uplift economies, encourage investment, and enhance the community’s sense of belonging.

Also See:
The Impact Of Coworking Spaces On Local Communities & Economies
Coworking spaces as talent hubs: The imperative for community building in the changing context of new work
Why are coworking spaces the beating heart of your local economy?