We have been researching “the future of work” for some years now. It started as a trickle and now it has become a flood. Coworking is now midstream.
Google Trends is an online search tool that allows the user to see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time. Google Trends works by analysing a portion of Google searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms entered, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over the same time. Although the data provided by Google Trends is updated daily,Google includes a disclaimer that the data Trends produces “may contain inaccuracies for a number of reasons, including data sampling issues and a variety of approximations that are used to compute results.” Looking at the sample data and trending searches for terms Coworking and related reveals that the trends that we have been watching are a reality.
According to a recent article in Bloomberg, “Workers of a certain age may recall that long ago, people once divided their waking hours into two parts: work and life. At quitting time, Fred Flintstone would slide down the tail of his dinosaur with a “Yabba dabba doo!”
That was before technology put the office on vibrate inside everyone’s pocket, and before economic upheaval decoupled work from the security of a full-time job. Today, an estimated one-third of the labor market is made up of “contingent” workers—freelancers, contractors, and the self-employed. When the job is no longer 9-to-5, it’s hard to keep a work-life balance. Now, though, there’s a place where the age-old divide can seem irrelevant, where toil and fun blend together beneath neon signs that say things such as “Embrace the Hustle.” Where there’s always a free keg of beer at the self-serve bar, with a tap that says: WeWork. At a basic level, WeWork is a company that sublets office space, taking care of many of the time-consuming hassles involved in self-employment. That’s not the factor, though, that has captured the fancy of venture capital investors, who have pushed the five-year-old company’s valuation to a giddy $10 billion.
Coworking has cast itself as a new kind of workplace for the post- recession labor force and a generation that has never known a cubicle. It aspires to make your job a place you never want to quit”. And, the search of related queries for Coworking has now hit the “breakout” level.
The future of work has arrived.