going to work where you can come and go as you please, choose to
associate with clients and colleagues whom you like, and have a
comfortable but high-tech work space to work in without all the hassles
of office politics and extra overhead.
Thanks to the convergence of global connectivity, mobility, mass
layoffs, outsourcing, freelancing, and a cross-generational preference
for work flexibility, a variety of businesses like cafes, restaurants,
and the public library have been transformed into temporary office and
meeting space for millions of home-based business owners and
According to the U.S. Office of Advocacy, there were 29.6 million
businesses in the United States in 2008. Small business represents
99.7% of them. And more than 52% of these small businesses are
home-based. That’s a lot of people without a formal office.
But as anyone who has ever worked from home knows, you can go
stir-crazy working alone as well as get easily distracted by kids, pets
and spouses — not to mention running to the door every time a car door
slams, hoping you might have a visitor.
That’s why coworking places like New Work City are
popping up everywhere. They offer rented office space for nominal fees
where independent or traveling workers can drop in, hook up, and work
away — with other like people.
Need a space to meet a client but want more privacy than the local
Starbucks? No problem — many coworking sites include conference and
meeting rooms, all included with your rent. Prefer to work alone but
like the idea of having other people nearby? Well, if you live near
East Grand Rapids, Mich, pull up a cozy chair to tap away on your
laptop next to a fireplace for as little as $100 a month.
Coworking, telecommuting, freelancing isn’t for everyone.
Neverthless, it’s becoming increasingly popular with many Baby Boomers,
Gen Xers, and Gen Yers seeking employment and enjoying the flexibility
and independence of working from home. The centralized
Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 workplace is about as dead as the rotary dial
This shift in work space is by no means settled. Expect more and
more Baby Boomers to accept offers to continue working if they can do
it from home. Expect many Gen X and Gen Y to insist on working
remotely, due to personal preferences or an unwillingness to relocate.
Money may no longer buy the best talent — flexibility might!
These changes will alter the way office space is utilized and
designed, how employees and projects are managed, how space is bought,
rented and leased. Whether you’re in real estate, management or
business services like insurance, the workplace has changed for
forever. Welcome to the New Work City!