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Co-work Spaces: Building for the Next Workforce

As the workforce shifts and employees across the nation continue to search for more flexible and collaborative work spaces, co-working is becoming the more popular choice among large corporations, millennials and freelancers. In 2018, Industrious, a New York-based office space company, opened its 35th co-working space in Old Town Scottsdale, with a focus to reach the next generation of the workforce and support business in Arizona to provide unique benefits to their employees. 

What is a Co-Working Space?
Coworker, an online publication, defines co-working spaces as “not just about the sharing of infrastructure and cost, it is about belonging to a community, accessibility and sustainability. Co-working is the new way of working and sharing. Co-working spaces are designed to provide a productive and collaborate environment for their dynamic inhabitants, and created without corporate constraints on what is perceived to be an “office” environment offering flexible memberships to suit most needs.”

“Although co-working spaces have been around for a while, the objective has recently become a larger trend, moving from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ in the workplace among millennials. As the generation continues to enter the professional workforce, they are shifting the demand for employers to provide a welcoming, collaborative space where they can network, work remotely and socialize. The co-work spaces provide a solution for many employers to attract top talent and create an integrated experience, all while not paying the price and fully committing to a long-term lease,” according to Forbes.

Freelancers and Start Ups
In addition, entrepreneurs, freelancers and start-up companies are trending towards this environment as well. According to The Street, “research completed by the Freelancer's Union states, more than one-in-three U.S. workers do some form of freelance work, earning more than $1 trillion per year. By 2027, it will be more than half of the workers in the country.” Co-working spaces help foster an environment of creativity and innovation. “This helps the entrepreneurs engage in enriching conversation, share ideas and knowledge about hiring, marketing, fundraising and scaling with their co-tenants. This type of exchange in a start-up community helps budding entrepreneurs find effective ways to transform their business idea into a successful and sustainable business,” as reported by Entrepreneur. 

Employee Benefits
As stated in coworker, “the rise of remote employees brings with it the freedom to think outside the box in terms of office spaces. While some companies have attempted to operate with large scale remote teams, there is sometimes a downside when it comes to innovation and collaboration. For many companies, co-working spaces are the perfect alternative – not just for freelancers, but also for startups and major corporations. Corporate co-working is a fast-growing global trend, with impressive benefits that simply can’t be ignored.” 

A survey conducted by The Instant Group, a workplace innovation company, and the architectural firm HLW, found that as companies continue moving towards flexible spaces, landlords are finding more value for their portfolios with co-working spaces and are adapting and shifting their mindsets to focus on the employee experience of redeveloped office spaces, short-term leases, and diverse workspaces. According to Gensler’s Design Forecast, “the mantra of real estate owners and managers is market relevance.” 

Industrious
In Arizona, Industrious is one of many co-working space companies that have opened shared office spaces throughout the Valley in recent years. The Industrious office space caters to the modern employee who expects spaces that can be easily reshaped to suit their constant changing needs.

Industrious Scottsdale is located in the heart of Old Town, on the corner of Drinkwater and Indian School Road. It boasts many different amenities, with a modern aesthetic inspired by the Southwest. The collaborative space includes common areas, and private offices, phone booths, conference spaces, a café and mother’s room. Additional perks include ultra-fast internet, unlimited free printing, coffee bar & lounge and local food and beverage options. 

Mortenson completed the $2 million, 20,000-square-foot tenant improvement project at the end of May 2018. The space, which is designed for clients spanning from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies, has 62 private offices available in several sizes. 

Charles Bolden, project manager with Mortenson, indicated there were many challenging aspects of the project.

“It is important to consider factors that are unique to co-working when building and renovating these types of spaces,” Bolden said. “Things like temperature control and noise are really important for those who will be working in the space.”

Mortenson met with end users to determine a range of temperatures that would be acceptable to people using the space, as well as adding sound barriers within the mechanical systems to make the co-work space an opportune environment for all users.

Mortenson is currently completing two other co-working spaces, including spaces within the AMLI Arc Residential Tower in Seattle, Washington, and the Discovery Square Phase I in Rochester, Minnesota.