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Rise in popularity of shared workspaces


JULY 12, 2018 — It used to be a sign of success when a company got to the point they could secure their own stand-alone office with their name out front. And remember when the corner office part of a corporate promotion was just as important as the title or the salary?

These days, it’s not uncommon for support staff to sit at the same type of desk, and even in the same room as the company founder. A lot of this is due to the meteoric rise in popularity of shared office spaces. From Quest to BüroPipeline and the industry leader, WeWork, Miami and the rest of the country is forgoing their own digs to share space among what can be 100 or more companies in one building, or even one floor of a building.

What was originally designed as an affordable way for small businesses to move out of their homes and into a professional environment is now being adopted as the new way to work. Large, established and highly profitable companies including Microsoft, Spotify, GoPro and Airbnb are just some of the companies with no shortage of resources who are choosing to place their employees at WeWork in Downtown Miami’s Brickell City Centre.

Office managers and CEO’s are citing multiple factors to this change in work style. In addition to not having to worry about the logistics of telephones, wifi, kitchens, snacks, or even a shave kit, one of the biggest rationales has been employee moral and work life satisfaction. Going to work at many of the shared office spaces feels less like the cubicle days of the past and more like hanging out with friends. At any given time you can find groups of people working while watching the World Cup on oversized screens or lounging on rooftops while sipping the Kombucha of the week. Additionally, the fact that there is such a diversity of companies within these spaces, networking is at an all-time high. The fact that a web-developer might be working adjacent to an online retailer makes the synergy natural for the companies to seamlessly collaborate.

Real estate developers have started to take notice. John Darby, President and CEO of The Beach Company is currently developing mixed-use projects that have added amenity-rich offices to their condo towers. With cafes, health & wellness, groceries, and an abundance of parking, and even doggy day care, they are able to attract both residential and commercial tenants seeking an easier way of life and work. Having employees and residents co-mingle makes the most of the building and the amenities while the dual use makes it more affordable for the developers. By allowing amenities such as the condo rooftop garden to be accessible to office tenants, companies that are eager keep employees happy and healthy are more prone to take up space in these type of buildings than they are in fluorescent lighted, traditional office complexes.

In Miami, the newly opened “Centro” (151 SE 1stStreet), is comprised of small units designed with live/work and amenities as its focus. Centro includes a sustainable and green-living conscientious design with a restaurant, retail spaces, a two-story penthouse recreation area, health club and spa, skyline lounge, and pool with 360° view.  Instead of taking up space with parking facilities at Centro, they have an in-house Car2Go station where residents can grab a car when and only when they need it, right on the property.

Being somewhat in the infancy stage, the potential growth of these amenity-rich, work-friendly developments is endless. There is already testing, and fully functioning, shared living spaces as well as shared education spaces, shared daycares and shared retail. In this day when experts warn that Millennials and the new generation are keeping to themselves, making less friends and having fewer babies, perhaps everyone getting together to share will make better use of our resources… and be better for society as a whole?

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