Over the last couple decades, the traditional American office employee has shed his tie and her heels, picked up a lap top, and have all begun working in a variety of “office” environments. The most prominent reason for this change in the “traditional employee” has much to do with the rise in remote work and the supporting coworking industry.
As the way people work transforms, employees will continue to evolve and take advantage of the work/life balance found in operating outside of the standard American office. What’s more, for many workers looking to get out of a traditional office space, the answer is to work on the road or abroad. The flexibility ingrained in remote work allows individuals to experience people and places they would have never thought possible while working from their office in Manhattan.
Nearly 3.9 million or 2.9 % of the total U.S. workforce works remotely at least half of the time—a statistic that has risen 115% since 2005. A large majority of these people chose to work from home to reduce commute times and allow for a more flexible schedule. As a result, the rise of the remote worker has also given rise to the coworking industry.
Since 2015, the amount of coworking spaces in America has grown by nearly 64% from 2,876 spaces just three years ago, to 4,528 spaces tallied at the end of 2018. Internationally, coworking spaces are even more pervasive—worldwide spaces doubled since 2015, reaching 8,900 at the end of last year.
As employers and work spaces have become increasingly flexible, many Americans have opted to travel. Such an option had not existed just 10 years ago. However now, the entire world seems to be engulfed in a strong wifi signal and cell phones are able to make and receive calls to/from even the most obscure places. As a result, the need to go into the same (or any) office everyday has diminished. Most recently, the term “digital nomad” has begun to describe individuals who work while traveling the globe.
Americans are traveling more often and for cheaper than ever before. However, U.S. citizens aren’t working less or quitting their jobs—employment rates have been increasing. This is partially due to the amount of remote work available in America and around the world.
As one would expect, the brainiacs of the coworking industry have also been keeping tabs on the latest trends for remote workers. As a result, coworking businesses like Selina have begun to sprinkle the map. With 22 locations in 7 countries, Selina is a coworking space, hostel, and travel guru all wrapped into one.
“We are the first company to capitalize on this lifestyle shift for travelers and the way people are working,” said Selina VP of strategy Brynne McNulty Rojas. “People are eager to see the way we’re offering all these different business lines to make people feel at home, whether or not they’re on vacation or working… We wanted to focus on having that Selina DNA and that simplicity of experience and transactions and making it a nice, tech-first way of traveling and living and working.”
As this new trend unfolds, it is still tough to say that places like Selina are the future. However, it’s hard to argue with the prominence that remote workers and coworking members have established around the world. A strong work/life balance is something that younger generations hold in high regard. It’s very obvious that these same individuals are creating and pushing the industry of remote workers and coworking to a place (or places) that we’ve only begun to imagine could be “my new office.”
However these new ideas play out, the rise of the coworking industry is allowing the chance for employees of any business to work anywhere at anytime. Even more so, it is possible that these first “digital nomads” will change the way the world goes to work for the foreseeable future. The world of coworking just got a bit more interesting, and the possibility of a (co)working space in Bali, Indonesia just became a bit more real. Until then, stop in today to see our location in Woodbridge, NJ.