Coworking spaces seemed like a niche market just ten years ago. Now they are popping up everywhere, with coworking spaces in Cincinnati, New York, London, and cities across the globe. More professionals and small businesses are starting to see the value of working in a shared office space. There were more than 1.2 million coworking members in 2017, and this number is expected to grow considerably in the coming years.

The growing popularity of coworking is due to several factors, but at its core, it is a response to the fact that traditional office environments were not meeting the needs of many of today’s workers. The following are a few of the reasons why coworking is going to continue to grow and become more popular.

An Answer to Unemployment or Underemployment

In many industries, traditional jobs are no longer available or necessary to a business. This has led many to strike out on their own and find their own work.

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, a number of companies went under and people lost their jobs. As a result, the number of people working in co-working spaces increased. At a time of unemployment or underemployment, coworking is often a viable solution for professionals looking to take control of their career.

A Resource for Freelancers

The nature of work is changing, and there is no clearer sign of this than the increase in the number of people who work as freelancers. This trend is expected to continue, and as it does, coworking spaces are going to be a vital resource for independently employed workers.

For freelancers, a coworking space is more than just a place to complete projects. Coworking spaces are more affordable for contract employees who need an office space away from the home. Beyond that, shared offices provide them with resources and networking opportunities that would not be available if they worked in a space on their own.

A Way to Fill Floor Space

Developing coworking spaces has also become a popular option for property owners and landlords. As traditional businesses have struggled and gone out of business, the idea of converting buildings to coworking spaces is an effective way to fill empty floor space.

As the market for coworking grows, you are going to see more property owners looking to convert traditional offices and other structures into coworking spaces. In 2016, there were just over 11,000 coworking spaces. This was up from a mere 436 in 2010, and the number is projected to grow to beyond 26,000 by the year 2020.

Providing Personal Connections

One of the downsides for freelancers and independent workers is that they miss the connections they develop with other people in the workplace. For many coworking members, sharing the space with other people is one of the most significant benefits.

A coworking member may work on his or her own, but they still have people with whom they can interact. Furthermore, coworkers often find the relationships to be beneficial to their work. Collaboration between different members is a common part of the coworking experience.

While ten years ago, coworking may have seemed strange, it is now the new norm for freelancers, startups, and large businesses. These shared offices offer many benefits, and are only expected to grow in popularity. If you’re looking to change your every day routine, joining a coworking space is a great way to open yourself (and your business!) up to new opportunities.