Think about the American worker in the 1950s… or the Japanese worker in the 1980s… the workplace was a reliable haven of productivity. Sure, there must have been long hours, office politics, and noisy coworkers slurping soup at lunch, but the office was always there. Today, the vast majority of that reliability is gone. Layoffs, cutbacks, and outsourcing has become commonplace. And even in a big city, finding a cushy replacement when you’ve been laid off from your Fortune 100 job isn’t easy. Plus, there was a time when you and your employer made a pact: you show up to work hard and the company wouldn’t fire you. Today, a bad supervisor can put you out on the street with a few well-crafted emails to HR.
With today’s expensive lifestyle (where hors-oeuvres and a drink can cost $50), most of us need a side hustle. There are likely some mid-level executives flipping on their Uber app while they drive home from work to pick up some extra money for Christmas. And blogger-moms staying up late to get sponsored dinners for a date night with hubby.
So coworking spaces are not just for the full-time entrepreneur. In fact, anyone looking to work a few hours on a blog, ebook, or part-time coding gig needs a desk and a cup of coffee away from the house. Even if you’re a full-time employee, maybe you have a desk for the days when you want to avoid the commute and “work from home.”
Thus, the coworking space becomes the new workplace anchor. It doesn’t matter if you get fired, laid-off, or quit. You keep going to the familiar coworking space, shifting your time and energy to the project at hand.
Coworking spaces have become key for personal productivity. When your employer no longer sees you as a necessary asset, you simply flip the switch and do more work as an independent contractor. In fact, coworking spaces, along with the gig economy, are a tremendous threat to corporate productivity. Coworking offices have leveled the playing field, offering workers the chance to remain productive and happy regardless of where the work is coming from. And the more you are in a coworking space, the more you learn how to source and duplicate work as a contractor.
Take that, corporate America!