Coworking Our Way to a Sustainable Economy

It is estimated that 50% of the population will be working independently by 2020.

This means half of the workforce will soon be comprised of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups - a dramatic shift from the 9-5 desk job. 

The internet and social networking have revolutionized how to find and access work. The Great Recession exploded the notion that a “traditional job” was truly secure, forcing many people to go freelance and making freelancing’s eggs-in-many-baskets risk management strategy much more attractive. Global competition for white-collar work is now the norm. And Millennials — who know no other work-world than this — are already exerting their influence on the job market.
— "Freelancing in America: A National Survey of the New Workforce"

As we work to build a diversified Arizona economy that is sustainable, resilient, and celebratory of diverse cultures, we must consider what our local communities are doing to prepare for this shift. Providing opportunity for entrepreneurial jobs to flourish not only secures a healthy local economy, it also retains the creativity and innovation of our youth in rural communities.

 

    The Concept of Coworking

    With this workforce shift underway, how do we adjust our plans for job creation and retention to provide a sustainable atmosphere for entrepreneurship in our communities? As evidenced by this global study, the answer lies within coworking: shared work space.

    For a monthly fee, like-minded people (members) can hire a work area, be it a hot desk, dedicated desk or enclosed office depending on need. Access to office facilities such as a reception desk, conference rooms, kitchens, creative common areas and unlimited quantities of freshly brewed coffee are all part of the mix. The concept has struck a real chord especially amongst millenials (21-34 year olds) and demand is growing.
    — "The Evolution of Coworking"

    The Shift: Individuals, Communities, & Economic Power

    • Attention to Individual Health: The valued emphasis on physical and mental well being has permeated all aspects of American life - including a balance in one's professional life. While entrepreneurship provides notions of flexibility and autonomy that is not always available through a 9-5 position, it can also create isolation. Coworking, instead, provides a community for our entrepreneurs to collaborate and support each other in their individual endeavors. Read more. 

    • Community (and Corporate) Support: Coworking spaces provide a community of resources for growing freelancers and start-ups - so much so that corporations have jumped on the bandwagon too. Companies such as Facebook, IBM, HSB, E&Y, and Cisco entered the Coworking world in 2017 by providing space for freelancers and other small businesses to incubate. In return, they too have access to the specialized skills in addition to a cost-effective alternative to test their new and innovative ideas. Read more.

    • Economic Power: The more money we keep circulating in our local economies, the more resilient we become. By fostering entrepreneurial jobs in our Arizona economies, we are becoming more innovative, competitive, and better able to deal with the fluctuations of global markets. Read more.

     

    Coworking in Northern Arizona

    It is exciting to see how our Northern communities are adapting to this shift towards entrepreneurial job creation. The opportunities they are providing today will directly effect youth retention and economic prosperity in our Rural communities. Take a look at these coworking spaces in Northern Arizona. 

    Flagstaff: Click Co+Work

    Click is located in a redeveloped building in historic downtown Flagstaff with a vision of work-driven tenants.

    Co-working in Downtown Flagstaff has been much more than what I hoped for. There’s been such a feeling of belongingness to the City as a whole by officing in the heart of downtown.  It’s been astounding to watch business and personal relationships foster among the members of the Click community; from gatherings for housewarming parties, celebrating holidays, to members using each other’s professional services for print jobs, contract law, real estate, design work, staffing, technical development, etc;  each member provides something unique.  Having the opportunity to provide a professional, fun and innovative office space in town where members can network between themselves as well as develop their business to its highest potential has been truly rewarding.
    — Leslie Belsanti, CRB, Member of Click Co+Work

    Click's office space is a modern, open light, bright, and harmonic environment that provides a professional working atmosphere. With access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week you have the flexibility you desire. Mail service and a downtown address are available for your use.  Privacy areas include private office space, call room, and conference room.  The kitchen and lounge area provide coffee machines, hot pot, microwave, refrigerator and even a keg! Click's outdoor patio is one of the best-kept secrets in Flagstaff. Make a call, hold an informal meeting, eat your lunch or drink a beer from the keg; while sitting outside enjoying Flagstaff's clean, fresh air. Daily, Weekly, Month to Month and Annual memberships are available.

     

    Prescott: WingSpace

    WingSpace is a community and professional coworking space where individuals can work independently-together at the intersection of art, design, technology, and entrepreneurship. They believe that by working in close proximity to other creative, talented people, all become stronger, more successful, and more inclined to put on pants in the morning.

    What makes them different than working in the local cafe, library or your garage? They offer a place to work independently-but-together. This allows everyone to save money, boost the local economy, and reduce individual impact on the environment. Like a gym for your business, you work in an environment designed to help your business become stronger, healthier, and more sustainable. 

    WingSpace offers memberships, programs, events, equipment, and a personal support system. It's an effective place to work that helps you build relationships with the community and produce the kind of impact you desire for your business.