Associate Professor Vareska van de Vrande of the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University conducted a study on the impacts of coworking and discovered that there more going on than heads-down working: there’s a lot of networking. The increasing popularity of coworking worldwide is having a real impact on work, especially with freelancers who are the most likely to use coworking facilities and services.
She surveyed 500 users of the Dutch coworking service Seats2meet and found the following:
- More than one in four had started professional partnerships or opportunities to collaborate with other coworkers.
- One in eight found a job or consulting work from peopel they met at a coworking site.
The majority — 65% — of those surveyed were entrepreneurs, 10% were students, and 5% are unemployed. The most common reason for using Seats2meet is a change of working environment, and 19% who have no office of their own. Also commonly mentioned are the results that the study uncovered: the desire to find others to work with, or to find paying work.
The results are what you might expect, but it’s still beneficial to see the intuitive benefits of coworking captured statistically. I hope she makes it a longitudinal so we can see if the trends are accelerating.