800px-zonaspace-coworking-atmosphere Image: Wikimedia

Coworking today is a competitive business and the vast majority of modern spaces pride themselves on being more than just an office where you can rent a desk and a wi-fi connection. As well as free coffee, comfy seating and interesting decor, there’s also the sense of community and flexibility many spaces provide, including opportunities to network and meet like-minded people. It’s exciting to see how this trend for getting the most out of the coworking experience is growing and evolving and there are already a number of spaces which are really raising the bar in terms of what they provide to tenants. In London for example, we’re seeing a real trend towards ‘experiential coworking’ where spaces are offering more lifestyle focused concepts, inspired by the way we live now and the increasingly blurred lines between work, socialising, travel, learning and fitness.

One such space is Farmopolis, which offers coworking facilities in London’s first floating garden on Greenwich Peninsula by the Thames. Farmopolis offers tenants a diverse lifestyle experience, including a cafe, bar and cinema plus a year-round program of events, which offer everything from experiential super clubs and dating nights to literary talks, screenings and creative workshops. The idea behind the venture is to pioneer ‘a new model for public green space’ bringing together work, play, skills, farming, food and culture.

Another exciting development we’re seeing as an emerging trend is the idea of coworking while you travel. After all, what could be better than doing business while you see the world, catch some rays and meet new friends and colleagues? A front-runner in this space is Coboat, a company which organises coworking trips on board a fully equipped (and of course wi-fi ready) catamaran, which regularly sails around the mediterranean to destinations including Greece, Sicily, Spain, Morocco and the Canaries. Get on board now before too many people hear about it.

Further blurring the lines between work, play and downtime is the new trend for co-living, which is taking off in metropolitan cities around the world, including London, New York and Berlin. The concept of co-living is to provide beautifully kitted-out spaces that combine bijou apartments with coworking facilities communal kitchens and living areas. This style of living is perfect for career driven people, who travel and don’t want to be tied down by an expensive mortgage or long-term contract. One company that’s leading the way here is The Collective, who describe themselves as ‘not your average property company’ and see co-living as the future of life and work.

With all these exciting developments, it’s clear that not only the traditional office but the entire way in which we work is going through a period of change. The old nine-to-five style approach of keeping work and life completely separate is developing into something quite different, representing a cultural shift which the coworking spaces of today embody. For example, shared spaces make it possible for you to easily catch a yoga class in your lunch break or attend an event after work to meet new people and learn new things. But more widely than this: it’s the collective mindset of community, flexibility and new horizons that coworking encourages and how this will impact on the way companies and people grow and change in the future that’s most interesting.

At Nomad, our mission is to make it easy and hassle free for people to find their perfect coworking environment and as part of this, we’ve developed an app so you can search and book a space in under one minute. We found that there is a real demand for this, as there are already over 1,000 coworking spaces in London alone, all with various offerings to suit different tastes and requirements. As market competition increases, we’re also likely to see even more innovations in the coworking sector over the next few years and whatever form this takes, you can guarantee one thing - it’s going to be interesting.

By Ansel Liu, founder and managing director of Nomad