Co-working. Let’s go back to the start.

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Co-working is not a new concept.

According to Dror Poleg, an author and speaker specializing in the future of work, its roots can even be traced back to 1610.

What truly stands out is the remarkable speed at which the co-working sector has transformed in the past decade.

The Evolution of Co-Working

Co-working used to be about the individual—a place for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives to come together under one roof, escaping the confines of cafes and restaurants. It offered a liberating alternative to traditional corporate office spaces.

But as the industry ballooned in 2018 and 2019, so did its clientele. Large corporations started signing deals with co-working operators, shifting the focus away from startups and individuals. The focus shifted from hot desks to turnkey real estate solutions.

In their most recent financial results, IWG proudly asserts their strength as a "partner of choice for corporates and building owners exploring and changing their global real estate strategy." Co-working, or "flex," has become integral to corporate real estate strategy, embraced by landlords and tenants alike.

The rise of the individual

As co-working leaned towards the corporate, the world was heading in a different direction—towards the individual. The pandemic unleashed the potential of remote work, a trend that shows no sign of receding. Every company now embraces some form of flexible work.

Countries such as the US, UK, and France witnessed a significant surge in business creation post-pandemic, unlocking our collective creative potential.

Simultaneously, we witnessed the meteoric rise of the solopreneur. Twitter and LinkedIn are awash with tips and advice on how to succeed as an independent worker. Whether it's a formal business or a more casual endeavour, solopreneurs now enjoy unprecedented freedom, becoming their own bosses, and achieving a better work-life balance.

A 2022 Statista report predicts that by 2027, the US will have 86.5 million freelancers, marking a 51% increase from 2017. This data signals a broader shift in our work culture where freelancing is poised to overshadow conventional employment.

A world built for a pre-pandemic way of working

As the world embraced flexible work, the physical infrastructure lagged behind. Traditional offices in city centres require people to waste time commuting and often lack the necessary meeting spaces for a decentralised workforce. In-office days are now littered with people hunting anywhere to take a call.

Co-working, once seen as an alternative to the office, now serves as the office itself—mirroring the daily commute and a fixed place of work. It replaces the office but doesn’t provide a solution when not in the office or when you don't have an office.

Every hospitality venue has had its go at being a workspace; from coffee shops, cinemas, restaurants and hotel lobbies. But dodgy wifi, screaming kids and overpriced pastries can wear thin after a while.

And work from home, once a novelty, has lost its appeal. Good for some life admin but is it really a long-term place of work?

Enter, the on-demand workspace

At Drop-in we embrace the ethos of co-working 1.0. We like old school. We think in terms of local neighbourhoods and hot desks. We look out for the individual.

Drop-in ensures people never have to leave their neighborhood. People choose to live in their neighborhood for a reason, whether it's the parks, transportation, local pubs, or the community.

We add another dimension to the neighbourhood. We bring productive workspace to your doorstep. There are no private offices or barriers to entry; instead, we resemble a welcoming members' club open whenever you need it—a true "third space" for you to work from.

In a world where work has become more flexible than ever,  the physical workspace needs to catch up. At Drop-in, we're bridging the gap between the office and remote work, providing a local, on-demand workspace where you can truly #workwhereyoulive.