90 percent of startups fail. These figures are not exactly what you want to hear. However, the 10% that make it have one thing in common – they are bringing innovation through sustainability and are evolving to move with the continuing changes in the workplace. It’s a never-ending process of innovating for the present and future generations. The focus should be placed upon why these certain startups are successful, and not why the rest fail.
According to the European Business Awards, since the 2008 financial crisis, the rate of new businesses starting up in the EU is three times faster than in the USA – and they are entrepreneurial, innovative and going green. If every start-up considered sustainability first, the whole world could potentially benefit. Startups that are a part of this movement often keep tabs on their resource consumption, develop responsive business models, revolutionize customer service, look to the future by implementing next-gen ideas – and more startups are now transitioning along with the evolution of the workplace and choosing to work from co-working spaces.
Workplace sustainability trends
Since the financial crisis, sustainability issues are moving more into the forefront of the corporate agenda. Unpredictable energy costs, a shrinking energy supply, new environmental regulations and growing consumer awareness are all contributing to this. In the past, sustainability was viewed by some organisations as a means of achieving differentiation or a better reputation, however it will soon be viewed as a core business necessity in the workplace and working practices. Co-working is another phenomenon on the rise since the financial crisis – when it expanded significantly due to this style of work responding to a period of austerity, underemployment and career insecurity. They are working spaces, which are revolutionizing the concept of offices and the way that people work. Most importantly, they are helping to ensure sustainability and a better future.
Co-working spaces and sustainability
Co-working can be defined as the sharing of workspaces where individuals can rent a desk while sharing a range of other facilities with their co-tenants. It’s particularly popular among freelancers, startups, remote workers and independent professionals who seek flexibility, networking opportunities and low overhead costs. Another big contributor to their more recent growing popularity, is the advancements in technology, which allows people to work from anywhere in the world. This is also leading to a growing number of workers looking for more control over their work-life balance and flexibility in their working schedules. However, co-working is even becoming popular large corporations too. With property and rental prices on the rise in most cities, it makes business sense for many organisations.
It has long been established that workplace environments can have a significant impact on employees’ health. Often sustainability and employees’ health go hand in hand, therefore more focus should be placed on employee wellbeing and productivity. Businesses that ignore the environmental and social impacts of their buildings could risk experiencing low employee wellbeing and productivity. Employees must be at the centre of all design, with key areas concerning: materials and ventilation, daylighting and access to nature.
In response to this, co-working spaces are placing sustainability at their core. They follow a sharing principle, not just with the sharing of space, but with the sharing of supplies, resources, amenities and lowering wastefulness. It starts with the use of eco-friendly technologies and design as a way of looking forward and ensuring that current resources will be able to meet both present and future needs. It then involves extending these eco-friendly principals that they practice to the businesses, which they serve. It should help empower and inspire businesses using these co-working facilities to do the same and achieve sustainable and ethical operations. It can be a great way for a startup to potentially enter the market, as mentioned earlier, it’s often the successful startups that are bringing innovation through sustainability.
The future of co-working and sustainability
Co-working is changing the nature of how we work and where we work, it’s providing solutions to the many challenges startups and other professionals face – and it’s set to become increasingly popular in the years to come. Small business Labs forecasts a jump in the global number of co-working individuals from 976,000 in 2016 to over 3.8 million in 2020. In the same reports, it’s expected that global co-working spaces will also rise from just over 11,000 in 2016 to 26,000 in 2020. This means that co-working spaces are predicted to be the offices of the future. More startups are embracing this way of work and it’s easy to see why. Improved facilities, lower costs, a healthy and sustainable work environment, networking opportunities to potentially build business and ultimately, flexibility. More importantly, the workplace sustainability trends seem set to continue making the future work environment a better place.
Now is your turn!
What do you think of workplace sustainability? Would you make the transition to co-working spaces?
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