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Coworking and Community: The Impact of Shared Workspaces on NYC’s Work Culture
May 31, 2024

Coworking and Community: The Impact of Shared Workspaces on NYC’s Work Culture

Flexible and remote work models are at the forefront of discussions about the future of employment, reshaping business operations and professional expectations. Forbes highlights how this shift towards flexibility is not just a passing trend but a fundamental change in the workplace. So it’s not surprising that many businesses and individuals now look towards coworking spaces as a way to find balance and flexibility.

Read on to find out more about the rise of shared office spaces in NYC, recent coworking trends, and its economic and environmental impacts.


The Beginnings of Coworking

Coworking has come a long way. It all started in the 1990s with hackerspaces in Europe, where tech enthusiasts shared resources and collaborated. This idea of shared, collaborative spaces laid the groundwork for modern coworking.

In 2005, Brad Neuberg opened the first official coworking space in San Francisco. He wanted to merge the freedom of freelancing with the community vibe of an office. This model tackled the loneliness many freelancers felt and provided a professional space with shared amenities.

Coworking spaces really took off in the early 2010s, driven by tech advancements and a cultural shift towards more flexible work. Companies like WeWork expanded rapidly, becoming synonymous with the coworking trend. This period also saw the rise of niche coworking spaces, from industry-specific spots to luxurious options.



Inside the L0pht hackerspace in Boston: Space Rogue's work area. Source:

NYC Coworking Trends in 2024

New York City was quick to embrace the coworking trend. As from 2010, neighborhoods like Manhattan and Brooklyn saw a surge in these spaces. WeWork led the way, offering flexible office solutions for everyone from startups to established companies. 

Through its inherently flexible nature, the coworking space in NYC continues to evolve. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up the shift to remote and flexible working, boosting demand for coworking spaces by 19% since 2021. In 2024, coworking spaces continue to evolve with trends such as all-access and pay-as-you-go solutions becoming more popular, and companies like WeWork reporting a 21% increase in this product segment in 2023. 

There's also a growing interest in private offices within coworking spaces, driven by new companies seeking privacy along with the benefits of a collaborative environment.


The Economic Impact of Coworking on NYC

Coworking spaces attract a diverse range of businesses, from startups to established companies, all seeking flexible, cost-effective office solutions. This influx boosts local economies, creating jobs and increasing demand for nearby services and amenities. Events, workshops, and seminars hosted in these spaces add to NYC’s reputation as a global center for creativity and innovation.

The hybrid work model's growing popularity makes shared office space in NYC even more attractive for businesses looking to optimize office operations. The flexibility offered by coworking spaces allows companies to scale operations based on current needs, avoiding the long-term financial commitments of traditional leases.

Inclusivity is another benefit. According to an OECD report, coworking spaces in NYC make labor markets more inclusive by providing flexible work environments. For small businesses and startups, these spaces offer essential resources and networking opportunities crucial for growth and sustainability.



Coworking spaces at The Square provide community and continuity for individuals and businesses, offering amenities, facilities, tools, and services to meet your needs.


The Environmental Impact of Coworking on NYC

The environmental impact of coworking spaces is multifaceted. Broadly speaking, coworking spaces can reduce the carbon footprint associated with traditional office spaces by optimizing resource use and promoting sustainable practices. Shared amenities and efficient use of space reduce waste and energy consumption.

However, the environmental benefits are not uniform across all coworking spaces. Factors like a building's energy efficiency, users' commuting patterns, and green practices implementation all play a role in determining the overall impact.


The Shift to Hybrid Work Models and Remote Work

Remote work is a hit, and it’s easy to see why. It offers flexibility, cuts down on commute times, and improves work-life balance. Many companies are catching on and adopting remote or hybrid models to keep their top talent happy. Surveys show a significant portion of the workforce prefers these setups, and this trend is here to stay.

Hybrid models blend the best of both worlds: the flexibility of remote work with the perks of in-person collaboration. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. This helps businesses manage office space more efficiently while maintaining team cohesion, driving up demand for coworking spaces and flexible leases.


Employee Wellbeing and Productivity

Flexible work isn't just convenient; it’s also about employee well-being. It reduces stress, prevents burnout, and boosts job satisfaction. Companies are now investing more in mental health resources and wellness programs to support their teams.

Of course, challenges remain. Maintaining company culture, ensuring equal access to opportunities, and managing remote teams are hurdles employers need to overcome to create a sustainable and inclusive work environment. Whether you’re managing or working in a team — everyone needs to feel involved and valued, no matter where they are.

Research has also shown that coworking spaces tend to boost productivity. A study highlighted by found that 74% of coworkers reported being more productive in a coworking space. The structured environment, office amenities, and presence of motivated individuals all contribute to mental well-being and sustained focus and efficiency.

As the debate over flexible and remote work continues, it will shape business operations and professional practices, influencing policies across industries. This ongoing change highlights the importance of coworking spaces in providing flexible, efficient solutions for modern work needs.



Discover coworking and private office space at The Square's newest location in NYC at 205 Hudson.


Ready to explore a coworking space in NYC at The Square?  

Coworking spaces at The Square provide a practical solution for modern work needs, combining functionality with community. Essential amenities like private phone rooms, secure WiFi, and professional mailing services cater to both solo workers and teams. Here’s what makes The Square a great place to work: 

    • Prime Locations: Our spaces are conveniently located in key neighborhoods, offering easy access to various parts of the city.
    • Flexible Memberships: Various plans to fit your needs, whether you require daily access or a long-term setup.
    • Professional Amenities:
      > Private phone rooms for confidential calls
      > Secure, high-speed WiFi for uninterrupted work
      > Professional mailing address for your business
    • Conference Rooms: Spaces for important meetings and presentations.
    • Communal Areas: Ideal for networking and collaborating with other professionals.
    • On-Site Events: Regular events to help you connect and grow within the coworking community.
    • 24/7 Access: Around-the-clock access to your workspace.

Whether you’re a freelancer, a startup, or an established business, The Square offers adaptable coworking spaces across NYC, Houston, Mexico City and Washington, D.C. — all with flexible memberships. Visit us today to find out more!