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Coworking in Colorado

The office of the future has arrived.

Thanks in part to rapid, overwhelming cultural and technological change, the 9-to-5, cube-confined traditional paradigm has been shattered, and the workplace has taken a new shape: coworking.

About three years ago, ColoradoBiz explored the trend of shared space in the commercial real estate landscape, including Zeppelin development’s TAXI in River North, Jennie Nevin’s Green Spaces by the Ballpark neighborhood and Fort Collins’ Cohere, among others. It remained to be seen if this experiment would work and whether the initial buzz about toiling alongside others — people with dissimilar skills, different employers and entirely unrelated industries — would last.

The answer: a resounding “Yes.” Today, an estimated 90,000 people cowork worldwide, nearly half in the U.S.  Since 2005, the number of spaces has nearly doubled each year, suggesting coworking is more than merely a fad.

But the definition has blurred, even as visionaries have developed space specifications and amenities designed to woo the 21st Century workforce. Many misconceptions exist about what coworking actually encompasses and how to distinguish it from business accelerators, incubators and executive suites.

On one end of the spectrum: Regus plc provides private-office accommodations for countless companies in business centers around the globe. As of last December, Regus had 1,411 operations in 99 countries — 17 in Colorado alone. On the flip side are informal, shared offices with open floor plans and desks squashed together, such as CoLab Boulder, Denver-based Prism Workshop or The Armory in Fort Collins.

Regardless of their configuration or formality, these new office options provide flexibility, freedom and fluidity that conventional workplaces (and the long-term leases that accompany them) cannot. Check out our directory to the plethora of newly established professional environments statewide. There might be a space there for you.

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Gigi Sukin

Gigi Sukin is an Associate Editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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