Co-working Options Showed Major Expansion in 2010

The number of co-working spaces has continued to grow in popularity during the last year. According to a recent report, the number of co-working facilities almost doubled in 2010, and there are now over 650 such locations worldwide. The statistics come from a study by Deskwanted, an online marketplace for co-working desk space.

The report’s authors expect the number of co-working spaces to increase by another 50 percent by the end of 2011. They trace this popularity to the increase in freelance workers brought about by the economic downturn of 2008, and the increased number of small start-up entrepreneurs, particularly in technology and online industries.

We’ve written previously about the growing network of independent café-like collaboration spaces for freelance professionals. The trend began in 2005, and co-working spaces are now available throughout the U.S., the UK and Europe. Facilities have also been opened in South America, Australia and Asia.

As Simon discussed recently, costs for a dedicated desk at a co-working space can be pricey. But one can opt for a “hotdesking” arrangement where desks are shared. And while some of the commenters to his piece recommended hotels, libraries and other public spaces as alternatives, there’s obviously a market for professional workspaces that cater to independent professionals.

Do you use a coworking space? Would you, if there was one in your area?

Photo courtesy Flickr user hyku.

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