I find this trend a sad development. As a freelancer myself, it’s understandable to want to work outside the house away from the kids’ noise and have a place to hang out with other like-minded pro’s. But the reality of this trend reveals just how unfairly the corporations are treating their contract office workers. The big companies even want to cut out the costs of office space by off loading it onto contract workers shoulders.
Generally speaking, the casualisation of work has enabled businesses to reduce their costs and space requirements.But the problems it has created for workers are all too familiar: lower take-home pay, and higher levels of insecurity, with all the knock-on impacts this can have on mental health.
Co-working spaces are the spatial expression of the casualisation we see in the labour market. In theory, they cater to the “digital nomad”, offering a place and a community as an antidote to the isolation and loneliness of most casual forms of work. In practice, they are not about co-working per se, but about constructing and profiting from a workplace culture that is essentially based on trepidation. And much like their users, co-working spaces are more often than not temporary.