In large cities, the shared workplace model is already commonplace; in small towns and rural regions, flexible offices are still sparsely represented. But the Social Workplaces platform has found out that flexible offices offer great potential, especially in rural areas.

Today, more and more young people prefer a quiet life in a small town or in the country to the noise of a big city. But where can you find “modern” jobs in rural areas? Coworking Spaces are not only suitable for Startup´s and freelancers, but also as satellite offices for employees. The last Coworking Conference Europe confirmed that spaces grow in small towns and rural areas. Around 35% of the flexible offices surveyed were created last year. This is just one result of this year’s Social Workplaces survey, which took the growing scene as an opportunity to investigate. Coworking Spaces were surveyed worldwide, but above all in France, Germany, Austria and Spain.

The modern workplace concept is still too unknown

Most coworking spaces in rural areas are found in small towns with less than 150,000 inhabitants. Only about 5% of the offices are located in rural areas. Most of the buildings are relatively small, many between 100 and 200 square meters. By comparison, the famous betahaus in Berlin is around 2,800 square meters in size. Nevertheless, the innovative office concept is important for the areas, almost a third of those surveyed are sure: coworking not only digitizes the environment, but also makes it younger.

The boom of the “shared workplace” in rural regions is still limited. Almost half of the respondents complained about the lack of awareness of the model. The biggest challenge is the lack of awareness about the existence of flexible offices. And let’s be honest: How long have you known about the modern workplace solution?

Coworking spaces enable valuable business relationships

The community consists mainly of freelancers. Apart from their community, they especially appreciate the working atmosphere. Almost 38% say that the greatest motivation for using coworking spaces is the business atmosphere, where you can discuss with like-minded people and where new business opportunities might arise. And indeed, more than half of the members make valuable business contacts at their modern workplace.

So we can say that coworking in small towns and rural areas is not yet able to keep up with the big cities, but it is definitely on the rise. It offers added value for users and the region. As long as there is no greater awareness among the population, we are still talking about a great untapped potential – but hopefully this will change in the near future!

Photo: Geran De Klerk | Retouch: Frank Höhne