The Global Coworking Unconference Conference kicked off today at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in downtown Austin. People came from as far away as Scotland and Australia to attend the conference, which focused on new ways for people to work remotely in collaborative workplaces.
The number of coworking spaces has nearly doubled each year since 2006 to 1,300 worldwide, according to Deskmag, which follows the industry. Deskmag released a report Thursday showing coworking spaces are projected to grow to 2,150 this year. In fact, two in three coworking spaces plan to expand this year.
Coworking spaces provide workers with shared work areas.
The vast majority of coworking spaces are run as for profit businesses and cost about $58,000 in the U.S. to start up and about $60,000 in Europe. And on average, 40 percent of all coworking spaces are profitable. And 72 percent become profitable after two years.
The Global Coworking Survey shows the average coworker is 34 years old, university educated, and earns an average to above average salary. Males outnumber females two to one.
“Coworkers want interaction with people, flexible worktimes, random discoveries and opportunities, knowledge sharing, basic infrastructure, low costs, peace and privacy” according to the survey.
SXSW Interactive starts tomorrow and Grind from New York will have a Pop-Up Coworking Tent directly across from the Austin Convention Center for people to experience coworking firsthand.