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September 12, 2013 at 11:36 AM
My column in Thursday’s Seattle Times editorial page connects a growth of co-working spaces in Seattle with the millennial generation’s entrepreneurial spirit. Work force habits are evolving. When creative minds gather, innovation thrives.
Are businesses paying attention? They should if they want to stay competitive and keep workers from venturing out on their own. Today’s employees place more value on flexibility, interaction and connectivity. Providing some privacy is still important, too.
I highlighted two co-working spaces in the column: Makers in Belltown and Impact Hub Seattle in Pioneer Square. The Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance maintains a list of more than 20 other shared offices throughout the region. Each space is different and caters to a work force that is mobile and growing by the day.
- According to a 2010 Intuit study, 40 percent of Americans — or 60 million people — will be independent contractors or freelancers by 2020. This “contingency” work force will alter labor costs and change talent pools.
- The Freelancers Union reports one-third of the workforce, or 42 million, is already self-employed.
- The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports the number of temporary or contract workers nationwide increased 29 percent between 2009 and 2012.
- MBO Partners released its third annual study this week estimating that by 2020, roughly half of American workers will spend time at some point in their careers working independently.
Full-time jobs with full-time benefits may become more scarce. As more people venture out on their own, they will form support networks. Co-working spaces provide a low-cost option for start-ups and freelancers who may not always want to work alone at home in their pajamas.
My parents’ generation was all about longevity and settling in jobs for the long haul. That mindset is shifting quickly among the millennial generation.
For a look inside Makers, check out the slideshow below from my Instagram feed:
And here’s an interesting infographic by MBO Partners, a resource for independent workers: