One of the most interesting trends we follow is the paradox of place.
The paradox is place and location have become both more and less important.
Place is less important because high fidelity connective technologies allow people to communicate with anyone, anywhere.
This is why telecommuting is growing (although not as fast as many predicted), work forces have become more distributed and mobile work much more common.
It's even enabled a small but growing number of people to roam the Earth working as digital nomads.
But place has also in many ways become more important. This is because people and companies realize physical co-location leads to more interaction and innovation.
The Harvard Business Review article If Work Is Digital, Why Do We Still Go to the Office? looks at this paradox from the point of view of the office.
Key quote on why we still cluster in offices:
What early digital commentators missed is that even if we can work from anywhere, that does not mean we want to. We strive for places that allow us to share knowledge, to generate ideas, and to pool talents and perspectives. Human aggregation, friction, and the interaction of our minds are vital aspects of work, especially in the creative industries.
This is also why coworking spaces are so successful and growing so rapidly. They are places where people aggregate, share knowledge and pool talents.
They're also social places, which is also important and increases the likelihood members will be happier and more successful.
Humans are by nature social creatures. Because of this, we will continue to cluster. This means place will continue to be important even while technology makes it less important.
The paradox of place is not going away anytime soon and because of this, the coworking industry will continue to grow.