Coworking sites proliferate, trend continues

Building on the growing popularity of shared work environments, and looking to supplement income, Chris Arnoldi founded CoWorkTampa, a “coworking loft” in a renovated cigar factory in Tampa this summer.

The 6,000-square-foot space on North Armenia Avenue features 13 individual offices, a large coworking area, a meeting room and other amenities.
“I needed an office and the coworking space helps me subsidize those costs,” said Arnoldi, whose Internet marketing company Uhsome LLC shares the facility.

Rates start at $97 a month for use of the coworking area, which has eight tables seating four people each.
Entrepreneur Sean Davis used the space late this summer when he was launching his tech startup Red Hawk Interactive Inc.

For an entrepreneur, finding adequate office space and exposure to likeminded people can be a challenge, Davis said. His short stay at CoWorkTampa provided access to both.

Davis has since joined AgileThought Inc. and is now determining the next step for Red Hawk.

Building momentum

The worldwide “coworking movement” has roughly doubled in size each year since 2006, according to Deskmag – the Coworking Magazine.

Deskmag defines coworking as a “self-directed, collaborative and flexible work style” based on trust and shared objectives and values.

As of August, the United States was home to 749 coworking spaces, a 77 percent annual increase, according to the Berlin-based publication.

The growing number of entrepreneurs and the lure of short-term leases have contributed to the growth of coworking, said Linda Olson, executive director
and founder of Tampa Bay WaVE, a nonprofit that operates a coworking facility in downtown Tampa.