Recent years have drastically changed the landscape of our working routines and the environment in which they are formed. In this blog, Tasha Wait, Community and Marketing Lead at the Health Foundry, reflects on the growth of co-working spaces and the benefits it can bring to digital health companies.
Co-working can be defined, in self-explanatory terms, as an office space which is shared with various other companies with the hope of collaboration and connections. The steady incline of co-working spaces was seen long before the pandemic years and was recognised as a potential booming industry. According to projections by Statista, there will be some 41,975 co-working spaces worldwide by the end of 2024, with London being recognised as a hot spot favourite for this growth, as there are near 2000 co-working spaces currently active in England’s capital. Co-working thrives amongst urban environments, but many factors can be attributed to the success of this industry.
Looking back over a decade, we can see the change in the global economy as the world becomes more connected and Internet usage surged, which presented new opportunities to both entrepreneurs and businesses. This enabled the expansion of freelance industry due to its newfound accessibility and freelancers flourished into co-working spaces. Further pushes from Generation Y for new approaches to working were slowly being adopted by the corporate world, who now widely accept the idea of collaborative working.
Then the pandemic hit, and many companies started to adopt new ways of remote working, and before we knew it offices sat empty with many never to be used again. But research started to indicate towards the damaging effects this could have long term for company culture, employee productivity, mental well-being and also brainstorming and collaboration techniques that improve company flow and creativity. This began the emergence of the buzz word of the year ‘hybrid working’.
Rated as the ‘best way of working’ continuously on LinkedIn polls, used as clickbait in news article headlines, discuss and criticized on Twitter, analysed deeply within data and statistic’s; hybrid working soon become a familiarized term and concept within the working world. and this caused a second wave of hype and interest in the concept of co-working communities. These communities identified and resolved the pain points organisations had started to feel, it gave flexibility to what was once a rigid system. Alongside offering a cost effective and sustainable way of moving forward.
As the market grow, the missions of co-working spaces have evolved, and co-working communities have started to specialise into sectors, advertising to certain groups of start-ups and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). This type of environment works well for companies at early stages due to the flexibility, cost effectiveness, stronger business networking, community connections and supplied tailored events and programmes. And that’s where we fit in – Health Foundry prides itself on being a digital health community co-working space.
Health Foundry launched in 2016 to provide a supportive ecosystem and physical space for digital health start-ups to create and adopt scalable digital health solutions. We soon realised that health innovation isn’t just about start-ups and clinicians, but also about a wider range of stakeholders across the health system, all of whom could benefit from digital health innovation.
To deliver our mission, we have three strands of work:
- Support: We support our members to create the best digital products by providing a functional collaborative workspace and wide range of business support and sector specific resources
- Connect: We facilitate connections for our members to the healthcare system, local community and each other
- Enable: We enable communities to lead better, healthier independent lives by enabling our members to create better digital health products.
We have a growing community of members within the health and digital tech sectors, and a team that facilitates connections across the healthcare system. 91% of members have said that our space has been important to their journey so far. Here are some of what our amazing members are up to:
Bionabu® is the world’s first Medtech expert knowledge marketplace. They connect entrepreneurs, companies, private and public institutions with vetted expertise and education to drive forward innovation.
Liberate Pro Healthcare Ltd – The Liberate Pro platform improves patient education and efficacy, increases patient engagement and most importantly decreases health inequalities in society
Tellmi is a multi-award-winning app which provides young people with anytime, anywhere access to peer and counsellor support, as well as a range of mental health self-management tools that can be accessed 24/7. Over 75,000 young people are on Tellmi and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android.
As we enter 2023, new trends and buzzwords are going to come and go, but it’s going to continue to be important for companies, no matter what stage, to have a base and be part of a community that supports each other.
If you’re interested in joining our digital health community don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Happy New Year everyone!
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