Just a few short years ago, coworking was a phenomenon that hadn’t entered the consciousness of many folks living in the suburbs. It was the privilege of hip young freelancers who lived in urban centers, close enough to walk to their workspace of choice. But the last few years have ushered in quite a change. With development booming further north, coworking spaces have taken root to cater to the entrepreneurs and startups outside of Dallas’ center. Let’s take a look at why North Dallas's coworking scene is so robust.
A little coworking history
Coworking as we know it today has actually been around since the late 90s, and was initially used to describe the new collaborative and connective mode of work that computers would bring about. Originally conceived as a way for workers to thrive in a non-competitive atmosphere, spaces began popping up in Europe and the U.S. that would pave the way for modern coworking.
Fast forward to just a few years ago, and some of the major players in Dallas were beginning to emerge – Common Desk, the Grove (now closed), nod Coworking, and our own HeadSpace Dallas. With the floodgates opened, the number of coworking spaces grew, especially here in North Dallas.
In fact, the community has grown so much that WeWork, the coworking behemoth with offices across the globe, saw the opportunity to get in on the action. These spaces cater to unique sub-pockets of the North Dallas area, and make it possible for freelancers and entrepreneurs who live in the area to connect without the daily trek into Dallas proper.
North Dallas is booming
The coworking shift to North Dallas may seem a bit strange on the surface, but a look at population growth puts it into perspective. Between 2015 and 2016, it’s estimated that DFW experienced the largest growth of any U.S. metro within a one-year period. And according to forecasts, by 2030 we’ll have added over 4 million more residents to the area.
Why all the growth? Well, there are a number of factors – the cost of living is lower here than compared to other major cities in the U.S., and we’re one of the few states that does not have an income tax. Additionally, big companies, from Toyota to Hewlett Packard, have established their headquarters just up the road in Plano, driving relocation to North Dallas suburbs. Major road construction, such as a lane expansion of the Dallas North Tollway, has accompanied the growth in an effort to reduce congestion.
Add to that the proliferation of new restaurants and eateries in the Carrollton/Plano area, including the massive Legacy Hall, as well as new shopping and entertainment options and an increase in houses and apartments, and that drive into downtown Dallas is becoming less and less necessary.
Freelancers love it here, too
Traditional office employees aren’t the only ones moving to North Dallas – freelancers and entrepreneurs are too, and that’s where coworking comes into play. Coworking spaces in North Dallas give freelancers a place to connect with likeminded individuals, all at a convenient distance from their homes.
This convenience is key: according to Deskmag, 51% of those who belonged to a coworking space in 2017 said that the space’s distance from their residence was an important factor in their membership. And since it’s no secret that rush hour traffic in Dallas can be a headache, finding a space within a relatively short distance from home (think around 20 minutes) is key for many solopreneurs. Coworking spaces in the area provide North Texans with plenty of options to choose from when it comes to location, and offer the productive work environment of a traditional office space combined with the flexibility to suit different work styles.
Dallas proper is no longer the only option when it comes to career advancement. Suburban coworking spaces also provide entrepreneurs with a community and business resources, two things that elevate the spaces beyond a home office. By putting all of these elements in one location, combined with proximity to restaurants, entertainment, and homes, it’s no wonder that North Dallas coworking spaces are thriving.