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Future of Coworking
As part of our research study, we decided to discover and do the analysis of where the industry is headed to. To achieve that, we have used the secondary data mining method for our Global Coworking Growth Study 2021.
Coworking spaces have become a popular choice for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike. Co-working spaces can be a great way to run a business if you are working alone.
There are huge benefits of working in co-working spaces in terms of both cost and productivity.
They provide opportunities for freelancers and start-ups to meet with other entrepreneurs, take advantage of free networking opportunities, and get work done in an environment that is conducive.
Around the globe, coworking spaces and offices are gaining popularity. More people are looking to become independent workers and do their jobs from office spaces.
As we move increasingly towards an on-demand economy, we need to find new ways to socialize and work together. Coworking spaces hold the key to the future .
Here is a Summary of Our Key Findings:
- 1By 2024, the number of coworking spaces is expected to reach 41,975 approx.
- 2Asia is ranked number one among all the regions for the most number of coworking spaces in 2021.
- 3The number coworking members is expected to reach 4,993,910 by 2024.
- 4Big brands prospering in the coworking spaces includes big names like: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Alibaba.
We have detailed data and information of our findings below:
Global coworking forecast
In 2018, the coworking spaces amounted to 16,599. So, why were they popular? Coworking spaces are versatile and they can be used for transformation, innovation or future-proofing.
2018 has witnessed coworking space providers not only using conventional assets but also taking up unused spaces in educational institutions, hotels, and shopping malls.
Since these properties have appropriate infrastructure and facilities, these unconventional assets have only grown in popularity for coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces have since then increased flexibility by providing amenities customized to the needs of their clients. They are gradually moving towards providing startup resources such as digital assets, new technology and even coaches and advisors at clients' disposal.
The post-pandemic economy has favoured the rise of coworking spaces as only the biggest companies shall allocate a budget to have a headquarters.
Small companies and start-ups may discard the idea of having a physical location. Others may count upon having regional hubs where most of their workers are located.
Thus, the remote workforce will grow steadily. However, many will want places to connect with others in person. Coworking spaces will successfully fill that void.
However, in the post pandemic era, coworking spaces will have to be designed in a way that they satisfy the clients' concern over sanitation and spacing.
They will pick spaces where they have access to cleaning supplies and seating that is far apart.
By 2024, productivity and work-life balance will be the priority for employers and employees alike so coworking spaces will be designed more ergonomically and sustainably.
Number of coworking spaces per region
There is a massive shift happening in the workplace sector and it is changing the way people work. Employees want to do their projects in a collaborative environment.
They want the freedom to choose the time and place they work. Work is now being done in a decentralized fashion and that is causing a change in the way companies work.
There has been a rise in these co-working spaces and it is changing the notion of workspaces. Asia has the most coworking spaces in the world, and it accounts for 36.9% of the number of coworking spaces per region.
Europe accounts for 28.1% whereas North America accounts for 21.5%, making them the second and third regions having the most coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces are relatively new in South East Asia resulting in more startups thriving there. Moreover, the heterogeneous nature of coworking spaces enables entrepreneurs to tap into local communities and talent and expand their startups quickly.
The networking events being held in these spaces enable budding startups to grow by bringing in investors, suppliers and potential clients together.
They are located typically in areas which are both residential and commercial, thereby enabling professionals to access them easily.
It is no surprise then that coworking spaces are springing up in different regions. The coworking space, which was earlier limited to major business cities, is now available in smaller towns and cities as well.
It can be gauged from the fact that a lot of entrepreneurs are looking for a coworking space for their own benefits at a fraction of the cost for acquiring an office.
When the trend of coworking started, it was started as a style of working, where several people from different businesses shared a space to work together.
However, over time, the profile of coworking has changed and it has become a space where people from different industries and different lifestyles meet together to work.
Most of the coworking spaces are operated by a central company having a number of branches in a city or a state.
Number of global coworking members
The number of global coworking members will be around 4993910 by 2024. There are a number of factors why coworking spaces are becoming so favoured among business owners and professionals alike.
Unlike in a traditional office, the members of a coworking space work for different companies and projects. So, there is no direct competition among the members, which enables them to work at their own pace without any pressure.
Working among people from different professions makes members value their work identity. Members have unique skill sets which enable them to be useful to each other. They collaborate and learn from one another.
Coworking spaces are typically accessible 24/7 which offers people the autonomy to decide when they want to work.
They can set a deadline to finish their work or even go to exercise during the day and complete their assignments later. These advantages have encouraged more workers to opt for coworking spaces.
For business owners, working from home or a cafe might not be a viable option for interaction with clients and investors. So, coworking spaces offer meeting rooms where they can network with them properly.
Growth of demand in the Industry
Due to the rising needs of working professionals, the demand for coworking started steadily during 2017 and it reached a peak during September 2019 and will continue to thrive through the years.
When the idea of shared working spaces was introduced in the corporate world, only 25% of working professionals, corporate agencies, and entrepreneurs showed interest in the idea during September of 2017.
The interest of working professionals continued to grow steadily as the interest rate grew close to 50% within the next 6 months to March 2018.
The demand for coworking spaces reached the very pinnacle in September of 2019 as more than 90% of companies and independent freelancers preferred working from coworking spaces.
However, due to the outbreak of a global pandemic, the demand rate experienced a decline and was recorded to be somewhere around 50% by April 2021.
The innovative idea of coworking spaces has changed the way business organizations work. The trend has helped various firms as well as individuals to fulfill their potential and has allowed the corporate sphere to grow in the long run.
Companies thriving to Coworking Space
- Google- Google is a standard setting in the corporate world and was the first organization to realize the potential of coworking spaces.
The innovative concept of shared spaces are now being enjoyed by Google employees from all around the world.
- Microsoft- After the pandemic, the utmost priority of employees at Microsoft is to monitor their health. Microsoft is looking for ways to incorporate sanitation into their hybrid workplace model.
It has designated spaces for coworking in its buildings since it works on the principle that there is no one way to get work done.
Moreover, the company has also secured remote coworking spaces all around the world to ensure that their employees have the best environment to work and fulfill their goals.
- Facebook- During the pandemic, Facebook allowed its employees to work from home, thereby ensuring that safety protocols were being followed.
They have designed offices with benefits such as free meals, video game centers, and even health centers to hold employees for longer periods.
Amenities offered by coworking spaces have also been adopted by Facebook and majority of their employees work within the confines of coworking spaces
- Apple- Apple is known for hiring a significant amount of remote and contracted workers including developers internationally.
Thus, Apple has benefited a lot from having designated coworking spaces where their employees can work.
Moreover, having coworking spaces would mean that these employees would not have to travel to the headquarters, thus, helping the tech-giant to follow immigrant policies and also save a considerable amount of finances
- Alibaba- Alibaba Cloud has partnered with WeWork, a coworking space giant to aid different global businesses to enter China.
This has allowed the company to utilize these coworking spaces and expand business opportunities into the Chinese market.
Office Space Timeline
2000s- During the early 2000s, employees were given their own cubicle, with a door to close for privacy. During the late 1990s companies began to see that having private offices was not very cost effective.
During the middle and late 2000s, the millennials began entering the workforce. Technology and high speed connectivity became the new normal.
In the early 2000s, the prevailing office design was a private office. The smartphone started being mass produced, thus enabling people to interact well with one another.
The term 'coworking' was coined during the 2000s. People began looking for alternative places to work such as coffee shops or their homes. Even workspaces began having open-floor office plans and telecommuting became the new norm.
2010s- 51% said that they would change jobs if they were allowed flexible schedules and 35% said that they would change jobs if they could work from home.
A new trend began in the office space. Companies began to focus on a more open environment for their office. Gone were the offices with cubicles and with the desks.
Companies began to move away from private offices and towards open spaces. 'Breakout spaces' where employees could bond with their colleagues and relax during breaks, came into existence. Employees were no longer confined to a desk.
2030s- In the 2030s, the workplace will be green, sustainable, and creative spaces focused on communal values.
Technological growth will lead to several positions being obsolete while creating new job opportunities. The hierarchical companies will gradually take steps towards decentralization and they will have a small, designated team of experts to execute tasks successfully.
Teams consisting of people having diverse skillets will be given more importance than individual experts.
Coworking will continue to prevail because freelancers and remote workers will need places where they can interact with others.
Wearable technology might wipe off the need for fixed desks. Flexible sitting areas with versatile use will come into the picture.
2100s- By 2100s, people will work from everywhere. The static office will cease to exist. The workplace of the 2100s will be a fluid space where people work together to execute tasks and interact with each other.
There won't be a set location for employees to check in and out.
Paired Development Spaces- Soft lighting strips will replace the harsh overhead lights and make workers appear more natural on screens during work calls.
Smart Meeting Rooms- A smart meeting room is a physical space that has been designed to cater for a range of technology which will enhance the way the meeting is run.
Modern smart meeting rooms are designed with input devices like microphones, cameras, projectors, screens, and whiteboards, making them great for all sorts of meetings.
Hybrid Cafe/Garden Spaces- These areas will be used for refreshments. Employees will be able to take breaks and engage in activities which will help them to relax. They will have indoor and outdoor areas which shall be used to encourage employee interaction.
Standing Desks- Standing desks or treadmill desks with the right height will aid workers to stay fit while working.
Huddle Rooms- There will be small rooms with digital whiteboards so that small groups of three or four people can collaborate. This room will also be used for remote engagement.
Private lounge and chair work stations- There will be large, ergonomic chairs with attached desks which will enable the workers to maintain their privacy, while remaining accessible.
Smart Whiteboards- A smart whiteboard is a visual collaboration tool that allows you to combine the collaboration power of a whiteboard with the convenience of using digital tools.
They have audio, video and file-sharing capabilities. It is a tool that creates on-site solutions for team collaboration. In the future, they will become even more developed.
The Cloud- In future, there may be more ways for employees and businesses to share and store files remotely.
Video System- Voice activated video systems equipped with artificial intelligence will track and count people who attend a meeting.
Compact Video Devices- Most offices will be equipped with compact video devices which will boost personal collaboration from the office.
Virtual Reality Presentation Systems- Virtual systems are still in development. In the near future, remote workers will be able to feel the part of being in the office workforce.
Wireless sharing devices- Small devices will be available so that any files or presentations can be displayed on different systems.
Workplace trends are changing rapidly, with the number of people working from home, or in “co-working” spaces increasing every year. When domestic space isn’t enough, or when you want to work in a different space, coworking is a flexible alternative.
Coworking spaces are often run by third parties, who rent out desks, meeting rooms and event spaces to members. Besides providing a workplace, coworking spaces also encourage social interaction between members, leading to new business opportunities and ideas. As more and more people flock to coworking spaces, the benefits of coworking are becoming visible.
Coworking spaces are the future of the workplace. Not only are they good for the environment, but they are good for the economy as well. Coworking spaces are beneficial for small business owners because they can have a professional office space without the cost.
They are good for the economy because they create jobs. They are great for the environment because they reduce the number of people who are driving to work everyday. As the future of work unfolds, coworking spaces will continue to adapt to the emerging needs of a changing workforce.
By providing a community where all types of workers can thrive, coworking spaces will be a natural choice for a new generation of entrepreneurs and companies. Coworking will facilitate the future of work and make it exciting, diverse, and inclusive.
Sources & References
About The Author
Name : Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma is the head content strategist and operation manager with Coworkinger. He has been working closely with co-working spaces since last few years and is the brain behind the latest research and stats on the co-working spaces round the globe. He is passionate about networking and connections and is quite driven toward understanding what brings people to such co-working spaces. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org