The need for coworking spaces is growing rapidly worldwide. GCUC and Small Business labs predict that:
- The number of global coworking spaces will grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 in 2022;
- The number of coworking members will grow from 1.74 million in 2017 to 5.1 million in 2022 at an average annual growth rate of 24.2%.
There are numerous factors that drive the coworking revolution and the trends and innovations to note in 2019.
Benefits for businesses
An IWG survey at the beginning of 2018 showed that renting coworking spaces can benefit companies in many ways. From 18000 survey respondents,
- 91% said that flexible workspace enables employees in their company to be more productive while on the move
- 89% believe flexible working helps their business grow
- 87% believe flexible working helps their business stay competitive
- 83% believe flexible working helps their business maximize profits
- 80% stated coworking spaces helped them recruit and retain top talent
- 82% stated flexible working helps them create a presence in new markets
- 76% said companies in their industry sector are opting for more pay-as-you-go business services
- 88% said remote working locations help reduce commuting time for employees
- 81% said remote working locations help employees achieve a better work/life balance.
Coworking spaces are more affordable than traditional working spaces like offices and corporate headquarters. Costs associated with long-term leases, furnishing, WiFi, electricity, water, A/V gear, printer, office supplies, and other utilities reduce significantly. Plus, coworking spaces allow companies to hire talent in different locations without worrying about having to spend on setting up offices there. This facilitates business growth and profits.
Benefits for employees
Employees thrive in coworking spaces. Studies have shown that people working in coworking spaces have more purpose as they have control and flexibility in their work environment. As a result, they are happier, motivated, and see their work as more meaningful.
A 2015 survey by Small Business Labs and GCUC found that coworking spaces are human spaces, dismantling loneliness and creating communities of happier, healthier, more productive, more connected professionals. Here are some of the findings of the survey:
- 84% people in coworking spaces feel more engaged and motivated
- 82% said coworking has expanded their professional networks
- 80% said they turn to other coworking members for help or guidance
- 69% reported they learned new or improved existing skills
- 87% report they meet other members for social reasons
- 89% reported they are happier
- 83% reported they are less lonely
- 78% reported that coworking helps keep them sane
Coworking spaces trends 2019
Expansion: the Deskmag 2018 Global Coworking Survey supported by Nexudus, Essensys & WUN Systems, found that expansion is one of the major trends in the industry for the year. There is a strong need for more and/or bigger coworking spaces: on average, every coworking space is planning to expand their area by 70%. Of the coworking space companies surveyed,
- 27% plan to expand adding more space and more desks at the same location
- 8% plan to move to a larger location
- 37% plan to open extra locations
- 33% have no expansion plans
- With expansion, coworking spaces anticipate:
- 86% more members
- 81% more income
- 81% more sense of community
- 71% more events
Niche-specific spaces: 2019 will see a growth in sector-specific flexible, serviced working spaces. According to GCUC, the number of spaces that appeal to members with specialized needs – like shared biolabs, writers’ spaces, women-oriented spaces, commercial kitchens, etc. – will continue to grow.
Corporate coworking will grow: corporate coworking is a fast-growing global trend. According to GCUC, “this trend will accelerate over the next 5 years due to corporations looking to reduce their exposure to long term leases and employees insisting on more workplace options.”
Better technology: coworking spaces will integrate smart tech to keep up with the demands of the modern working force. Technology in coworking spaces will go beyond performant computers, and traditional office utilities like printers, copiers, fax, and so on.
Apps: many coworking space providers around the world have partnered with Raaly, and app which lets any company offer access to coworking spaces around the world. Raaly users can search and find coworking spaces at a discount.
Blockchain: In March 2918, WeWork competitor Knotel launched KnotelKoin, a platform based on blockchain technology where users are rewarded with digital tokens, whose value can increase over time and which can be used to pay for transactions on the platform.
Chatbots and voice assistants are slowly finding their way in the workplace. A Spiceworks study showed that by 2019, at least 40% of businesses will implement one or more intelligent assistants or AI chatbots on company-owned devices, compared to 25 % of mid-size companies and 27 % of small businesses
Real estate industry joins the revolution: per the 2019 Global Coworking Forecast by GCUC, large real estate firms and other landlords are starting to offer coworking spaces to tenants too.
Wellness at the workplace: coworking spaces providers will enhance their offering with all kinds of amenities designed to attract more members but also to promote a healthy working environment: yoga and fitness classes, climbing walls, relaxation areas.