By Noam Livnat
Chief Product & Innovation Officer
Coworking’s rapid rise to prominence has caused quite a stir in the professional world. Companies of all sizes are embracing flexible work environments and workers from all backgrounds have dabbled in coworking.
But there are still naysayers. Some still believe coworking is just a fad or that it’ll fade away with any downturn in the commercial real estate market. These folks may be skeptical, but they’re overlooking clear and prominent coworking data that say just the opposite. Here are 10 facts that show the growth, stability, and demand of coworking.
Facts about coworking
The number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to cross 20,000, reaching 25,968 by 2022, an increase of 42% from 2019.
- 1. This is one of the most telling facts about coworking spaces. Their continued proliferation shows no slowdown in supply or demand, with new spaces added by the month. Each new coworking space creates opportunities to support a workforce becoming mobile just as quickly.
The number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.
- 2. Naysayers of coworking cite massive supply as a problem. Can this market really succeed if there’s a coworking space every few blocks? It can if there’s demand. According to current projections, demand is high and set to grow higher, justifying the supply.
Before 2011, large coworking spaces rarely exceeded 20,000 square feet. It’s no longer uncommon to see spaces with more than 100,000 square feet.
- 3. This fact suggests the success of the business model at-scale. Coworking companies are seeing consistent patronage and cash flow—enough to encourage them to test the bounds of their success at a larger scale, with more patrons.
40% of flexible workspace demand is forecast to come from large corporate companies. By 2020, ~50% of large companies will have some form of shared office space.
- 4. The data shows that coworking isn’t just for startups and freelancers. Companies of all sizes recognize the benefits of coworking and have begun capitalizing on them. As employees in large companies begin transitioning to remote work, these figures will only increase.
72% of coworking operators say they expect to see further industry consolidation, with 58% believing consolidation is a great opportunity.
- 5. Most facts about coworking show growth. This one shows consolidation. The caveat? Consolidation is a form of growth because it shows industry stabilization, where established companies can confidently absorb smaller competitors.
In 2018, flexible workspaces accounted for more than two-thirds of the U.S. office market occupancy gains.
- 6. Commercial real estate is a major indicator on macroeconomic scales. The fact that coworking has moved the needle in such a significant metric shows the power of this market. Coworking is rapidly becoming a core driver of commercial real estate.
By 2030, the flexible workspace market is expected to represent 30% of U.S. office stock—an unprecedented shift in workplace demand.
- 7. An unprecedented shift is a great way to describe the effect of coworking has had on traditional offices. Real estate is beginning to mold itself around flexible workspaces, not the traditional concept of an office. As a result, nearly a third of the market will change in the coming decade.
Workspace rental rates are projected to fall in most major cities, including New York, London, and Hong Kong.
- 8. Coworking is a disruptor. Not only has it disrupted the commonly-held concept of what a workplace is, it’s also taking aim at the high cost of traditional office space. As coworking space becomes more available, it also becomes more affordable, making it more accessible.
Full-time workers who are not self-employed hold more than 50% of flexible workspace memberships in Europe.
- 9. Europe is a proving ground for many ideas that eventually land stateside. Coworking has incubated overseas for years, and results like this statistic show how popular it has become. Companies and their employees have found a workspace solution that’s ideal for both parties.
71% of flexible workspace users report feeling more engaged at work, with positive impacts on their work.
- 10. People love coworking! It’s a departure from the shirt-and-tie, clock-watching, timecard-punching monotony of the traditional workplace. It’s new and invigorating, and gives people a chance to work how they want to. The results speak for themselves.
Coworking is here to stay
These facts and figures speak volumes about coworking not as a fad, but as a viable answer to the demand for flexible work environments. The workplace has changed and so have the needs of employees. Coworking recognizes the shift and offers alluring opportunities for accommodation. The concept is growing for a reason—because it’s in-demand and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Keep reading: Coworking trends.