Coworking is an innovative way of working in and sharing the same office space. Asides from being a professional endeavor, coworking has become synonymous with new communities that have come together to work, but also to transfer knowledge in a holistic and sustainable way.
The use of the word “coworking” in the current societal context came about in 2005. Entrepreneur and dreamer Brad Neuberg created the “first coworking space” in the bustling metropolitan of San Francisco.
He called it the ‘San Francisco Coworking Space’ and it was only open to professionals two days a week. Interestingly enough, it was located inside a feminist collective space called Spiral Muse in San Francisco’s Mission District. The space sat empty for the first month or so since people didn’t understand what coworking truly was.
As the trend caught on, coworking became the new normal way of sharing and working. Now coworking spaces are designed to encourage collaboration and discourage normal corporate constraints that are often created in typical stuffy office environments.
According to Cecilia Amador at All Work, coworking “is a full-blown industry that has disrupted the real estate industry and the way people work,” and “a significant percentage of workers who have the option to work from home or a coffee shop prefer to work from a coworking space.”
Coworking Industry Statistics
Coworking spaces are sprouting up around the world and hence may be categorized as a global trend and/or phenomenon. With rampant globalization and development, it’s not surprising to see that professionals in various countries prefer to work in mostly the same type of way.
Let’s take a look at some general coworking industry statistics to understand the market better.
- According to Statista, there are around 18,700 coworking spaces worldwide. This number grows daily and is expected to go above 26,000 by the year 2025.
- According to Deskmag, around 65% of people who utilize coworking spaces are under the age of 40. Coworking spaces appeal to the younger crowd, especially millennials, who enjoy collaborative work.
- According to All Work, the global market for coworking spaces is estimated to be around $26billion. That’s a whopping number!
- What’s more, around 14% of employees at large corporations utilize coworking spaces to get their work done.
Growth Trends in Coworking
Coworking spaces have seen remarkable growth recently, and are continuing to do so. There are tons of coworking spaces located in metropolitan cities around the world. With new spaces opening right after the other, it’s time to crunch the numbers and see how they add up to foretell the future of this unique collaborative industry. Here are some stats about the growing trends in coworking!
- According to Ergonomic Trends, China and India will take the lead in the coworking market. China is predicted to be the one of the largest future markets for coworking spaces, with nearly 5000 spaces by 2022.
- Furthermore, workers who tend to use coworking spaces report that they feel happier and 83% said they feel much less lonely since they joined the space. Hence, coworking spaces are increasing the trend towards collaboration and community building.
- According to All Work, the sheer number of coworking spaces rose by 16% in the US and 36% outside the US, in just 2018. Talk about growth trends.
- CNBC reported that coworking is growing but not only in the freelance and startups community. WeWork statistics showed a solid 90% increase in the number of enterprise companies that made use of their coworking spaces. Big names like HSBC, Spotify, Microsoft and more regularly use coworking spaces for their employees.
Demographics of Coworking Clients
Coworking spaces are perfect for those who are testing small business ideas or work with smaller teams. It gives them the flexibility to scale their team numbers and cut their overhead costs if they need. They also utilize the shared knowledge database, software, access to a wider community, funding programs and much more. However, coworking spaces are used by more than just entrepreneurs and startups.
In fact, there are a lot of different kinds of people who use these spaces.
- According to DeskMag, women make up nearly 40% of the workforce in coworking spaces. While it was previously a male-dominated industry, women have now started taking over the freelance sector too.
- While not the only demographic, freelancers are still the largest demographic when it comes to coworking spaces. They account for around 41% of the workforce in coworking spaces, with corporate workers coming in second at 36%.
- According to DeskMag, the IT industry produces the biggest community of coworkers, with around 22% of the slice. Next in line are PR, Marketing and Sales employees, who make up 14% of the space and then independent consultants at 6%. The IT sector is growing while independent consultants are decreasing in size.
- According to All Work, extroverts make up the largest group at 30%, personality wise, in coworking spaces.
Future Challenges for the Coworking Industry
Coworking is a pretty beneficial market if you look at the numbers. However, every industry and space comes with its own challenges and obstacles and coworking is no different. Coworking faces a few challenges which may be explained by looking at some key statistics.
- According to Statista, new members are hard to come by in 2019. Around two-thirds of the coworking spaces surveyed in 2019 said their biggest issue is attracting new coworkers. Coworking spaces can’t work without…workers after all.
- Wun Systems reported that high rental costs can be an effective deterrent against opening up a new coworking space. Rent makes up around 40% of the space’s total budget, making it more expensive than maintenance costs and employee wages combined.
- According to DeskMag, only 42% of coworking spaces were able to turn a profit in 2018. These are global figures, meaning that while coworking can prove profitable for coworkers, the narrative is a little different for those who own the spaces. As many as 25% of spaces even operate on a loss.
Author – Marsha Kelly