• There are currently 14,411 coworking spaces in the world today.
  • The number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022.
  • These statistics, and more like them, prove that flexible workspace has become the workplace of choice.

In a recent article, Steve King from Emergent Research stated that coworking became an attractive concept because back when it first started to appear, it countered the pejorative views of the traditional office. If we look back to just a few years ago, coworking was considered to be a “movement” or a trend, with many believing it would fade away.

Fast forward to 2018 and coworking is a full-blown industry that has disrupted the real estate industry and the way people work. And while we can’t accurately predict whether the term coworking will still be used 10 years from now, “as language evolves, industry terminology moves with it” — and there is no denying that coworking is today’s normal.

Coworking, as well as other flexible workspaces, are known for offering environments that are conducive to innovation, collaboration, and productivity. These type of workplaces were pioneers in implementing a human approach to design, a trend which is catching up among real estate developers, landlords, and companies.

From trend to mainstream

The Oxford English Dictionary defines normal as: “the usual, typical, or expected state or condition.” As Sara King notes in this article, coworking could arguably be classed as a ‘new normal’ for workplace requirements. And we think that’s spot on.

Coworking has become the new normal in that it has become the expected and preferred workplace of today’s workforce. This is evidenced in the fact that large companies are increasingly seeking to enhance the workplace experience as a means to attract and retain talent, and that 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 has come a long way since 2005, when the first modern day coworking space opened; and while there is no sweet formula to getting the ‘perfect’ space, operators of all shapes and sizes have enhanced their service offering to meet the demands of their market. Consequently, in the past few years we’ve seen operators adopt hybrid workplace models, we’ve seen operators open niche spaces, and we’ve seen billions of dollars invested in the industry.

Numbers that back up the growth and potential of coworking

  • There are currently 14,411 Coworking spaces in the world today
  • Shared workspaces have grown at an incredible rate of 200% over the past five years. In global cities like London, New York and Chicago they are expanding at an annual rate of 20%, making coworking an institutional part of the market
  • The number of coworking spaces in Australia grew 297% between 2013-2017
  • The average flexible workspace unit size is estimated at 22,300 sq ft, which is an increase from circa 15,000 sq ft two years ago
  • Flexible workspace operators currently occupy around 10.7 million square feet of space across central London
  • Flexible workspaces are typically operating at 84% capacity in Central  London
  • Leasing 2.6m sq ft of space, WeWork has become the largest corporate office occupier in Central London
  • Coworking has taken the Asia-Pacific region by storm, leasing more than 8.0 million square feet over the last two year
  • Coworking now takes up 27million square feet of office space across the US
  • Occupancy levels have been nearing 100% for the few institutionalised coworking operators in India
  • The coworking segment in India is expected to receive $400 million in investments by 2018
  • The potential market size for the coworking segment across India currently stands in the range of 12-16 million
  • The number of coworking members will rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and 5.1 million by 2022
  • 76% of coworking members plan to remain users of coworking spaces in 2018
  • By 2020 50% of large companies will have some form of shared office space
  • 83% of users of coworking and other forms of flexible space claim to have benefited from these new work environments over the last 5-10 years
  • 84% of people who use coworking spaces are more engaged and motivated
  • 89% of people who cowork reported being happier
  • The future of coworking is forecasted at a healthy growth rate of 15% over the next 5 years
  • 72% of landlords agree that working with coworking operators has significant benefits for their development

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