Spacent team · Oct 13th 2022
Coworking needs an upgrade to support hybrid work: our view of the future of coworking spaces
During the pandemic, a lot of coworking spaces struggled. Now the new coworking era is at its beginning. It is a flexible, free, and creative way of spending your workdays. Coworking and sharing office resources is not only good for the environment, but it also provides you and your workmates with a healthier lifestyle that flows better with your everyday life.
The demand for coworking spaces is increasing again and it appeals to people more. One of the reasons is the slow return of business travel that has left freelancers, private individuals, and companies (just to name a few) seeking a place where they can take meetings, focus, and find companionship. But one of the most important things is that we want to decide for ourselves, where to work.
According to Castellums report (2021), two out of three respondents were favorable to spending some or all of their working time in a coworking space. Overall 80 % of the respondents want to continue working hybrid and 50 % would like their employer to provide them an option to work from a coworking space close to home. A staggering 90 % of the so-called “Generation Z”, prefers a hybrid option provided by the employer. This is worth noting if a company wants to be able to compete for the best young talent.
JLL predicts that 30 % of corporate office portfolios will be shared offices by 2030, right now, the number in the Nordics is under 10 %. This massive change in demand will create a lot of new opportunities for coworking and other shared office concepts to grow and find their niche.
What we think will happen to the coworking scene in the future:
- Coworking spaces will be everywhere.
Work can be done wherever – many people would like to have their coworking space in the area where they naturally spend their days. Nearby their home, children’s day-care, hobbies, ski resorts, etc. This potential demand requires a new kind of approach from operators to make coworking appealing to employees and employers.
- Coworking becomes more inclusive.
Coworking is not only for executives, start-ups and entrepreneurs, it’s something for everyone. While remote working is possible and allowed for almost anyone, the user base of coworking is still not as broad as it could and should be. Not all of us want to work from our homes.
- Coworking design will accommodate more different styles of work.
With a larger user base, coworking needs to adapt to many different styles of work. Only an open area with desks is no longer enough to support the new way of working, with multiple teams meetings and calls.
- Coworking operators will have different business models with landlords.
Many companies will decrease their fixed space use and start to demand more flexible options from landlords. The traditional coworking model with long leases and high CAPEX is too slow to react to the changing demands. Therefore, a new type of risk-sharing model with landlords has already entered the market.
- Coworking will need a technological upgrade.
Suburban demand for coworking requires high efficiency from the operators, so technical development towards better UX in “cold operated” locations is predicted. But the same innovation will also happen in the staffed CBD locations.
So – if you’re looking for new, free and flexible way of working, that gives you the opportunity to be more productive, and connect with people, coworking is your next step. And don’t forget – coworking isn’t only for companies – it’s something that is for everyone!
Report on the future of working life (Castellum, 2021)
The impact of COVID-19 on flexible space (JLL, 2020)