6/21/18

8 Major Trends in the Coworking Industry

We at CoworkingResources have been recently invited by a large national coworking chain to talk about major trends in the coworking industry at their annual retreat.

While that was great, we wanted to make the list with the main points we’ve talked about available to everyone. Some of them might be controversial but we’d be happy to get your comments and discuss them.

1 - Real estate is becoming an on-demand experience

A lot of companies we work with move every 18 or 24 months. What sense do 10 year leases still make? Companies look for fast solutions and there is no bigger trend visible than real estate adapting to the needs of companies and trying to become an on-demand product.

2 - Coworking is not a hippie camp, it’s modern facility management

Coworking has often been laughed at as a lifestyle choice. Truth is: large coworking space operators build out prime locations in cities and snag these spots away from interested corporate companies. To make the point: This is modern facility management, not a hippie camp.

3 - Technology can create a 5* experience

You can’t and actually don’t want to have a 20 people management team per location. Smart use of the right technologies can avoid problems and create a superior experience. More and more coworking spaces offer companies and small teams  a high technology enabled environment without having to plan and cover those fixed costs themselves.

4 - Corporates are not only using but adopting coworking

We’ve seen outposts of large corporate companies camping in small coworking spaces. But if you think about it – when those companies plan new facilities, they are incorporating coworking as part of their concept.

5 - Large coworking spaces can’t use coworking tools

Coworking tools have been built for spaces between 20 and 200 members. What happens if you have 10 spaces with 400 members each? Would managing your members in Salesforce make more sense? You can’t keep the Apple Airport Express you used with a 50 member space forever, at some point you will have Cisco routers.

6 - Coworking spaces fight for the same goal

Working with many coworking spaces in one city makes it clear to us: they don’t compete for “the best space in the city” anymore, there is enough supply in coworking members for everyone. Maybe one space is more real in their intentions than others, but the only question remains: how fast can we make the city a coworking city?

7 - Technology decides on how fast you can scale

If you are hiring a large operations team to help with every little problem, chances are you have trouble scaling that model. The more of your on-and off boarding you have automated while keeping the member experience high defines how fast you’ll be able to scale – without much team additions.

8 - Your team will have more engineers

Someone has to connect all the API’s, set up the IT infrastructure, make sure the space is secured with cameras and access control as well as keep your own data safe. Chances are you are hiring an office automation engineer this year.

Conclusions

With venture capital funds pouring more and more money into the industry in 2018 (see the massive investments for Knotel in the U.S. and Woo Space in China), independent business owners entering the market, and more and more technology tools serving shared workspaces, this really appears to be just the beginning for this vibrant sector!

We are committed to staying on top of new trends and always draw an up-to-date picture of the state of coworking.

Hope it was fun to read and got your thoughts going. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to get in touch! If you liked what you read, share it with your friends via email, LinkedIn, Facebook or meet in VR!

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