What Coworking Spaces Need to Succeed in 2019
The coworking concept has been around for many years, providing users with flexible workspaces, built-in community, and networking opportunities. What started out as a business model aimed at freelancers and small startups, has now grown to accommodate wider groups of remote employees, as well as big companies embracing the idea of the flexible workspace. 2018 has seen rapid growth in the industry, and 2019 is promising to bring even more expansion and transformation to the coworking world. With competition fiercer than ever, let’s look at what your coworking space needs to stay relevant and to succeed in the upcoming year.
1. Become Corporate-Friendly
While coworking spaces were originally created to accommodate freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, the upcoming year will see a rise in larger corporations gaining interest in the flexible workspace model. Driven by cost savings, as well as access to the talent pool at multiple geographic locations and improved creativity in its employees, corporate giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Starbucks have already put their workers in coworking seats. More partnerships will be created in 2019. To better prepare for this industry shift, make sure your coworking space is corporate friendly by providing office and meeting rooms, as well as open areas and lounges.
2. Take Advantage of Real Estate Deals
More and more real estate developers and landlords are beginning to see the benefit of creating and offering coworking spaces to their tenants. Some real estate companies are building their own coworking brands, while others are partnering with the existing ones. With the real estate industry quickly catching up with this new business model, 2019 might be a good time to negotiate a better deal for your coworking business.
3. Embrace Technology
In order to make your coworking space run efficiently, embrace the new software and hardware being developed specifically for the industry. Technology is becoming more important to coworking offices than ever, with companies beginning to use access cards, space management software and booking and attendance systems. 2019 is a good time to make sure you utilize these time- and money-saving products.
4. Specialize in Something
With competition in the coworking business rapidly rising, one of the new ways for companies to set themselves apart has become targeting and catering to certain groups, industries, and professions, such as coworking spaces for women, artists, writers, architects, or developers. With this trend catching on very quickly, it might be one of the ways for your company to stand out in the new year. Just make sure to provide the facilities and tools needed for your niche group to succeed in the workplace.
5. Think about Sustainability
Already an environmentally-friendly business model, coworking spaces will place even more value on sustainability in the upcoming year. From building materials and LED-lights to bike-sharing programs and indoor plants, the possibilities are countless. Not only are the sustainable workplaces good for the planet but they are more economical to maintain in the long run, and make the coworkers feel good.
6. Invest in Wellness
With so much of our time spent at work, it only makes sense to invest in workplace wellness, both physical and mental. A health-oriented workplace produces more efficient workers, and coworking businesses are really embracing this thought, providing services and facilities to match the growing demand. Yoga, meditation, bike storage, nap pods, run clubs, and pet-friendly spaces are among many services that can be found in the coworking offices of today, and the list is only going to grow in 2019. Think about adding one, or a few, of these to your workplace.
7. Focus on Design
Nothing differentiates a coworking office from a regular office more than its design, always stylish, efficient and user-friendly. Yet it seems that the coworking companies will have to get even more innovative in 2019 to win over their competitors. It’s not enough to throw in a bean bag or table tennis anymore. The coworking design of the future needs to rise above its functionality in order to stand out. It needs to become human-centered and promote social interaction. What can you improve in the design of your office?
8. Consider Multiple Locations
Coworking space users like flexibility by default. So when choosing a coworking company, they are more likely to opt-in for the ones that have multiple locations in one city, or even multiple-city locations under one membership. While adding locations to your existing business can be hard to pull off, consider joining a coworking passport program — an alliance of participating coworking spaces whose members are allowed to swap locations for a few hours a month.
With the industry growing and changing so fast, make sure to remain on top of your coworking game by staying up-to-date on the current trends and remaining flexible in your approach to running your business. After all, coworking is all about flexibility.