Coworking has established itself as a real force and a new way of using and understanding workspaces. As the use of coworking spaces continues to grow, the coming decade will be one of consolidation of the industry. But what specific trends can we expect in 2020?
We can safely say that coworking is no longer a mere trend or a movement. It is now mainstream. Demand for coworking and flexible workspaces has grown exponentially, with the current global market value of the industry estimated at US$26 billion. While in 2017 there were an estimated 26,000 coworking spaces across the world, in 2020 that figure is expected to grow to 37,840 and to 49,500 by 2022.
In 2010 just 21,000 people around the world considered themselves to be coworkers and over the last decade that number has risen to almost 5 million. In a bid to attract even more users, in 2020 coworking spaces are expected to move towards incorporating more new technologies, diversifying locations and niches, bringing in new types of users as well as extending the amenities they offer to cover the health and wellbeing of members.
Like any business, coworking spaces need to be profitable and introducing automation technologies into maintenance and management is one way to drive profitability while making spaces more attractive to increasingly demanding new members. While community spirit will remain a touchstone for coworking, automation of access, attendance, billing, management, voice-activated and wearable tech will increase the efficiency of managing spaces and drive connections within the coworking community each provider is building.
Niche spaces for specific industries and types of user
Coworking spaces for parents, coworking spaces for creatives and artists, and for specific industries are just some of the niches expected to come on offer as different spaces vie for their own slice of an increasingly competitive market. Users will have more choices available to them as the number of spaces increases. As the coworking spaces start to tailor their offer to specific niches, potential members should also be able to find a better fit for their unique needs.
Corporations continue to move in
The trend for corporations to move their offices into coworking spaces is expected to continue in 2020, with an increasing number of large companies moving new departments or the entire organisation into flexible workspaces. Large companies have understood that leasing spaces with a creative atmosphere, a range of amenities and a ready-made community can bring huge benefits in terms of productivity, innovation and cost containment.
Diversity in size and location
As the coworking industry grows, so does demand for locations. 2020 will be the year for diversifying size and location of new spaces, with a range of new ones emerging on the outskirts of big cities, in smaller towns and even in rural areas. Within larger cities, smaller spaces are expected to pop up as providers take up previously unused spaces.
Health and wellbeing facilities
As with traditional offices, coworking spaces are where many workers spend most of their day and anything that can be done to improve their comfort and physical and mental health will be seen as a bonus. In 2020 spaces that offer health and wellbeing facilities such as exercise classes, ergonomic chairs and standing desks, meditation rooms, gyms or even clinics, will be ahead of the curve.