I am often asked what the typical demographic is in a coworking space. While some coworking spaces target certain industries, many (such as ours) thrive because of the diversity of people who cowork with us. Here are the main demographics of people who use coworking spaces and what attracts them to this type of working environment
1. The Freelancer
Freelancers started the coworking movement and were the target demographic of the original spaces as the industry took off. They were spending way too much money on coffee and food in order to escape the “home office.” While the industry has matured and diversified in the types of people it attracts, much of the focus is still around the freelancer who is looking for community, flexibility, and an option where they do not have to spend spend their hard earned income on copious amounts of food and coffee.
2. The Small Business Owner
Small business owners often seek out coworking spaces when they bring their first employee on board. While often quite content to work from home when starting a business, small business owners often approach coworking spaces because they crave a more professional space for their employees to work as well as to meet clients. Small business owners love coworking spaces because they have the flexibility to bring new staff on board at a pace that is comfortable for them without having to project their staffing needs too far in advance. It also provides them with the ability to focus on what is really important (their business!) without having to worry about spending a half a day dealing with fixing the internet or working with a plumber to repair a broken toilet.
3. The Consultant
Consultants enjoy coworking spaces because of the privacy of the offices and the large network of potential clients that share the space with them. A casual chat at the coffee shop in the coworking space can lead to personal or professional relationships as consultants in different fields gain an understanding of other’s pain points in their various businesses and how the consultants can assist them. Coworking spaces save consultants money on marketing fees and develop a stronger sense of trust from the client’s perspective because of this pre-existing relationship. Some coworking spaces (such as ours!) will even provide specific incentives in order to encourage businesses to hire others from the space so that everyone benefits.
4. The Professional
When a professional searches for office space, they often require two main things: privacy and reception. Since professionals, such as lawyers and accountants, have their established client base, they are looking for a space with a professional look and feel to run their business. Coworking provides this privacy as well as reception services which can save professionals significant sums of money which leads to increased profits for these professionals and/or reduced working hours.
5. The Corporate
Well established companies are probably the newest on the scene in the coworking movement. While originally viewed as a movement for freelancers; corporates are beginning to understand and appreciate the value of coworking for their employees. Many large companies are moving project teams, or even entire organisations into coworking spaces because they understand the value of the cross pollination of ideas and networks that a coworking space creates. Corporates are also realising that their resources are better spent focusing on their core product and “outsourcing” their office setup, office management, and furnishing. If you are a corporate thinking about moving a team into a coworking space, you will be excited to hear that corporates such as IBM and KPMG have done the same.
6. The Start-Up
When people think of coworking spaces, this is probably the stereotypical image of the person who works there. Think about the young tech entrepreneur, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, sitting at their desk with headphones pulling all nighters in order to bring the newest app to the market. It is clear why this demographic thrives in coworking spaces: they are a great place to expand a team quickly, build a robust network of contacts, and have resources such as ping pong and foosball tables when it is time to take a break after an intense meeting.
After being open for less than a couple of months, we already have businesses from each of these categories building and shaping our community and are always looking for more to join us.