3 Popular Coworking Trends on the Rise
The impact of the pandemic has fast tracked the onset of flexible workspace trends, which are quickly being embraced by more companies worldwide. It is estimated that the demand for co-working spaces in particular will continue to surge, playing a crucial role in the gradual ‘return to work’ or the ‘new normal’.
According to Report Linker, the global coworking spaces market is expected to grow by $13.35 bn during 2021-2025, progressing at a CAGR of over 11% during the forecast period.
But along with the standard “coworking model” coming into existence, there are certain trends that have emerged with the onset of coworking like office decentralisation, real estate opportunity and spaces for niche audiences.
Let’s have a look at some of these trends in detail:
Coworking that supports office decentralisation:
Decentralisation has largely become the key strategy to help expand a company’s global footprint. It saves on travel time and enhances productivity of employees. We saw this with media giants like Twitter and Facebook when they decided to decentralise their headquarters to smaller branches all over the world. Johnson & Johnson as well, is famous for their decentralised model, with more than 200 units that function independently but often work together.
Decentralisation has only very recently become a more widely adopted model for large and growing organisations. This is because of the onset of covid-19, which meant requesting a large number of employees to work from home. But while the #WFH system has its perks, it’s not viable or ideal, at least not for the long run – mainly because of concerns over lack of productivity, feelings of isolation and general wellbeing of employees. Hence, businesses have started to trial decentralisation at a scale and location that works for them.
The greatest advantage of decentralised businesses in coworking spaces, is that it allows for a better commute to the company’s headquarters and is also often closer to where employees live. Additionally, it’s a great place to network and be part of a thriving community – which eliminates the feeling of isolation & boosts productivity.
WeWork helped a famous financial firm with their decentralisation model by providing them a full floor of temporary workspace close to their headquarters. The two year flexible workplace agreement allowed the company to decentralise its offices without having to make long-term commitments or invest in new infrastructure.
Similarly, CoWork Me supports the decentralised model of global carbon-neutral meal kit company Hello Fresh and houses their marketing & sales team on site. This is a great model for a company like Hello Fresh, as they often require meeting rooms and event spaces to carry out business meetings with teams based in Sydney and Queensland – and CoWork Me has these services readily available!
Niche CoWorking Spaces
A new trend is emerging with co-working spaces, where office spaces can be customised based on what occupation you are in – this is slowly leading to the emergence of a new crop of coworking spaces. Niche coworking spaces aim to fulfill the requirements of a specific target audience based on genders, industries and personal traits. A niche coworking space is designed solely based on community. Every service and amenity provided is based on the segment of the coworking targets.
For instance, Turn Up To Eleven is a coworking hub designed for artists and musicians who are serious about pursuing their music full time as a career. The space is equipped with studios, career coaching classes, and other business planning tools to help budding artists. Similarly,Tradecraft Industries is a coworking space that houses contractors, designers and oil & gas professionals and professionals in the construction world. The space also has amenities like equipment storage and has some communal work areas, so members do not have to buy expensive technical equipment themselves. They will also likely have larger areas with enough space for planning projects and more.
This trend is proven to have many benefits over traditional spaces including an enriched collaborative environment and networking opportunities. These niche spaces are also ideal for smaller businesses and is a perfect way to grow your startup as you are surrounded by people with the same mindsets, mentality and industry experience. Also at the heart of niche shared space is inclusivity, when a group of people have similar interests or task work side by side, it builds opportunities for natural conversation which creates deeper relationships
Coworking spaces that have specific amenities are also growing in demand. For instance United and Co. in Melbourne is a space that is focused on supporting healthy habits of working professionals. The coworking space features a room for prayer & meditation, on-site gym & a cafe with healthy food options. Similarly, amenities like having childcare on site has become popular in demand as finding affordable childcare has become a major hindrance for parents to return to the workforce and mothers in particular. Therefore, coworking spaces that offer these specific amenities are not only an attractive option to parents but also contribute to gender equality.
Opportunity for landlords & property investors
Previously building developers & landlords had avoided the expansion into co-working, but because of the increased demand in recent years, more value is seen in these building models and styles. It is estimated that once we are on track to a “covid normal”, the flexible workspace trendsetter could be the new property investment opportunity. With major companies like Facebook, Apple and Google leading this trend, property developers and landlords are quick to seize the opportunity and fulfill this growing demand.
An example of this is Victory offices in Australia planning to open 14 sites over an 18 month period , with five corporate sites to be established in Sydney alone. Many landlords have typically avoided expansion into co-working but we are beginning to see many landlords throughout the Hong Kong Market for instance, outfitting their business to hold large enterprises and tech companies. Many landlords are now realising that they can keep more of their office space rented using these solutions and improve profits along the way.
The trend of seeing coworking spaces in residential areas is on the rise as well, so as to make the commute to the office more convenient for employees.