With nearly 19,000 coworking spaces and more than 3 million coworkers globally in 2019, the shared workspace model is more popular than ever before. It's grown a lot, especially in recent years, and is showing no signs of slowing down. So what can we expect out of coworking spaces in the years to come? We have a few predictions.
1. Widespread Appeal
The coworking model has largely been used by entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers – but that could change. Larger companies are starting to see the benefits of shared office spaces. For one, the financial savings of not leasing large, expensive offices can be huge. It can also be beneficial to have smaller teams work side-by-side. Additionally, when doing business globally, it makes sense to have a workforce stationed in those areas as opposed to all holed up in a few headquarters locations.
2. Increased Collaboration
Coworking spaces may start to be geared toward specific industries and specialties, gathering similar professionals under one roof. This could mean, for example, that marketers would be more likely to share a space. And that could go even further – with graphic designers being grouped together. This would be appealing because it would provide opportunities for collaboration and a feeling of community. In addition, the spaces could be equipped with technology to fit the needs of each particular niche.
3. Better Technology
More advanced technology will no doubt play a large role in the development of coworking spaces. We're talking super innovative, Internet of Things tech, such as virtual assistants, wearable technology, and artificial intelligence. Imagine controlling the environment with smart devices, motion sensors, and remote automation to improve things like humidity and air quality. From synchronized calendars to interactive dashboards, coworking spaces will really step up to the technology plate.
4. Continued Growth
Coworking is here to stay, and it will likely only continue to expand. According to Coworking Resources, "The number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach 25,968 by 2022, an increase of 42% from 2019." Coworking has completely changed how office space is utilized, and there's no going back. And let's not forget that as Millennials and Gen Zers start monopolizing the workforce, they will be more likely to desire these flexible, open workspaces.
5. Smaller Providers
There are a handful of large companies dominating the coworking market right now, such as WeWork. But as the demand for more niche spaces increases, the opportunity arises for smaller providers to flourish. Why? Large companies can be slow to change, whereas smaller providers can be more nimble and able to fulfill specific needs – bringing a little more uniqueness to the table.
6. A Focus on Sustainability
Greener spaces will start to become more of the norm, with developers making sustainability a priority in their designs. This can include things like using recycled materials, leveraging natural light, and including more greenery. And as we mentioned above, cutting-edge technology will be used to automate climate controls and increase energy efficiency.
As the coworking industry continues to expand, it's a good idea to keep your eyes on the future. The more you can anticipate the changing needs of your workforce, the better you can implement changes to stay ahead of the game and keep everyone performing at their best.