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What’s flexible, professional, and changing the way we design offices? That’s right–coworking spaces! Demand for these creative shared spaces is driven by factors like millennials’ expectations for flexibility and mobile work, the expansion of the gig economy, and rethinking office space design. Here are some key predictions for the growth of coworking spaces.

1) Coworking will continue growing.

The number of coworking spaces could reach over 26,000 by 2020–just two years’ time. It’s already grown 23 percent since 2010. Membership in these spaces will grow to over 3.8 million by the same year. JLL says less than 5 percent of the United States office market is comprised of flexible spaces. However, by 2030, around 30 percent of the office market could be flexible use spaces.

2) Developers add coworking spaces.

Landlords with underutilized spaces are turning to coworking spaces to generate income and foot traffic. Commercial real estate owners are recognizing the value-add generated by a successful shared workspace. While not all locations are optimally sized or located for a coworking hub, we’re seeing more developers and building owners (like Verizon!) carve out rooms or whole floors dedicated to coworking spaces for their employees or the general public.

3) Suburban coworking grows.

There’s a trend afoot: people are shifting away from the downtown work-play-live lifestyle for suburbia. Why? Reasons vary between individuals, but often it boils down to the exponentially rising cost of living in a downtown core or simply not wanting to live in the city. If people are moving to the suburbs to get away from the city, they’re not likely to drive into the core for a coworking space. Enter the suburban coworking space, which brings all the benefits and amenities to your doorstep without fighting for parking. The need for these sophisticated centers close to populations will continue growing.

4) Coworking spaces will expand.

To accommodate the phenomenal growth in membership, coworking spaces will expand their footprints and their numbers. Coworking spaces will be challenged to make these expansions happen, and will closely evaluate how to best configure existing spaces to serve more members per square foot.

5) Sustainability matters.

New office space design continues to reinforce sustainability through design, and coworking spaces will strive to mirror these best practices. This includes incorporating natural light, greenery, and best environmental practices. Some spaces may utilize reclaimed or recycled materials in their build-out. Updating existing spaces with the latest IoT to automate private room controls is one simple way to bring energy costs in line while improving productivity.

6) Building community will be crucial.

Recruiting new members and keeping existing members engaged goes beyond offering a variety of space needs. Coworking spaces need to find new ways to nurture their communities as a way to sustain growth. This happens through collaboration and making connections with the membership.

 

We’re excited about the future of coworking. As the industry continues to evolve, our best practices and offerings will only improve. That’s a win-win for our members and the office space industry. If you’re interested in checking out a suburban shared workspace, stop by one of our SharedSpace locations and take a tour.

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Abbey Weil


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