Coworking has been a steadily growing trend in recent years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Forbes estimates that there are close to 7,000 coworking spaces around the world, and a Deskmag survey forecasts that there will be 10,000 open by the end of the year.
Coworking taps into the zeitgeist of workplace flexibility. Many independent professionals, startups and small businesses prefer a shared space to a traditional office. They get the convenience and adaptability they need, as well as access to a diverse community and collaboration opportunities.
For commercial property owners, the thriving coworking industry is an attractive long-term prospect. A new report from JLL research finds that more than 27 million square feet of space is used for coworking across the United States. And according to Deskmag, 62% of all coworking owners this year reported wanting to expand their spaces, up from 59% in 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that over the next five years, the number of freelancers, independent contractors, and other self-employed people will grow from the current 30% to 40%.
As the coworking industry continues to expand, competition among spaces will also increase. Successful landlords will make their coworking spaces stand out among competitors – and design will play a crucial role in this process. Coworkers need a modern, flexible and collaborative workplace that fits their purposes, and they will choose a space based on how well it is planned and furnished.
Best Practices for Coworking Spaces
Coworking is growing rapidly in major cities, with New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Boston making up the top five markets, according to JLL. But other markets are also growing, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, and Detroit. In heavily populated urban areas, there is already a high demand for coworking spaces, and landlords can reasonably expect stable retention rates and new tenant sign-ups.
Rightsize recently opened the doors to a new showroom planned within Bamboo Detroit, the city’s largest coworking community. “Detroit is on the verge of a renaissance and our new showroom is well-positioned downtown, in the heart of the action,” stated Rightsize President Mason Awtry.
Furnish for flexibility and convenience.
Coworking is a contemporary concept, and the space’s furnishings and décor should reflect this. Coworkers want to use the space for a wide variety of tasks: quiet solo work, impromptu collaborations, client meetings, lunch breaks. Offer spaces with furniture that can be moved or adapted to different needs. And don’t forget that the workplace should be fully equipped with fast Wi-Fi, office supplies, and extras like snacks, tea, and coffee.
Build a sense of community.
Many people are attracted to coworking spaces because they are tired of being isolated from other people. They may be building their own business or working independently with clients, but they still miss the social interaction and professional development opportunities of a traditional workplace. Foster a community within your space by offering free lectures or networking events, weekly happy hours, skillshare workshops, or the like. Make your space uniquely suited to the type of tenant you want to attract.
Get in touch with Rightsize to learn how we can PLAN, FURNISH and SERVICE your space.