Coworking business started in the mid-2000s, and since then, coworking spaces have become a new kind of work sanctuaries all over the world, with Asia as a world leader in the number of offices. Over the last decade, we have seen this trend increasing. But as we know, since social distancing became a new norm and most companies have turned to remote work, this branch of business had a slower growth pace in 2020. Even so, coworking space statistics forecast coworking to continue expanding.
How is the Pandemic Affecting Coworking?
The pandemic contrived the economy to face unexpected scenarios. With the difficult business setting and travel restrictions, membership numbers in many coworking providers centered in significant cities that target individual members have declined. The fall was limited in the smaller “ private offices “ where larger spaces have lost one in five desk spaces due to social distancing, the fall was limited in the smaller “private offices.” With the social distancing rules, capacity in the coworking environment has shrunk, and fewer members are needed to reach the total capacity but compared with pre-pandemic capacity, the rate dropped with the recent lockdown significantly.
Since coworking venues do not always comply with pandemic regulations and social distancing, this industry faces great stress during lockdown. Coworking venues will have to adapt and work closely with local health departments to follow the guidelines. Coworking areas could look different with reduced capacity and more personal space, which will impact and put a lot of pressure on the providers.
Many companies have turned to work from home, and some won’t come back; on the other side, there will always be freelancers, lawyers, and consultants that are going to need fully functional spaces where users can work together rather than independently work from home.
Will the coworking market continue to grow?
Working from home isn’t always the most productive and sometimes impacts our mental health. Lack of socializing and lack of contact can lead to loneliness. Shared spaces require people to leave home and can give people a sense of community. One more benefit is removing the need to commute long distances and reduce travel times.
The coworking market could come out from the pandemic even more robust, after the lockdown and remote work, people will be excited to work from somewhere else. According to a Coworking report, this sector was in its early stages during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and experienced explosive growth during the longest economic recovery on record. Even with the social distancing rules, coworking can contribute to reducing the risk of infection since it provides individual workspaces and smaller units rather than open-plan offices.
So what is the future for coworking? After facing a drop in 2020, occupancy will rise and stabilize. According to a Global Coworking Growth Study, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach almost 20,000 this year. More companies are sending their workers to coworking spaces. With all the entrepreneurs looking for an enjoyable space to make their work easier, coworking is becoming a more and more popular option. Despite Corona, coworking is predicted to grow and expand significantly. Even so, the growth is expected to be gradual and moderate.
Future trends for coworking
Coworking market has reached the point where it is no longer about quantity but quality. Big companies have offices for thousands of workers which is no longer the best option. Large offices will turn to a network of smaller, flexible spaces. Covid-19 has forced many coworking brands to adopt new digital products and service delivery with new digital platforms, technology, and apps to automate the routines.
The providers are getting more flexible and are focusing on building relationships and a sense of community. Coworking spaces with small changes in areas of technology and flexibility should be an appealing option for companies or entrepreneurs, but one thing where these spaces should not compromise on is the safety and wellness of workers.