- Wework currently has the biggest share of coworking employees (39%), but the company's troubles, including an ousted CEO and a big loss in market value, have opened up opportunities for smaller, local companies, according to a new Clutch survey. Local coworking spaces now have a 36% share of workers.
- Coworking, the use of shared office space and equipment, is growing in popularity among independent workers, employees working for multiple firms and small businesses that need to save on overhead costs. People who use coworking spaces also work in traditional offices, remote locations, and labs, factories or other on-site locations, according to the survey.
- Survey results also showed that workers and business owners are satisfied overall with coworking arrangements; 75% of coworking employees have been in their current space for at least one year, and 18% for five years or more.
Coworking's growing popularity may not be surprising (even with the recent news), since it allows businesses and workers a level of flexibility they find appealing. For example, Zenefits used coworking while expanding. "For our business this year alone, it has allowed us to quickly set up in a new market, extend our headquarters area workspace in the Bay Area and provide us with built-in lease flexibility," Rebecca Ambriz, Zenefits' chief of staff, told HR Dive via email in a 2018 interview. Because of its general appeal, coworking can save startups money, enhance employee experience and offer contingent workers and other independents the choice of where and when to work.
The way society views the workplace is changing, and young workers are leading the way, according to the commercial real estate company BBG. "Flexible office space gives people the opportunity to meet and interact with others who have different skills and backgrounds that may not be otherwise available in a traditional office environment," BBG CEO Chris Roach said in a media release. In favoring flexible work options, young workers are setting trends in the way work gets done, and businesses will need to be ready to accommodate them.
Office designers are taking their design cues from young workers by creating open office space that encourages interaction, is comfortable and nonconfining, and that inspires creativity through layout and color. Office designers also are creating hybrid office spaces that combine traditional work areas for contemplative work with open areas for easier collaboration. As an earlier Clutch report found, there's no longer a typical office space.