- Co-working spaces are growing in demand, according to commercial real estate company BBG, thanks to younger workers who find traditional work settings less preferable to more flexible options.
- Citing industry reports, BBG said an estimated 35,000 co-working spaces exist worldwide with a market value of $26 billion. Co-working spaces are expected to grow at an annual rate of 6% through 2022, and this growth is prompting some owners and investors to reserve a certain amount of square footage as flexible office space to achieve higher property values, BBG said.
- "The proliferation of co-working office buildings reflects a monumental change in the way today's society views the workplace," BBG CEO Chris Roach said in a statement. "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."
Nearly half the workers in a 2018 Clutch survey said they prefer workplaces with a community atmosphere, which may point to some of the advantages of co-working spaces. In fact, 55% of millennials in the same survey said they favored flexible office settings, pointing to a preference for these spaces among younger workers, similar to the statistics presented by BBG.
Workers' growing preference for flexibility may account for a rising demand for co-working office spaces. Employers have responded to employees' requests to work from home or other locations in some cases by including flexibility as a benefit. This is so common in recruiting today that a majority of workers in a survey by the International Workplace Group viewed flexibility as the norm in employment.
A one-size-fits-all approach to office design doesn't work for everyone, however. Some employees need a more private workspace when they need to be creative or concentrate on their work without excessive noise or interruptions. Apple employees made these exact complaints during the opening of the company's new headquarters in 2017. Employers may want to consider office spaces that can be reconfigured to accommodate different work styles, department sizes and flexibility preferences.