Coworking Space Trends 2020/21: Experts' Insights on the Future of Coworking Business
The coworking business has been around since 2005. In recent years we have been observing rapid industry growth. Today, when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to swing the entire business world, niche influencers are making predictions as to coworking space trends 2020/21. Right now, we have a wonderful opportunity to learn about the future of the coworking industry and get ready to courageously burst into tomorrow.
It was predicted that in the 2020 year, 1,688 coworking spaces are going to open worldwide. However, it is obvious that due to the coronavirus outbreak massive coworking spaces growth is slowing down.
The industry has reached the point when it's not about quantity but quality.
Coworking business is no way about renting, it's about community and collaboration. Every coworking owner will agree that it's difficult to retain members with space design and furniture as people are coming for more.
That's why it's really vital for your coworking space to have your events schedule filled and your promotional strategies updated according to the latest coworking marketing trends. As to the coworking space needs in 2020/21, that's what we are going to figure out right now.
Nowadays many coworking operators experience a priorities shift. Are you one of them? What is your focus in uncertain 2020/21?
Coworking operators participate in a kind of competition for more spacious spaces. This makes sense as the more desks under one roof you have, the bigger income you get. But this formula works only if you are using it correctly. You don't hire too many community managers and track space utilization metrics.
According to the Deskmag survey, an average coworking space utilization rate is 1.2 members per desk, which proves that entrepreneurs aim to get more value out of the available desks.
Yet, this does not mean that they sacrifice the quality of their services. Nothing of the kind, they just listen to members, study the demand, analyze data, and optimize the utilization.
Impact Hub, Techspace, Green Desk, WeWork — what are you thinking of when you hear these names? I am pretty sure your first associations are "huge, luxury, brands."
If you are still in the process of building a positive brand image, I suggest prioritizing the objective now. A consistent brand image will help customers differentiate you among the competitors and keep the faith.
When people know the brand, they prefer not to experiment and choose the familiar facility wherever they go because they got used to high-quality standards.
What makes a coworking space unique? What is the main attraction of a coworking space? What adds sense and meaning to your premises? It's a coworking space community.
Some coworking spaces started to apply a selective approach to membership applications. They consider whether a person can become a great addition to the existing community, whether they share similar interests, whether they are ready to collaborate, take part in the events, and so on.
If you gather birds of the same feather under one roof, they are going to enjoy the company of each other more, build relationships, collaborations, and grow their businesses efficiently.
This way you are making members happy, and only happy residents attract more people, which helps you enlarge your audience, increase revenue, and scale your business.
Coworking spaces broaden their target audience. Apart from freelancers, startuppers, and solopreneurs, they are ready to partner with big companies who want to benefit/save some money using shared offices and neighboring other teams.
Along with the phenomenon described above, we notice that some coworking spaces claim themselves as dedicated to a certain industry niche or group of entrepreneurs.
- coworkings for parents,
- female-only spaces,
- coworking kitchens,
- rural coworkings,
- spaces for pet supplies entrepreneurs.
A field-centric coworking space is a perfect place for people of similar occupations to share ideas, collaborate, be productive, and come up with revolutionary solutions.
What are the main sources of your revenue? Membership fees and renting equipment? If you are looking for legitimate ways of earning extra bucks, expand the variety of your services.
Partner with coding, digital marketing, and accounting companies. Your members may use their services at discounted prices, while you will earn more money meeting their needs.
Pro tip: Pack your extended services list in a neat catalog, where members can easily discover and apply for them right from their smartphone.
This coworking trend 2020/21 can hardly be called a new one, but it's definitely expanding. Hybrid coworkings are "drop-in" spaces that appear in hotels, stores, and restaurants.
Businessmen want to take advantage of the shared economy and earn more money. So, why not transform a restaurant into a coworking space in the daytime and back into an entertainment facility at night? Or you can combine gym and coworking to create a wellness-oriented facility.
The cost of hybrid coworking spaces is low for the members, they are free from membership fees but still can enjoy perks like free unlimited coffee and discount for lunch and specials.
After the final victory over Covid-19, coworking space operators will work on scaling their businesses and expanding their global reach.
According to IWG, 1.87 billion people all over the world will work remotely by 2022. Coworking spaces need to cover this high demand, and they have a plan. 71.14% of operators are going to start two-three more locations in 2020/21 according to Coworker.
Sure enough, those multi-location coworkings are going to issue international (global) membership passes to their members. This is a good practice as modern businessmen spend a lot of their time traveling. It's good to know that you will have a usual workplace providing a regular set of amenities for uninterrupted work.
Running coworking networks, you can expect increased members' loyalty as you accompany members on their business trips and include digital nomads in your audience.
2020/21 are years of transformation of coworking spaces into smart dynamic areas. Coworking operators outfit their spaces with the latest technologies, new wireless devices, effective combos, and countless integrations of their coworking space management software.
All those gadgets, technologies, synchronized calendars, and interactive dashboards must be controlled through a single unified interface. Innovations are aimed not to overwhelm residents but significantly improve and simplify their coworking experience.
The same is true for coworking software. Are you still using pen and paper, Google Sheets, whatever for meeting room booking? This is ridiculous. Meeting room booking in 2020/21 should be a fool-proof process that boils down to three quick steps:
- A member opens your coworking space app on their phone.
- Chooses time and premises.
- Pays with credits or card.
An awesome coworking space management software is much more than just a meeting room booking tool. It's your branded platform for building community, communication with members, collecting their data, trading your services, and surely automating all common processes.
If you are still not using coworking management software or unhappy with your current solution, schedule a free demo with our experts to know what a member-first platform such as andcards can do for strengthening your brand positions on the market and raising your revenue.
Members spend most of their days in coworkings. It's quite natural that everything they touch should be quality, safety, health, and well-being centered. This is especially important in COVID-19 second wave and post-pandemic environment when following severe hygiene rules is a must.
If you still don't have a single standing desk in your workspace, consider buying it as 70% of your competitors already provide this furniture solution.
Supplying members with ergonomic furniture is only the first step, move further and organize yoga classes, meditation rooms or even fully-fledged gyms. Having all these wellness amenities in one building will make your members stay there longer. Establishing bonds positively affects member retention rate and overall business income.
The economical crisis along with a long period of isolation and social distancing make a huge impact on coworking business promotion. Word of mouth is not the best option anymore. Moreover that big corporations are included in the updated list of target audiences for coworking brands.
You can't attract a big fish if you don't run digital marketing campaigns. Corporate clients look for workspaces for their staff online as they hire internationally and this is the most convenient way to resolve the issue.
The same works for small companies, startups, and entrepreneurs. Coronavirus changed customers' behavior patterns. To generate new leads you need to:
- run a website with the possibility to sign up online,
- publish useful content to let prospective customers know that you exist,
- maintain social media profiles (Instagram, Facebook, etc.),
- shoot videos, and more.
Last months showed us that almost every business and activity can be transferred online. The smartest coworking spaces started to sell virtual memberships along with physical ones as soon as they understood that COVID-19 is here to stay for a long time.
It's a good solution that gives members almost the same workspace experience. They can choose a room to work, communicate during the coffee breaks, make calls in skype rooms, attend events, have fun, feel peers' support, etc.
Though, building and maintaining a tight-knit coworking community has its nuances, so you need to train your managers well to curate the process properly.
Green eco-friendly environments are listed among the current workspace design trends. I am pretty sure that the majority of your members/prospects share the ideas of nature preservation and environment protection. So, they will be much happier to join a coworking space performing the same social mission.
You can start with minimizing the usage of plastic at your workspace, utilize sun energy, substitute all items with those that can be recycled and get a second life. Bring lots of living plants to reduce the stress and anxiety of members at work, encourage well-being and sustainability, refresh the air, and decorate the premises.
Here I compiled some industry influencers' predictions on coworking 2020. I am quite sure it will be interesting for you to read what others think about further industry evolution.
BTW, if you have your own opinion on what a coworking space will look like and you feel like sharing it, leave your comment right under this article. I will include the best forecasts in this experts' round-up.
Investor subsidized operations are going to feel pressure to turn a profit, causing upward pressure on pricing.
You’ll also see consolidation and/or shuttering of spaces that are too small, too big or poorly positioned.
~ Christoper Hoyt - Founder, COO at The Pioneer Collective
Coworking space would be more diverse — each space has its own character and uniqueness and thus one would utilize that strengths and shape the space to be more specific to set of nomads or co-workers.
For example, one would be developed the environment to suite for programmers and those who work online all the time. All the services would accommodate lifestyles of those who sit still more. While one space would have more open spaces, integrate natural light, and fresh air to attract nomads who live their life more balances and enjoy nature and recreation activities.
Less human interactions — less staff in the space to reduce maintenance cost and be more efficient. Nomads and coworkers would book, schedule services, enjoy, and access the space online in advance and seamlessly.
I think the trend of coworking space would be very similar to other offline business that needs to adapt and change over time as we have more advanced and better technologies to integrate into business.
~ Pluert Lertsukittipongsa - Event Manager at Punspace
While the majority coworking growth has taken place in the downtown core, the next trend would definitely be in the suburbs. Instead of traveling to a major city, suburban coworking provides all the benefits of amenities and more importantly community to your doorstep.
There is so much value in the travel time saved, not to mention no ticket fights for parking. In addition, office pricing in the suburbs comes with more affordable pricing. The need for suburban co-working spaces will continue to grow as the working trend of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and remote workers increases outside of the downtown area.
~ Pamela J Yau - Managing Director at CMPNY
With the rise in mental health being a priority for large companies - offering flexible work schedules and 'work from home days' — means more coworking spaces will see a flex in members joining from a variety of industries.
~ Rachel Kelly - Founder at Make Lemonade
Some prediction like coworking spaces will start to add more niche offerings including office support services and sound rooms, and then bundling them to drive revenue.
~ David Abraham - Co-Founder at Outpost
If you purchased the whole building, you may want to have everything inside — coworking, co-living, stores, gym, café, etc. You may arrange a spacious coworking with meeting rooms, lounges, open space, and so on. You can place your co-living facilities with amazing city views right above the coworking.
It's obvious for operators like me that the longer tenants stay at the space, the more things we can sell them. If I have stores in the same building I can sell snacks, office tools, scissors, paper, whatever people need all the time. It's an extra sales opportunity.
If you create something like a sauna place with a nice chill-out room, you can sell it hourly, which is extra income.
I mean, when you are starting a business you need to think properly of every single opportunity to monetize it. Read the entire interview.
~ Ron Yang - Vice President at MY WORKSPACE
Now you know what coworking space needs you must adjust to in 2020/21. We fear the unknown but when we have more or less accurate info of what to expect, we can fearlessly face the inevitable.
The coming years are bringing coworking space operators a lot of new challenges, yet, they reveal more opportunities for growth and maturity.
If you have any additions to my list of coworking space trends 2020/21, please drop me a line in the comments, and don't forget to share this article with your friends on socials.
Be cool and progressive, use coworking software and come back for updates!