Because of the pandemic, many have been forced to work remotely. This event allowed most workers to experience the comfort and freedom of working off-site.
However, now that the pandemic has started to subside and is manageable, you might think that people would be flocking back to the office. But, unsurprisingly, most workers prefer to work remotely because of the independence it offers them.
The problem is there are specific tasks that workers can only do in the office. So, as a compromise between workers and employers, thehybrid work model suddenly became increasingly popular and is now being touted as the future of work. And one thing that most hybrid workers look for is a great place to work when they're not at the office. This is where coworking businesses come in.
Almost all industries have adopted hybrid work to some extent. For example, hybrid work is already becoming the new normal in the banking industry. Credit card companies, big and small, have found it beneficial to let their customer support teams work from home most of the time. It makes a lot of sense, too, because a cardholder that is having trouble accessing their travel rewards card account won’t care if their case is handled by someone in an office or someone sitting at home, as long as they help solve the issue.
That said, coworking spaces have played an important role in the current growth of the hybrid work model, as you’ll learn in just a moment. So, if you’re an entrepreneur looking for a new trend in society that could present you with new business opportunities, keep on reading because the coworking space business might be perfect for you.
The hybrid work schedule is a relatively new system that allows employees to work remotely or on-site as they see fit. In short, it’s a flexible working arrangement where employees and employers get the best out of remote and in-office work by setting up their schedules in a way that works for everyone.
This flexible working schedule allows workers to adapt their work to their preferred lifestyle instead of doing it the other way around. This works great for some companies that want to offer round-the-clock customer service in a more cost-effective way. After all, if someone wants to apply for an instant approval credit card, for example, and they have questions, they’re probably going to want to talk to a customer service rep right then and there. Not having someone available to handle the call would result in lost sales.
Because employees can choose where they want to work, this leads to more freedom, empowerment, and job satisfaction on the employee's side. This is what has made hybrid work so popular in recent years.
On the other hand, when we talk about hybrid workplaces, in essence, we refer to a company that embraces the hybrid work culture. These companies or organizations benefit from higher productivity from their workers, as well as reduced operational costs.
Traditionally, remote workers used to work mostly from home. Later, they started going to cafes and coffeehouses to do their work. The same applies to hybrid workers when they engage in the remote part of their schedule. At the beginning of the movement, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, most of them were working from home when they weren't in the office. However, for several reasons, like feeling alone or too distracted at home, power or connectivity blackouts, or a simple lack of space or hardware, both remote and hybrid workers started looking for a more adequate setup than a home office.
Coworking spaces emerged as the perfect solution and quickly became the hybrid and remote worker's go-to spots.
Because of the benefits coworking spaces offer to remote and hybrid workers, demand for these establishments skyrocketed.
Currently, the outlook for coworking spaces as a business is positive and seen as an industry with much potential for growth.
According to a 2022 Global Market Report, the Coworking Space industry is forecasted to grow from $13.6 billion to $16.17 billion by the end of 2022, which is a whopping 18.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
This forecast is not that surprising, especially if you look at what causes the demand in the first place.
Since remote and hybrid work allows workers to work anywhere, it can get pretty lonely, especially without coworkers. So, some remote and hybrid workers work in public areas like cafes or coworking spaces to socialize and feel more connected with other people.
Looking at the industry from this perspective, we can see why it is only natural for the industry to grow quickly, especially since the hybrid work setup is becoming the norm among many major organizations.
Not all organizations can work with an entirely remote team. Likewise, not all organizations can effectively implement the hybrid work model. Knowing who your potential customers are is imperative if you're interested in starting your own coworking space or if you already own one and are just looking for a better way to market your services. So, in this section, we'll cover some of the most common professions your target market includes.
IT professionals like coders, programmers, software developers, etc., are one set of workers who can easily transition to a remote or a hybrid setup.
The reason for this is that most of their work involves working on their computers which anyone can do anywhere as long as they have a stable internet connection.
As a result, many clients or employers allow them to work remotely or on a hybrid schedule since they remain just as productive or even more so when not in a traditional office.
Freelance writers and editors, like IT professionals, can work entirely remotely since they mostly rely on their computers and an internet connection to do their jobs. In fact, while IT professionals sometimes require high-speed internet connections, high bandwidth, and powerful computer hardware, that's not the case for writers or editors.
So, as long as they can submit their work on time and fulfill their responsibilities properly, their clients have no problem letting them work remotely whenever they choose to.
With the increasing popularity of video streaming platforms like Youtube or Tiktok, you can expect a significant portion of your customers to be video editors.
Because they edit videos for a living, they might require a quiet place to hear the sounds of their footage better. So, it is a good idea for your coworking space or at least a portion of it to accommodate these customers.
Graphic artists and designers, like the other professions in this list, can work anywhere and be either freelance or employed on a remote or hybrid working agreement.
Their work is more on the creative side, so they need tons of inspiration. Splashes of color, unique designs, and thought-provoking decorations can make your coworking space the ideal place to work for hybrid workers in the creative industry.
For students, the hybrid work model has become a Godsend. Many students work on the side to cover their tuition, but this is a big challenge if they have to adapt their class schedule, which is often inflexible, to accommodate their working schedule. Furthermore, having to come into the office every day may put them too far away from their school to get there in time for class every day.
The hybrid workplace allows them to match their work schedule with their class schedule, coming into the office only when it doesn't disrupt their classes and working remotely the rest of the time.
This means that it's a good idea to consider students working in different fields as potential members for your coworking space, so accommodating quiet places to study when they're not working could be a great way to attract more members. This is especially relevant if your coworking space is near a college or a university.
So, if that convinced you to try and explore the coworking space industry, we're here to help by teaching you the basic amenities a coworking space should have.
In this section, we'll list the different essential services you should offer to your customers to make your space the go-to location for both hybrid and remote workers.
First and foremost, when operating a coworking space, you should ensure that you can provide your customers with a strong and reliable internet connection.
This requirement is because most remote and hybrid workers need to work with programs and applications that need to be connected to the internet to function. So, for most of them, a reliable internet connection is a must-have for their working space.
When setting up an internet connection for your coworking space, you should aim for at least 200-500 Mbps to ensure that you can meet your customers' needs.
Most workers, especially those who work on their computers for long periods of time, need some caffeine to concentrate on their work.
So, most successful coworking spaces offer customers unlimited coffee or tea refills when working within their premises. Some even have in-house coffee shops because it can mean extra income for the business.
Regardless, providing high-quality caffeine drinks for your customers (and decaf versions for the caffeine-intolerant) is a great way to provide value for them which can let you stand out, especially if the competition in your area is tough.
As we mentioned earlier, remote and hybrid workers, as well as students, need to concentrate on their work to become productive, so when establishing a coworking space, you should choose a location that is quiet and free from loud noises.
If you have no choice but to build your coworking space in a noisy area, you need to invest in soundproofing solutions to provide your customers with a peaceful working environment.
To soundproof your coworking space, you can consult interior designers or architects to ensure that the soundproofing solutions you choose suit your specific situation.
Since you can expect your customers to stay in your coworking space for long periods of time, you would need to provide them with a variety of comfortable furniture.
By providing these pieces of furniture, you can ensure they will be productive and keep coming back to your coworking space.
When sourcing furniture for your coworking space, it would be best to look for ones with adjustable features. By choosing these pieces of furniture, your coworking space instantly becomes inclusive for many people with different comfort needs.
Lastly, just like traditional offices have break rooms and other social spaces for employees to socialize, your coworking space should also have one (or more).
As mentioned earlier in this article, part of the demand for coworking spaces comes from remote and hybrid workers' need to socialize with other people.
So, if you provide social spaces in your coworking space, like sofas centered around a coffee table, your business will naturally fulfill your customers' socialization needs. This provision will make working in your coworking space a hundred times better than working in a coffee shop, where workers could have difficulty socializing with others and will sometimes be unable to handle the noise.
Now that you know who your customers are and what they do, you're more than ready to launch your coworking space. All that's left is to market your business to your customers.
When it comes to marketing, finding where your customers hang out is just as important as the message you want to send to them. Since you already know your customers, finding the best way to reach them should be easy.
To help you start, here are some platforms you can explore to reach your target audience better.
Usually, people in a certain location or community form Facebook Groups to connect and make friends. So, if you're looking for local customers for your coworking space, you could start by joining these groups and interacting with their members to get a feel for the community.
Once you're familiar with the group members, you can start by telling them all about your business and see if any of them are interested.
To provide more incentives for them, you can launch a campaign like giving members of the group discounts when they use your coworking space.
Like Facebook groups, you can also use Twitter to market your coworking space. However, unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn't have local groups where you can market your business.
However, you can use Twitter ads and target users in your business's geographical location.
If you're familiar with Twitter ads and PPC marketing, you can do this yourself, but if you're not, you can look for freelancer PPC marketers or agencies to set up your Twitter ads.
Like Facebook, Reddit has specific subreddits dedicated to the city you're operating in.
You can first participate in the subreddit and get to know its members. Then, when you build your reputation in the community, you can start telling them about your coworking space business.
It is also worth noting that Reddit offers ad services, so you can also create PPC campaigns if you want to market your business immediately.
Don't be misled into thinking that you can only market your coworking space online. You can also use traditional offline marketing strategies to get the word out. One effective way of marketing your business offline is to sponsor events or hold talks in local companies and college campuses in your vicinity.
You can give special discounts to members of a certain company or student organization to encourage hybrid workers and students to use your coworking space.
This method can be highly effective, especially since it lets you talk to your potential customers face-to-face.
The hybrid work schedule and the hybrid workplace aren't just the future of work; they're the present. The latest global market report on coworking spaces indicates that the industry is currently on the rise, fueled primarily by the growth of hybrid work as the new entrepreneurial philosophy.
This cultural shift in how people view work is something that only comes once in a lifetime, and it is currently unfolding right in front of our eyes.
If you're an entrepreneur looking for a new business to explore, the coworking space business may be the perfect place to start. It's just a matter of taking that first step toward the future.