I just read a great blog in Deskmag about injecting the coworking space with some creativity. They cite some coworking spaces in the greater Berlin area as leading the charge with some pretty “off the charts” stuff.
The article takes you inside ESDIP in Berlin where a Scottish stand-up comedian is getting ready to launch into his schtick. Then we move on to the “jungle room” at Agora Collective. A space filled to the max with plants. Who knows who’s lurking behind the ficus? If you’d prefer the big top, they conduct clown classes to get your goofy on. Finally there’s the Wye, a five floor metropolis of micro-communities with a full trade show layout for idea hawking.
Wow. It would be disingenuous not to mention that these spaces are geared towards the art crowd, several with art galleries on the bottom floor. So they don’t pretend to serve the button down briefcase folks.
Who doesn’t love the idea? Maybe the investors and accountants? How profitable are these unique coworking environments? What is the success rates of these dazzling spaces. Are they getting more paid members or lookie loos?
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According to Deskmag’s Second Global Coworking Survey, 72% of all coworking spaces become profitable after 2+ years in operation. According to the report, and I quote:
“Coworking spaces earn the majority of their revenue, unsurprisingly, by renting out desks (61%). One in ten spaces earn all of their money from desk rental. The average space earns ten percent of their revenue from renting out meeting rooms and event spaces (10% each). Food and beverages bring in 5%, and the sale of tickets to workshops and events earns another 5%. Unlike business centers, coworking spaces live on a very small portion from virtual office services (3%).”
How much additional overhead does it cost to create and maintain these highly interactive, creative programs and unique interiors?
I plan to follow up with the great folks over at Deskmag, as to how profitable those Berlin art houses are. How much does all that “atmosphere” cost? Will they succeed long term? When I get the answers I’ll let you know.
Frankly I’m a fan already. Call me a clown, but I’m hoping they make it.