As flexible workspaces have grown, the various versions of alternative working have become hard to define. With hybrid, coworking, and flexible workspaces, experts say broadening the definition may be needed.
“I think the language needs to change from lease lengths and all the conventional speak and all this codification of what’s coworking, what’s flexible,” said Joff Sharpe, head of operations at British Land. “What it really comes down to is: is the industry becoming better aligned with the requirements of its customer?”
Some spaces may describe themselves as a coworking space for marketing leverage, but do not offer the typical amenities seen in these spaces.
Coworking used to be synonymous with startups, but now corporations are driving growth in the flexible office space world. With this, some firms express the importance of representing this in their brand.
“The numbers would suggest that the real growth area in the market is the 50-plus desks…That’s where that kind of mid-size-scale demand is coming from and from big companies too,” according to John Williams, head of Marketing at Instant Group.
Coworking is booming, and with any growing industry comes over-saturation. The good news for members is that rent may slowly start to come down. John Williams, head of Marketing at Instant Group, said that London and New York have come to this point. Although there is the possibility of a downturn in rent, coworking spaces are not often looked at the same way as traditional real estate. There are many factors at hand, including desk rates, membership fees, and other month-to-month payments commonly seen in the coworking world.
Despite the ever-changing flexible space market and confusing semantics, the future of coworking is safe.