Colliers has identified 140 different active coworking firms in the 19 markets across 27.2 million square feet of space.
The researchers found that flex space represents a modest portion of office occupancy and its footprint is still growing. The top ten players account for about 80% of the space, with WeWork alone taking up 45% of the market.
Although flexible office space only accounted for 1.6% of total office inventory in 2018, it accounted for 31.3% of inventory growth in the two years prior.
“Not only are there more providers—and more types of players—entering the arena, but flexible workspace features, such as shorter lease terms and greater service offerings, are being adopted even in more traditional landlord/tenant leasing,” Andrew Nelson, Colliers chief economist, and Ron Zappile, Colliers vice president of occupier services, portfolio strategy consulting services, wrote in the report.
Colliers estimates that New York City accounts for about 40% of all flexible offices in the U.S.
The report also revealed that the market will continue to grow at a rapid pace and begin focusing on corporate clients.
Companies are also seeing the value in flexible options in order to retain young talent.
Additionally, the research revealed that some flexible workspaces are causing traditional lease models to rethink how their offices are designed. Traditional landlords are even opening their own flexible offices in response.
It is still unclear how the market will react to a recession. An economic downtown could provide a buffer to landlords as occupiers put a premium on flexibility.