Coworking has maintained that hot topic of discussion within the real estate and office market conversation over the past few years. As new coworking trends emerge, Cal Lee, global head of Workthere, believes that operators will begin focusing on the importance of experience, flexibility, and well-being in their spaces.
“This year there has been particular question marks over the sustainability of the serviced office sector due to its somewhat rapid renaissance over the last five years, however, the flexible office market continues to go from strength to strength and its irreversible impact on the overall workspace has secured its position in the long term,” said Lee.
In 2019, providers are expected to globalize their footprint. For example, The Office Group (TOG), announced its first European location, as well as New York-based operator Knotel entering the London market. More U.S. names will be entering the European market and UK providers will become a bigger presence in major European cities.
Another growing trend will be the increase of niche coworking spaces. Some spaces are female-centric, while others focus on retail and fashion in order to attract specific clients. The biggest niche trend expected in 2019 is the inclusion of on-site child care services.
Landlords will also begin delving deeper into launching their own coworking spaces. The challenge for landlords will be delivering the hospitality and services seen by many providers.
As the market grows, competition amongst spaces will most likely lead to consolidation. About 40% of coworking spaces do not make a profit, which is not sustainable. When providers scale too quickly, they risk not meeting market demands.
Lastly, in order to be taken seriously as a mainstream market, providers should maintain transparency on all fronts.