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Coworking Is The New Normal, And These Stats Prove It

There are approximately 35,000 flexible workspaces today and in London alone flexible workspaces are expected to reach 3.0 million square feet by 2020

Updated, May 2019


In a recent article, Steve King from Emergent Research stated that coworking became an attractive concept because back when it first started to appear, it countered the pejorative views of the traditional office. If we look back to just a few years ago, coworking was considered to be a “movement” or a trend, with many believing it would fade away.

Fast forward to 2019 and coworking is a full-blown industry that has disrupted the real estate industry and the way people work. And while we can’t accurately predict whether the term coworking will still be used 10 years from now, “as language evolves, industry terminology moves with it”, there is no denying that coworking is today’s normal.

Suggested Reading: “The Top 5 Ways CRE is Crossing into the Coworking Industry

Coworking, as well as other flexible workspaces, are known for offering environments that are conducive to innovation, collaboration, and productivity. These type of workplaces were pioneers in implementing a human approach to design, a trend which is catching up among real estate developers, landlords, and companies.

From trend to mainstream

The Oxford English Dictionary defines normal as: “the usual, typical, or expected state or condition.” As Sara King notes in this article, coworking could arguably be classed as a ‘new normal’ for workplace requirements. And we think that’s spot on.

Coworking has become the new normal in that it has become the expected and preferred workplace of today’s workforce. This is evidenced in the fact that large companies are increasingly seeking to enhance the workplace experience as a means to attract and retain talent, and that a significant percentage of workers who have the option to work from home or a coffee shop prefer to work from a coworking space.

Coworking has come a long way since 2005, when the first modern day coworking space opened; and while there is no sweet formula to getting the ‘perfect’ space, operators of all shapes and sizes have enhanced their service offering to meet the demands of their market. Consequently, in the past few years we’ve seen operators adopt hybrid workplace models, we’ve seen operators open niche spaces, and we’ve seen billions of dollars invested in the industry.

Numbers that back up the growth and potential of coworking (updated, May 2019)

Statistics gathered from reports published in 2019

The statistics were compiled from a number of reports:

Colliers InternationalU.S. Flexible Workspace Outlook Report, The Flexible Workspace Outlook Report 2019 EMEA, Occupier Profiles
GenslerU.S. Workplace Survey 2019
JLLFlexible Workspace Markets 2019
Instant OfficesFlexible Workspace Trends and Predictions, GCUC presentation
Cushman & WakefieldEuropean Coworking Hotspot Index
COLATAM presentations

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Statistics gathered from reports published in 2017-2018

The statistics were compiled from a number of reports:
Cushman & Wakefield — Asia Pacific, Coworking 2018: The Flexible Workplace Evolves
JLL — Global Market Perspective, The Future of Work: The Coworking Revolution,
GCUC + Emergent Research — 2018 Coworking Forecast
Yardi Matrix — Shared Space: Coworking’s Rising Star
Deskmag — The 2018 Global Coworking Survey
The Instant Group — The Marketplace for Flexible Work
Knight and Frank — Culture Clash: Flexible Workspace, Coworking & the Future

Cecilia Amador

Ceci Amador, Senior Associate Editor of Allwork.Space, is based from wherever her laptop is. She enjoys traveling and visiting new flexible workspaces. If you'd like Ceci to check out your workspace, feel free to reach out to her at ceci@allwork.space (and send a plane ticket). View all posts by Cecilia Amador

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