Coworking’s model of melding community with flexible office space has led it to become a staple in the office sector. Now, the industry has numerous established operators, such as Regus and WeWork, that successfully offer flexible office space for a wide range of customers.
Regus, owned by IWG and is the largest provider of flexible workspaces in the world, filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Since then, it has grown tremendously through acquisition, which continued through the 2008 recession. Regus offers short-term, smaller executive suite spaces that were desperately needed during this time.
Regus is an example of how strong, well-capitalized operators in this sector can weather an inevitable economic downturn.
Additionally, the backing and size of companies will also be a telltale sign whether it will survive a recession. For example, WeWork’s massive, diverse footprint almost guarantees that it will be stable during a downturn.
As the coworking model continues to accrue more competitors, the rise in supply will likely drive prices down. This means that big time competitors will be the ones to emerge successfully.
Still, there is room for niche coworking companies, but it is vital that these operators offer something that the WeWorks of the world do not, such as better service, amenities and mentoring. Overall, keeping an eye out for potential disruptors will be essential to growing in this blossoming industry.