2019 will go down in history as the year that the coworking industry completely changed. After WeWork’s failed attempt to go to public, many operators were left wondering how the coworking giant’s debacle would impact the rest of the market.
Some analysts wondered if this meant the end of coworking altogether, but those involved in the community still maintain that when it is done right, coworking has the power to nurture businesses. Instead, coworking providers should use WeWork as a model of what not to do.
For instance, coworking has long been seen as the trendy, up-to-date form work environment, rather than one that fosters true innovation. In reality, coworking members value substance over hype according to Gabriela Hersham, CEO at coworking space Huckletree.
Additionally, the short-term nature of the industry should be reconsidered. The throwaway culture of startups seems convenient and ideal for this market, but it may end up harming operators in the long run.
“What this means in practice is a failure to create a culture of accountability,” said Hersham. “If you view your members as a flash in the pan, what does that mean for how you invest in their growth?”