Coworking Statistics You Need to Know in 2021
A hacker, a video game designer, an Austrian entrepreneur, a social media enthusiast, and a feminist all walk into a bar. And now the bar is a coworking space.
In reality, we can trace the evolution of coworking over a decade of development. So before we get into the nitty-gritty of coworking statistics, let’s take a brief look at the history of coworking itself.
First, the hacker. It’s 1995 in Berlin, Germany, and 17 computer engineers have just created one of the first ever “hackerspaces”: c-base. This is a place to exchange ideas and codes, and to meet like-minded people.
Fast forward a few years and video game designer Bernard DeKoven coins the term coworking, albeit referring to the way we work and not the space we work in. Coworking trends at this time are still focused around Europe.
Two Austrian entrepreneurs set up the first true coworking workspace in the world. Situated in an old factory in Vienna, Schraubenfabrik houses a motley crew of freelancers, startups, consultants, and even architects. It’s a coworking hub in all but name.
The name as it is used today was officially coined by a guy called Brad Neuberg, who set up the first official coworking space back in August of 2005. He did so by renting a space at a feminist collective called Spiral Muse in the Mission district of San Francisco. He was helped by Chris Messina, a guy best known for his invention of the much-loved (or hated?) Twitter hashtag. And just like that, coworking as we know it was born. Now let’s get down to some stats, shall we?
Key Coworking Statistics - Our Top Picks
- There were nearly 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide in 2019.
- There were more than 3 million coworkers globally in 2019.
- With over 80 million square feet of flexible workspace, the US leads the global coworking market in terms of real estate.
- With over 11,000 coworking spaces, the Asia-Pacific region is the world’s largest coworking region.
- Freelancers are still the largest coworking demographic in the world.
General Coworking Industry Statistics
Let’s start with some general statistics so you can get a feel for the state of the coworking industry.
There were nearly 19,000 coworking spaces worldwide in 2019.
According to Statista’s coworking space worldwide statistics, there are currently around 18,700 coworking spaces around the globe. The number is growing daily and is expected to reach nearly 26,000 by 2025.
There were more than 30,000 flexible workspaces globally in 2019.
Flexible workspaces are gaining popularity with both freelancers and enterprise companies. They are forecasted to nearly double their 2017 numbers (26,000) by 2022, when it’s expected there will be around 49,500 flexible workspaces. This is in large part due to a surge of new coworking spaces around the globe.
Global, the estimates put the market value of flexible workspaces at $26 billion.
There are more and more shared office space companies in the world. It’s becoming a major industry that’s attracting the big players in the corporate world.
There were more than 3 million coworkers globally in 2019.
According to the GCUC global coworking report, there are currently 3.1 million coworkers in the world and the number is forecasted to nearly double by 2022. The largest growth is expected in the Asia-Pacific region.
65% of people working in coworking spaces are younger than 40.
The median age of coworkers as of 2017 is 35, up from 33.5 in 2012. Most people sharing a flexible working space are between 30 and 39 years old, but only 12% are over the age of 50. However, the median age is increasing slightly each year.
With more than 11,000 coworking spaces, the Asia-Pacific is the world’s largest coworking region.
According to global coworking statistics there are 11,592 flexible workspaces in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by 6,850 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, while there are 6,293 in the US.
On average, there were 185 members per coworking space worldwide in 2019.
This steadily rising number shows that coworking office spaces are growing not only in number, but in size as well. With a growth rate of nearly 500% from 2012 to 2019, we can only predict that cowork spaces will continue to get larger and attract more workers in the future.
In total, the US has more than 80 million square feet of flexible workspace, making it the global leader in terms of coworking real estate.
Coworking space statistics indicate that USA leads the world in this segment, ahead of the UK with 60 million square feet. New York, or more specifically Manhattan, accounts for a large chunk of the industrial coworking space in the country.
Freelancers are still the largest coworking demographic in the world.
According to Deskmag’s research, the average coworking hub is still well-populated by freelancers, who account for around 41% of the workforce. However, coworking occupancy rates show that corporate workers come in close behind them, at 36%. This suggests that larger companies are making good use of shared working spaces, too.
The IT industry has the largest number of coworkers, followed by PR, marketing, and sales employees.
With 22%, IT professionals dominate the coworking workspace ahead of PR, marketing, and sales employees at 14% and consultants at 6%. We can also see that the IT industry is strengthening its lead, while there are now fewer consultants in shared work spaces than in previous years.
With 11% of the market share, Regus is the world’s largest coworking space operator.
GCUC’s coworking infographic shows us two interesting trends: that Regus dominates the coworking space operator market, and that the top five shared office space companies in the world account for only 14% of the overall market coverage. This suggests that a large chunk of coworking spaces remain independently operated.
Women make up around 40% of the coworking workforce.
Industry coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular among women. The previously male-dominated industry is becoming home to more and more women, mostly in the freelance sector (46%). If we look at global coworking survey statistics, the numbers show that across all fields women make up around 44% of coworking staff.
Coworking is growing in popularity outside of freelancers and startups.
WeWork statistics show a 90% increase in the number of enterprise companies and a 360% increase in members from enterprise companies making use of WeWork’s services in 2017. These companies included big names like Microsoft, Spotify, Pinterest, and HSBC. More and more corporate employees are opting for sharing an office with a coworker in one of the many coworking office hubs opening up around the world.
Most people consider the social aspect when joining a coworking space.
According to Deskmag’s coworking survey, people choose a coworking space based on it having an enjoyable atmosphere (59%), to interact with others (56%), and to build a sense of community around themselves (55%).
Most coworkers prefer 24/7 access to their coworking space.
According to Deskmag’s research, 59% of those surveyed said they would prefer 24/7 access to their coworking space. Coworking statistics show that people look at coworking hubs as homes away from home; they feel much more comfortable when they aren’t bound by traditional office working hours.
Coworking Growth Statistics
Coworking is already a huge and well-developed industry in 2021, but growth predictions show that it has yet to reach its full potential. Here are some statistics that prove this point.
By the end of 2019 there will be an estimated 696 new coworking spaces in the US and 1,688 worldwide.
Coworking forecast numbers indicate that almost 40% of the coworking spaces opened globally this year will be opened in the US. Although China is a rapidly growing market, the US still leads the world in the number of newly opened coworking office spaces.
65.3% of newly opened coworking spaces are opened by new businesses.
The other 34.7% are made up of chains or secondary/tertiary locations opened up by companies. This shows that startups, independent business owners, and entrepreneurs still drive the majority of the industry’s growth.
The US ranks eighth in the world in coworking growth per capita.
Coworking growth statistics show that Luxembourg is leading the world with 8.5 new spaces every year per million inhabitants. At 2.8 per million, the US is tied with Canada and behind Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, and Singapore.
China is rapidly becoming one of the world’s largest coworking markets.
The number of coworking locations in China is growing rapidly. It nearly doubled between 2014 and 2016 and is expected to reach almost 5,000 by 2020. More than 6 million startup businesses were registered in China in 2017. If coworking trends continue at current rates, China is set to become one of the largest coworking markets in the world.
New York and London are the world’s leading cities in terms of the number of new coworking space opening up.
A new coworking office space opens up roughly once a week in New York and once every five days in London. Other big hubs include Toronto, Austin, Denver, Dallas, Los Angeles, Houston, Melbourne, and Chicago. Outside of the UK, coworking statistics in Europe are trending upward in Berlin and Paris, with 21.9 and 28.5 days between new coworking hub openings respectively.
California and Texas have the largest number of new coworking spaces opened per year in the US.
Although Manhattan leads the world in the number of newly opened coworking office spaces per year, California (111) and Texas (100) come out ahead of New York (87) in the states race. Coworking space statistics in the USA show that the other two major players are Colorado with 44 and Florida with 39 new coworking spaces opened every year.
Work statistics globally show a move towards coworking spaces in favor of traditional offices. Why are more and more people taking the plunge and what are the benefits you can expect from joining the coworking revolution? Let’s find out below.
Coworking reduces loneliness and makes workers happier.
(Small Business Labs)
Of all the coworking stats we can throw at you, this might just be the most important one. A whopping 89% of coworkers say they feel happier after joining a coworking space and as many as 83% say it makes them feel less lonely. The cosy, relaxed nature of most coworking hubs contributes to social interactions and helps boost spirits at work.
Coworking creates more motivated and successful workers.
According to GCUC’s survey, 84% of coworkers say working in a coworking hub makes them more motivated. Other responses show that 69% say they have obtained new skills and 68% say their existing skills have improved since joining a coworking office space. GCUC’s coworking space industry analysis paints a clear picture - coworking spaces create better workers!
Coworking leads to better networking opportunities.
(Small Business Labs)
The survey by Smallbiz shows that 82% of respondents have expanded their professional network since joining a coworking office space. If you’re looking to grow your network of professional contacts, joining a coworking hub may be just the ticket!
So far we’ve highlighted some promising coworking stats and mentioned the growth statistics and benefits of coworking. Before we wrap things up, let’s look at a few stats that show the challenges this rapidly growing industry still faces in 2019.
Attracting new members is the biggest challenge for coworking spaces in 2019.
Attracting new people is the number one problem for coworking spaces according to Statista. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed by Statista identified the lack of new blood as the biggest concern. After all, what is a coworking space without workers? Financial difficulties, lack of space, general workload, and administrative tasks are some of the other common problems.
Only 42% of coworking spaces globally were profitable in 2018.
According to Deskmag, global numbers don’t paint a flattering picture in terms of the profitability of coworking spaces. Global coworking space statistics show that only 42% of these spaces are profitable, 33% manage to break even, and as many as 25% operate at a loss. These numbers are a bit better in the US, with 52% of spaces operating at a profit and only 17% incurring losses.
Rent is still the biggest expense when starting a coworking space.
High rental costs are still the primary expense when starting a new coworking hub. Making up 40% of the overall expenditure budget, rent costs more than employee wages (16%) and upkeep costs (15%) put together. In 2019 the global coworking forecast looked much the same - rent prices remained the largest financial burden for cowork spaces.
Coworking improves happiness and motivation. It also helps you learn new skills and master existing ones, while improving your networking opportunities.
According to coworking stats for 2019, there were over 5,000 coworking spaces in the US alone and 19,000 around the world.
A coworking office space is a business model that involves individuals working independently or collaboratively within a shared office space. Unlike in a typical office, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. However, this has begun to change in recent years.
Generally, most people pick a coworking space that makes them feel comfortable and relaxed. There are many factors to consider - location, cost, the type of work you will be doing, whether you prefer to work alone or in a group, and so on.
Coworking statistics show that about 3.1 million people are currently using coworking spaces around the world. This number is estimated to grow to over 5 million in the next few years.
The average monthly cost of a 24/7 permanently accessible coworking desk is $387 a month in the US, €245 in the Eurozone, and £200 in England. Shared workspace companies offer better deals in cheaper cities, but you have to pay a pretty penny if you want a snazzy office in downtown Manhattan. Flexible desks are also much cheaper, but you lose 24/7 access to your station.
Ivan is an energetic ambivert with a passion for creative writing, music, languages and technology. He loves writing about small businesses and startups, and is on a constant mission to help you make the most informed choices about the various aspects of running your own business. In his free time, he enjoys playing and listening to music, biking, cooking, reading novels and playing video games.
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