Where is Coworking Headed in 2018?

It's no secret that the coworking industry is booming. It's been picking up speed, and is "hotter than ever" according to Forbes. And now we've just rounded the corner into the new year. What industry trends can we expect in 2018?

 

This blog by WUN sheds some light. Click the link for the full article, but our thoughts are below.

 

Supply & Demand

Industry research shows that by 2020, 50% of the workforce will be working independently. Predictions say that by the end of 2018, 37,000 coworking spaces will be up and running. It seems perfect that supply will increase right along with demand, keeping the rates reasonable and options available. 

On a related note, demand is being met by unique solutions. Why build new spaces when under-used buildings exist already? Coworking spaces are popping up in night clubs during day hours, for example, and Verizon is repurposing 150 of their buildings. In 2018 and beyond we can look forward to seeing more creative solutions for existing buildings. 

 

Health & Wellness

WUN also predicts a focus on health in 2018—and not just physical health. In the coworking industry and beyond, mental health is starting to be just as important. Part of the appeal of coworking is the ability to pick your own schedule, get out of cubes, interact with a fresh mix of people, etc. These things are already valued for their improvement of the workplace, but are now being more and more appreciated for their effect on the mind.

Part of coworking’s popularity has been the mental “getaways” like massages and yoga available at some spaces. Perhaps this year we’ll see even more of that, as well as things like meditation and breathing, office walks, and other efforts to de-stress the work environment.

 

Large Businesses

Perhaps the most interesting thing to look forward to is the attention coworking spaces are garnering from big businesses. Much like the Airbnb phenomenon, big businesses are catching on to the appeal of the smaller, local, more casual style people are going for these days. Some companies are actually funding their employees’ coworking rent. Others are styling their entire offices like coworking spaces, rather than losing their workers to the freelance lifestyle. As the mom-and-pop, small and local businesses make their upswing, it will be interesting to follow along and see how big businesses respond—especially in the coworking industry.