The unemployment rate is at a 30-year low and recruiting new workers has become equal parts art and science. One of the many perks employees want is the ability to work at home a few days a week—or rather, at least away from the office cubicle. Meanwhile, the market for coworking spaces has gone through significant growth in the last few years. According to the 2019 Global Coworking Survey, almost 2.2 million people are expected to work in over 22,000 coworking spaces worldwide. Many of these people are full-time employees and even more will likely join their ranks as numerous companies are exploring coworking spaces as viable options for their 9-5 workers.
“Increasingly, it makes sense to work from home,” Adam Segal, co-founder and CEO of Cove tells GlobeSt.com. “65% of employees work from home 1-2 days a month and eventually it will be the other way around. However, there is still a notion that people want to be around each other.”
There are several reasons why companies and individuals choose to work in a communal space rather than in their home or a coffee shop.
“Most people want to enjoy the social atmosphere coworking spaces offer. They also want to take advantage of a shorter commute and the various onsite amenities such as unlimited coffee, fast wifi, color printers, yoga/wellness classes, snacks, call booths, and reservable meeting spaces,” explains Segal. “Work whenever, wherever, and however you choose.”
Segal also noted that society will evolve and employees getting together will do so to collaborate and brainstorm and not to mainly process or complete paperwork.
Coworking and Long-term Occupancies
With employee retention such a high priority, CRE professionals are determining how to merge flexible working spaces and long-term occupancies.
Increasingly property owners see the need to introduce coworking space amenities into their buildings. For example, adding a dedicated fitness space for tenants and introducing “green” products and technology appeals to the younger generation who enjoys coworking spaces.
“We now work with building owners and are basically the liaison between the tenant and the coworking experience. We even have an app which allows you to tap into our network of workspaces to determine how busy the nearest cove location is at a glance. You can also reserve meeting space and connect with members who are onsite,” says Segal.
The evolution of the coworking space will be interesting to watch as employees, seeking these coworking amenities during their job search, may decline onboarding with a company that doesn’t support a collaborative, flexible environment. Both CRE professionals and businesses will have to stay abreast with the trend and adjust accordingly.