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The average age of a coworker is 34 years, but most coworking spaces are melting pots of individuals from all ages. Our final part of the Global Coworking Survey reveals some key differences between the needs of younger and older coworkers. As they age, coworkers work less, are more flexible, and are more loyal to their coworking space. Younger coworker, by contrast, are more likely to require dedicated desks and 24-hour access.
By Carsten Foertsch - Wednesday, 13 April 2011

To discover more about the different needs and characteristics of coworkers from various age groups, we dissected the results of participants into three groups, 20-34 year-olds, 35-49 year-olds, and 50-64 year olds. Those under 20 and over 64 were left out of the results, as there weren’t enough responses to analyse properly.

The biggest differences are the job titles and roles held by the coworkers. Older coworkers are more likely to be self-employed freelancers, while the younger ones are more often employees of bigger companies. But there are more entrepreneurs with their own small companies in the younger age brackets.

As might be expected, younger coworkers are more tech-savvy than the preceding generation. About 42% of young coworkers are web or IT developers. This percentage descends to 25% for the middle age bracket, and drops to 12% in the older age category. Instead, senior coworkers are more likely to work as consultants, PR experts, designers or journalists.

Coworkers of all ages roughly agree with each other when it comes to their opinions about the most important benefits of coworking. They all find that interaction, flexible worktimes, random discoveries, knowledge sharing and low costs are the greatest benefits, while security, peace and privacy and easily-changed workplaces are the last of their priorities. Older ones are less likely to report improved interaction with other people (77%, compared to 89% for the younger age brackets), but they enjoy a similar level of improved motivation and productivity.

Some major differences were revealed in other characteristics. Youngsters can relax more easily at home after joining a coworking space - 70% report this result, compared to less than 50% of older workers.

But it seems older coworkers can relax more while at work. They are more likely to use a flexible desk, are less likely to require 24-hour access, live closer to their coworking space, and spend less time on each project. By comparison, younger coworkers are more likely to need 24-hour access, a permanent desk, spend more time on each project, and travel further to their coworking space.

One interesting result to end with: it’s not just the younger coworkers who make lots of valuable new acquaintances through coworking. Within two months of joining a space, most young coworkers make an average of six valuable new connections. The middle age bracket reports a slightly lower number of new connections. This rebounds in the older age bracket, who report an average of seven important new connections since joining.

This is the final report in the Global Coworking Survey. Coworking spaces can use this data to help them better cater to their customers’ needs. While there are some global trends, each coworking space is unique and will have different experiences. If you have some feedback from our survey series, or your own experiences to share, get in touch. Contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Twitter.


All articles on the Global Coworking Survey:

Start: Why coworkers like their coworking spaces

Part 1: What coworkers want

Part 2: The Coworker's Profile

Part 3: The Coworking Space

Part 4: Female coworkers vs. male coworkers

Part 5: Coworkers in the U.S.

Part 6: MacOS vs. Windows - Firefox vs. Chrome

Part 7: Small Town vs. Big City Coworking

Part 8: The Non-Coworkers

Part 9: North America vs. Europe

Part 10: The changing needs of coworkers over time

Part 11: The strenghts of small and big coworking spaces

Part 12: The Age Groups

ssfCoworking Statistics