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Community becomes less important, but people do not  

Worldwide, social aspects remain the most important reasons for choosing a coworking space for members who decide to work in a coworking space on their own accord. They rate a social atmosphere, interaction with others, and the existence of a coworking community as especially decisive factors. In addition, with the increasing choice of coworking spaces, more and more are choosing a space depending on its proximity to their home. Office infrastructure is equally becoming more significant.

When choosing a coworking space, members differ according to their professional status. Freelancers consider a coworking “community” to be the most decisive decision criterion whereas employees attach much less importance to it. They probably already found a “community” within their company. A deciding factor for employed members is the social atmosphere.

This result is also reflected in the rating of European coworking spaces. Barely 40% of employed members feel strongly or very strongly connected with the community at their coworking space compared to 60% of self-employed members. Nonetheless, self-employed members still don’t rate their coworking space much better than salaried members.

Creating a community remains an integral part of a coworking space! It should also encourage a social and fun atmosphere, even for people who feel less connected to a community.

However, a social atmosphere seems to be even more important than the community itself, especially when more employed members work in a coworking space. Members sight a lack of interactions as the most important reason for wanting to end their coworking membership. And in Europe, the popularity of especially small coworking spaces - usually spaces with less members - has sunk dramatically over the last three years.

Two more statistics: Local partnerships and the rental situation of coworking spaces

87% of coworking spaces collaborate with local partners - mostly with purpose-driven organizations and local services. One third also work together with local government or other coworking spaces. Generally, coworking spaces in smaller towns are more likely to work together with local partners.

In Europe, coworking spaces mostly rent their spaces. Only 12% own their own space and 6% have management contracts or are joint ventures with the site owners. There are also no differences between new and older coworking spaces. This could be interpreted to mean that owning a space or project with landlords has not yet become more popular - contrary to the global average.

On average, rental contracts run for 5 years**. In large cities, they run considerably longer compared to in small cities and places where contracts are more often likely to end after two or three years.

The statistics are available as a PDF here. 


The Global Coworking Survey focuses on the coworking industry as a whole, from small to big coworking spaces, and covers a wide range of topics. This article has spotlighted some aspects of the Eurpean coworking space market. Here, you can read more about the 2018 Global Coworking Survey

The 2018 Global Coworking Survey is officially supported by the following organizations:

Main Supporters: 
WUN Systems - A management tool for coworking spaces
Nexudus Spaces - A management tool for coworking spaces
Essensys - A management tool for coworking spaces

Distribution partners: 
Coworker.com - A platform to find and book coworking spaces
Social Workplaces - An event organizer and consulting agency for coworking spaces

Official Supporters: 
GCUC Austin, Coworking Croatia Zagreb,
Mutinerie Paris, Kaptár Budapest,
OfficeHub Sydney, ImpactHub Taipei, 
NexCore St. Louis, Plexpod Kansas City, 
Coworking Out Loud San Francisco,
Talent Garden Milan, KinSpaces NYC,
Blocktime Coworking São Paulo
Deskpass Chicago, Hive Vancouver,
CUASIA Ubud, Cowork Lisboa Lisbon, 
Shhared Hamburg, Open Milano Milan, 
Seats2Meet Amsterdam, CAAP Ubud,
El Moli Lab València, AreaWorks London, 
FutureWard Taipei, Sundesk Valbonne, 
GCUC Taiwan Taipei, Habu Bristol,
Senda15 Coworking Vitoria-Gasteiz, 
German Coworking Federation Berlin, 
Homestead Edmonton.

*5% trimmed mean, roughly rounded. Unless stated otherwise, we express average values in 5% trimmed mean for unrestricted scales (e.g. size in square meters, number of desks or members). This means that the lowest and highest 5% of all values are not taken into account. The result is that we can filter the extreme outliers from the average. However, all average values (mean, 5% trimmed mean and median) are usually contained in the graphics for the results. It is important to note that many statistics presented in the graphics are also grouped, and present their share to reflect the whole reality.

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ssfCoworking Statistics