Expansion plans remain stable at a high level
The expansion plans of coworking spaces have not changed much this year. The most popular plan is to open at least one additional location (36%, -1pp), followed by an increase of useable space in the existent location (30%, +3pp). Overall, two out of three coworking spaces would like to continue expanding as in previous years (63%, +2pp), and one out of three coworking spaces wouldn’t change anything (31%, -2pp). Profitable coworking spaces are particularly eager to expand, especially through opening new locations.
The prognoses for the no longer all too new year have also not changed much since previous years. 86% of coworking spaces expect more members, and 84% higher turnovers. While the same results every year may not be the most exciting, they reflect the stable and positive development of coworking spaces. This optimistic assessment is supported by the positive outlook that spaces have when considering other coworking spaces in their region.
Larger coworking spaces are raising their prices more often
New questions were also added to the survey. Three quarters of all coworking spaces expect an increased profitability - which could also mean sinking losses. 44% expect to raise membership fees or office leases, although only 4% want to increase them greatly. Larger coworking spaces plan price increases more often, but also hire more additional employees than average. Overall, coworking spaces expect a more efficient use of existing resources, whereby more members are serviced by a single employee.
In relative terms, less members plan to leave coworking spaces
Both coworking spaces and members can expect to be working together over longer periods of time. 60% of all members are not planning to leave their current coworking space (last year: 55%). As an increasing amount of members work as employees, more employers decided for them to work at a coworking space. It is for the same reason that members are more likely to stay at a particular coworking space, even if they don’t like it. Therefore it is not necessarily internal loyalty that keeps them at coworking spaces. This currently affects more than one in five members, and this number is considerably higher in big cities.
A financial crisis would damage one in four coworking spaces
This year we also wanted to know how coworking spaces think they would be affected by a larger financial crisis. In general, one in four coworking spaces expect to be damaged in the short or long term.
It comes as no surprise that unprofitable coworking spaces are more likely to come to that conclusion, while profitable spaces are more likely to see themselves on the winning side of a crisis, at least in the long term. The bigger locations are more often afraid to be damaged in the short term.
High earners are profiting more
We also asked members how they would expect their job security to be affected by a financial crisis. They were mostly either optimistic (37%) or did not expect any change (38%). Only one in five members fears a negative impact. In general, freelancers thought they would be affected more negatively. Compared to coworking spaces, members answered considerably less often with “I don’t know.”
Female members expect to be in a weaker position in the case of a crisis
Coworking members who already earn less than average see themselves as more threatened by a financial crisis. Additionally, members who are currently single and those who have a higher (!) level of education also indicated that they would be more negatively affected by such a crisis. However, women dominate all three groups when it comes to expecting a negative impact.
Such results indicate that, in the case of a crisis, members would foresee existing inequalities to intensify.
All questions about the effects of a financial crisis are hypothetical. The answers reflect the assumptions of the participants, just like the prognoses for 2019. You can get these and other results from this article as a pdf here.
This article has only considered some economical figures, and more detailed reports will follow. The Global Coworking Survey is the only worldwide inquiry that directly questions coworking spaces and their members. 2668 people participated in the 2019 survey.
The 2019 Global Coworking Survey is officially supported by the following organizations:
CoworkingResources - a consultancy tool for coworking spaces
Included.co - a platform to provide business-boosting perks to coworking spaces & their members
IndyHall - a coworking space in Philadelphia
German Coworking Federation,
Sneed India, TopCoworks India,
Office RnD UK/USA/Bulgaria/New Zealand,
No Office Work Portugal, Kisi USA/Germany,
ImpactHub Taipei, Pickspace Israel
SpaceCubed Australia, LeadSpace Nigeria,
AgoraRDM USA, Coworking Croatia
Satellite DeskWorks USA, Hubud Indonesia,
St. Oberholz Germany, Amp Canada
Wexelwirken Germany, WellCoworking Italy
GorillaSpace Singapore, LottoCinque Italy
Coworking Frauenfeld Switzerland,
Coworking Library Germany/USA,
Business Link Poland.
* The average values are based on the 5% trimmed mean. Extreme cases (5% of the highest and lowest values) were removed. In the PDF report we also show the median as well as the arithmetic mean, which reflects all values. Since some operators of coworking space chains merged different locations into one for the survey, we've added several extra questions about their number of members, employees and the entire size of all of their locations in the 2019 Global Coworking Survey. The questions about individual locations were not changed. The answers could, however, have been influenced by these additional questions.