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Top priority: attracting new members

“Attracting new members” continues to rank as operators’ biggest challenge by far. Considerably more coworking spaces say this than in the previous year (48% versus 39%). After all, newer and larger locations have space for more members. About one in five coworking spaces lack room, though. Between these two responses, in second and third place, were administrative tasks and general workload, as in the previous year.

With each new coworking space, potential members’ choice increases. For this reason, among others, fewer and fewer members still work in their first coworking space (62%, versus 66% in the previous year). This year, too, these developments will likely affect continuing long-term coworking space memberships.

Long-term member loyalty continues to decline

Only 54% of members overall do not plan to leave their coworking spaces (previous year: 65%), and about one-fifth will remain for at least one more year (previous year: 17%). One in ten members report that they will leave their current coworking space within the next three months; last year, this percentage was half as large. Whereas almost as many members who report above-average satisfaction with their coworking spaces plan to stay long-term compared to last year (74% versus 78%), less-satisfied members move coworking spaces more often. The same goes depending on the length of current membership: the shorter the duration, the lower the member’s loyalty. What is new, though, is that this also applies to long-term memberships.

Members have positive expectations in the new year — Employees more optimistic than freelancers and entrepreneurs

Overall, compared with the previous year, almost the same percentages of members anticipate rising income (61%), more work or increased orders (61%), more contacts (73%), and more leisure time (18%), with a slightly upward trend in all areas. The differences according to occupational status are notable. While employees have a more positive outlook on the new year, a percentage of entrepreneurs’ positive expectations are going noticeably downward. They expect only more free time. Freelancers also appear a little bit less optimistic in the new year. Overall, in every category, the outlook became almost similar between the three employment categories.

Half of members say nothing will change because of Trump — the other half is mainly worried

This Global Coworking Survey asked a portion of respondents selected at random how much their economic prospects would change because of the upcoming political shift: “What do you think, what impact will the next United States President, Donald Trump, have on your working life in the next two years?” Of the few questions that were criticized by respondents, this question received by far the most criticism, because in their opinion it was irrelevant to coworking.

Presumably for this reason, about half of members (52%) as well as companies and their employees (45%) predict that their future working life will be unaffected by Trump, or they are indifferent to him. Forty percent of members expect a negative effect on their working life, compared to 3% expecting a positive effect. In the USA, the number of negative responses was higher. The results from operators and employees of coworking spaces didn't differ strongly.  they expected more negative effects (37%) than positive ones (11%).

Additional tables and graphics on the 2017 Coworking Forecast will be sent automatically to all of our newsletter subscribers’ email inboxes. New subscribers can sign up here, and they will be forwarded to the download page.


Related article: 

How, When & Why Members Work in Coworking Spaces

Member Demographics: Who Works in Coworking Spaces?

The Profitability Of Coworking Spaces


The 2017 Global Coworking Survey is officially supported by the following organizations:

Collaboration Partner: Social Workplaces - Event organizer on the topic of new work

Main Supporters: 
Nexudus Spaces - A software tool to manage coworking spaces
Essensys - A software tool to manage coworking spaces 
Communitas - A network agency for coworking and shared workspaces

Official Supporters: 

GCUC USA Austin, Copass Paris, Coworking Croatia Zagreb, Collective Works SingaporeColiga BerlinDeskpass - Chicago, Tot Coworking João Pessoa, Cowork Inc Bath, Bisner Rotterdam, Habu Bristol, The Office Project Makati, Rayaworx  MallorcaMy Cowork Paris, Desk Worx Melbourne, Loffice Budapest & Vienna, Kansas City Coworking Alliance Kansas CityGCUC Canada Vancouver, Coworking Alliance Asia Pacific Ubud, Included.co London, Agora Collective BerlinLe 50 Coworking Méré, German Coworking Federation Berlin, Cowork Waldo Kansas City, Zona Líquida Riba-Roja D'Ebre, Impact Hub Taipeh Taipeh, Office Hub Sydney, ACE Coworking Curitiba, Cowork Frederick Frederick, Work & Share Sofia, Betahaus Berlin, Co & Co Space, Indyhall Philadelphia, Coworkaholic - Chicago, Coworking Brasil São PauloKaptár Budapest, Bhive Workspace Bangalore, Spacecubed Perth, St. Oberholz Berlin, Cultivate Coworking Murfressboro, Magicville Bogotá, Rubberdesk Sydney, Weserland Berlin, Clearly Coworking Worcester, Salt Mine Productive Space Perth, BizLabs PlovdivWorkom Valencia & Wotso Workspace Sydney

ssfCoworking Statistics