Coworking is becoming one of the fastest growing industries thanks to the consequences of the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work, and beyond 2023, the industry is only expected to grow. As of June 2022, over 28,000 coworking spaces exist around the world. In the US, there are over 6,200 alone.
Whether it’s technology, design, or even reimagining how we view coworking spaces, there are many trends appearing on the horizon. In this article, we’ll share 10 trends that we expect to see in the world of coworking in 2023 and beyond.
1. Coworking-as-a-Service (CaaS)
One of the latest developments in coworking is the changing nature of shared office spaces, which are evolving from simply being a space to being understood as a service.
Coworking-as-a-Service (CaaS) means offering not only a space, but a suite of other benefits that users have come to expect. Some of these benefits include 24-hour keycard access, mentorship building, and venture capital access, to name a few.
Many of the following trends in this list build upon this innovation. For example, it’s no longer sufficient to simply provide a workspace for freelancers. Coworking spaces, the people who use them, and their utility has evolved, leading users and teams to now demand services in addition to workspace.
Increasing technological adoption is also expected to accelerate as a coworking trend. Technology enhances coworking spaces by making them much more powerful and efficient spaces.
While early coworking spaces required staffing and offered limited hours, access cards and NFC phone-enabled systems now allow 24-hour spaces to exist without staffing.
Further, digital technologies enable space monitoring in case of any problems and can fully automate meeting room reservations. Utilizing automated invoicing services can also reduce staffing needs. This means that coworking spaces will become further streamlined as they adopt more technology, which is why tech adoption is at the forefront of every operator in 2023.
3. Innovative Working Spaces
Another upcoming trend in coworking spaces is their continued innovation. In San Francisco, office buildings are at about 40% of their pre-pandemic occupancy. This occupancy issue is occurring across the world, which means that there are abundant opportunities for coworking spaces to step in and transform these derelict office spaces.
Besides seizing this opportunity to entice workers back to the office, coworking office spaces will remain some of the most innovative and well-designed architectural spaces. These innovations will blend open-space concepts, with private meeting suites and phone spaces while locating workers in the downtown core of cities.
4. Additional Perks Included
As coworking continues to evolve, additional perks for members will provide strategic benefits. Many small business owners have had to fall back on small business loans during these tough economic times. Community banks have near 50% approval rates on average. Thus, offering low-cost and even zero-cost perks will help coworking operators retain more freelancers.
Some potential options include pet-friendly offices, local shop discounts, free parking, book clubs, and 1-on-1 direct mentoring. These low-cost, high-value benefits greatly expand the value of coworking spaces and will become essential as the industry continues to develop.
5. Niche Spaces for Niche Communities
A significant development for coworking spaces is the arrival of niche coworking spaces as a component of larger coworking networks. Niche coworking spaces include spaces for different sub-groups. This includes female-led coworking spaces, tech-focused coworking spaces, wellness-based coworking spaces, and artist-creative coworking spaces.
One way that coworking operators can embrace niche communities is by offering the tools and resources they need. For example, artist-creative coworking spaces can feature sound booths and podcasting equipment. These types of niche spaces help build tighter-knit communities and are more resilient to outside pressures.
6. Emphasizing Natural Connections
Natural connections, or embracing nature and sustainability, are growing in popularity among coworking users. This means featuring coworking spaces that eliminate the distinction between the interior and exterior to create environmentally friendly workspaces.
These spaces will also feature more eco-focused offerings, including reusable office supplies, natural lighting, and green plant walls. In addition, airflow will be optimized in these spaces. This will help enhance cleanliness, minimize the spread of germs, and improve overall efficiency to drive sustainable outcomes.
7. Digital Marketing
Another growing trend in coworking is the focus on digital marketing to acquire and retain members. Regardless of how well spaces are constructed, the amenities they offer, or their location, people still need to know about these spaces. One way to ensure that coworking spaces are filled to capacity is to utilize digital marketing.
Traditional digital marketing often relies heavily on SEO and content writing. However, newer trends like Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, and YouTube Shorts are becoming increasingly popular. These short-format videos are a favorite way for viewers to snap up content any time and on the go. This type of guerilla marketing involving influencers is a great way for coworking spaces to maintain their presence.
8. Building Deeper Connections
One of the greatest strengths of coworking spaces is their ability to build communities. As we begin to leave the pandemic behind, the power of communities to help rebuild our lives is more critical than ever.
Coworking spaces will be central locations for rebuilding communities in the future. Offerings like lunch gatherings, yoga classes, or meditation and mindfulness workshops are all ways to help build community in a coworking space.
9. Coworking Spaces for Corporate Employees
Another anticipated innovation for coworking spaces is broadening their access to corporate employees. As downtown office spaces have emptied out and many employees have begun working from home, coworking spaces are in a unique position to offer workspace in decentralized locations.
Suburban coworking spaces will be able to cater to large-scale corporations that have adopted a hybrid or hub-and-spoke work model. In some instances, corporations may negotiate permanent work arrangements with their staff at coworking locations to better accommodate the need for a “third space.”
10. Multi-Location Coworking Networks
Finally, the last trend we expect to see in 2023 and beyond is the growth of multi-location coworking networks. These franchise-like coworking networks will enable members of single coworking spaces to access various locations under one coworking brand, giving them even more options and allowing them to work closer to home.
Coworking spaces are no longer casual office spaces provided in office buildings; instead, they are quickly growing to be the premier location for workers to congregate.
In the post-pandemic landscape, coworking spaces are poised to become increasingly valuable as they continue to evolve, meeting the needs of hybrid teams and entrepreneurs on a global level.