In November I went up to Brooklyn for the Global Workspaces Association Coworking Conference. This conference is where the best of the best in the coworking and office space sectors gather to exchange ideas and share expertise. I was invited to moderate a panel with some of the leaders in coworking to understand best where coworking is going as innovation continues to accelerate.
My panel had quite the line up including: John Arenas of Serendipity Labs, Adam Segal of Cove.is, Shlomo Shilber of Bond Collective, and Sarah Fustine of Think Big Partners. The conversation was enlightening and allowed the audience to have an insider look from some innovators in the sector. Between my panel’s discussion of their “secret sauce” and other presentations during the GWA conference, I had three top takeaways.
1. Here to Stay
Coworking and the world of flexible work is here to stay and will only continue to grow in adoption by startups and most importantly, established Fortune 500 companies. According to JLL, 30% of office space will be flexible by 2030. NAIOP thinks 30% of space will be flexible by 2022. Google says companies employing over 8,000 people will be 66% flexible by the end of 2018. The proof is in the puddin’ here.
2. Time to Start Thinking Beyond the Norm
The real estate owner needs to begin shifting their thinking about their investment, the product they offer, and how to stay connected with the needs of the tenants they serve. New amenities like access to outdoor spaces, food trucks, shared meeting and conference rooms, coworking are becoming more important than the typical amenities like a fitness facility or building cafe. As space-as-a-service providers, you need to be thinking about how to differentiate yourselves whether it be through the type of service you offer or your target audience. If we focus on keeping your clients happy, they won’t want to leave. You also have the ability to position your company as an amenity in an office building environment, which will help building owners attract tenants.
3. Integration of 4 Things: Culture, Ease, Well-Being, Flexibility
- Culture – 64% of CRE executives believe amenities are the most important to their labor force.
- Ease – 47% of companies report an improvement in engagement, as a result of wellness initiatives.
- Well-being – 82% of millennials said work-life balance was a big factor for evaluating job prospects
- Flexibility – 79% of respondents felt they were better able to collaborate on creative work with higher mobility
Adoption of coworking and shared spaces by organizations of all sizes continues to increase. The flexibility and services offered by coworking only helps to increase engagement and the happiness of team members. And, keeping team members happy leads to success on your P&L and throughout the organization.