The highly anticipated results of the 2019 Deskmag Global Coworking Survey were revealed last week. The results featured a significant amount of flatline numbers compared to last year’s stats, with some jumps in overall coworking usage both by members and total spaces.
The 2019 edition of Deskmag’s annual survey was its largest to date, with 2668 responses. This number represents an impressive 34% increase from last year’s total, and marks the seventh consecutive year with an increase in participants. Let’s run through some of the most notable takeaways from the study.
Rising Number of Members and Spaces
In the most generic of terms, coworking is continuing its ascent thanks mainly to the rise in number of coworking spaces worldwide, and number of members in said spaces.
According to the survey, there will be an estimated 22,400 spaces by end of 2019, with over 2.1 million coworking members. Both these findings are among the most positive trends in this year’s survey.
The average number of members per space rose slightly from 82 last year to 90 this year. That number is a bit larger – 96 – in North American spaces.
Size per Location
One of the few, if any, results that showed a decline this year was the average size per location. Last year the average was about 793 sq. meters per location, which dropped to 725 sq. meters (7,804 sq.ft) this year. However, in the North American market, just as with the larger number of members, the results showed an increase in location size. The North American average jumped to 844 sq. meters (9,084 sq. ft) per location, larger than Europe, but smaller than the average Asian space.
State of Business
Overall, 43% of operators categorized their current business situation as “good”. The highest of any continent was North America, at 49%. Only 9% of operators worldwide labeled their business situation as “bad”. In a bit of a predictable result, the larger the member base, the higher this positive business outlook grew. Spaces with over 200 members responded at a 68% rate in the “good” category.
Attracting new members was the biggest challenge operators reported. This was already the leading challenge in last year’s survey, but it increased by a whopping 10%, all the way up to 60% of operators who named it as the biggest challenge. Financial constraints and inability to provide enough workspace were the other two challenges that drew over a 30% response.
Another trend that held steady from the 2018 results was expansion plans. The last three surveys showed that 27% of operators had plans to expand space and desks within their current location. This year, that number increased to 30%. However, the number of operators who responded that they were going to expand to a larger space, or open additional space(s) remained identical to the 2018 totals.
Overall, 86% of respondents believe that the number of members in their space will continue to increase. A very healthy 84% projected either mild or significant revenue increase in the coming year. Both of these figures reflect a stable growth year over year.
One interesting trend is that the percentage of members who are still working at their first coworking space, has continued to decline. Of course, this has a lot to do with more competition and amenities available in their surrounding areas. In 2013, 78% of members stated they were working in their first space. That number has decreased steadily all the way to 55% this year. People are taking advantage of competitors offering better benefits, rates, or simply spaces that open closer to home.
These are just a handful of the major takeaways from the 2019 Deskmag Global Coworking Survey. To download the free report, and read Deskmag’s in depth analysis, please click here.