In Spring 2017, the Global Workspace Association conducted their annual Industry survey. This year’s findings seemed to highlight that 2017 was a year of “More Players, More Profit, and More Productivity.” The Global Workspace Association is a professional organization of industry leaders, workspace operators, corporate real estate professionals and more. The goal of this report is to provide trusted industry benchmarking data to help operators, investors, and other industry members start and run better businesses. In 2017, the flexible office industry increased the variance of their offerings. For the first time in this industry, we’re seeing more options coming from landlords and private businesses as commercial real estate is widening its eye on shared spaces.
Growth of the Flexible Office Industry: New Players Arise
The expansion of Private Businesses and Landlords getting into the shared space industry is certainly something to not be overlooked. A recent Liquidspace report noted that 36% of transactions on the platform went through private businesses and landlords. While innovation is certainly an attractive feature to shared spaces, landlords and commercial real estate developers have taken a strong liking toward the terms “consumerization” and “user-centered” as a way of highlighting the advantages to these facilities. Even banks, some of the most conservative moving companies due to their need for securities, are shopping for flexible spaces.
More than WeWork. Other Providers on The Rise.
Investments for Coworking spaces have certainly been on the rise. According to the GWA report, “Investments continue to flow into the coworking sector, indicating a bullish outlook for the continued growth of the consumerization of workspace: The Wing raises $8M, The Yard raises $15M in debt financing, WeWork added $300M to its balance sheet from Softbank, Industrious raised another $25M, and Asian companies added a long list of funded shared workspaces.
In the shadow of WeWork’s domination, other Workspace Providers have expanded to open new spaces across the United States. Among these operators, WUN’s clients Bond Collective (5 locations), Metro Offices (9 locations), Quest Workspaces (9 locations), and Premier Business Centers (83). We are proud to serve some of the best operators in the world. For more information on how local operators can compete against larger operators such as WeWork, we will be launching a new piece on that subject so stay tuned.
Recent Changes in End User/Member Analytics Create More Demand for Community
User demographics have changed and no longer are programmers and freelancers making up the cor membership. Today that rate is 20% of the shared space workforce with 47% being small businesses and 12% are mobile corporate users. How this affects workers coming together to form a community may be impacted by this. As stated by the GWA survey, “It’s much more likely that these folks prefer to take calls or collaborate with team members in a private space, but they embrace the ability to join the community spaces for breaks, coffee, lunch and learns, and simple water cooler talks. And to take advantage of soft seating and wellness nooks when they have creative work to be done that welcomes the energy and background noise of a busy community.” With these changes on the horizon, it will be interesting to see what measures in community building will be taken from here.
We are excited to see these new rising trends in the industry. We will always stay at the forefront with these changes to ensure the best in shared space and Coworking management. We are proud to have sponsored the Global Workspace Association’s annual survey and we certainly look forward to attending their upcoming annual conference in Miami. To learn more about the Global Workspace Association, please visit www.globalworkspace.org
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