Coworking Spaces in 2018…And What We Learned Last Year (Part 1)

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The growing trend of coworking and co-living spaces in Europe, Asia, and the Americas this past year has provided some really valuable insights into 2018. As digital nomads become more populous around the globe, so rises the need for more of these “mobile workplaces” – allowing freelancing entrepreneurs the structure and social climate of an office, with the freedom to travel around the world at a moment’s notice. With the upcoming release of the Global Coworking Survey 2018, let’s look back at the previous year’s data to better understand the overseas coworking and co-living landscape!

What is Coworking and Co-Living?

Coworking and co-living spaces are basically a hybrid office space and dormroom. For those whose income is derived from online work, with the freedom to work remotely from anywhere, this concept has been a total game-changer in the industry.

The beauty of working remotely is having the flexibility to travel freely, work on your own time, and not be confined to one location in order to perform your job. With this freedom, however, often comes distraction – and even some of the most motivated digital nomads can find themselves caught up in their travels. With co-living and coworking spaces, you get the structure of an office-like atmosphere with necessary amenities, the social aspect of working alongside like-minded individuals from all walks of life, and the cost-effectiveness of living in a new country without paying hotel prices or being locked into an apartment lease.

Coworking spaces offer private rooms for rent, in periods ranging anywhere from a few days to months at a time, and shared amenities. Digital nomads from all across the globe are finding that coworking and co-living spaces offer the best of all worlds: productive work spaces, affordability, and freedom.

Who Uses Coworking and Co-Living Spaces?

While tech jobs dominated the co-living clientele in past years, we’re seeing the concept being embraced by people from a wide array of professions. The coworking survey found that IT, Public Relations, Marketing, and Sales were the predominant industries found in coworking spaces. The job descriptions ranged everywhere from management-level positions to salaried employees to freelancers.  

While the comparison of coworking spaces to college libraries or dormitories is obvious, the Global Coworking Survey found that the average age of coworking space members was just over 36 years old. While 43% of members are under the age of 30, the majority of those who take advantage of the program are well-established in their careers or with their given companies.

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While freelancers seem an obvious answer for those interested in coworking and co-living spaces, more and more businesses are encouraging their employees to become members. In fact, the data shows that salaried employees earn higher wages in coworking spaces than their freelancing counterparts.

  • Around 60% of coworking members (either freelance or salaried) pay for the space themselves.
  • 35% viewed their income as high-to-very-high in comparison to their costs of living abroad in their city of choice.
  • 40% of members were women: an annually-increasing number.
  • Over 50% would define themselves as “digital nomads.”

Member EducationConsumer Resource Guide

Coworking spaces are great because they allow you to interact with people of different backgrounds – but with shared interests, motivations, and intellect.

The survey found that over 40% of coworking space members had a bachelor’s degree, the same percentage had a master’s degree, and around 4% had a doctorate degree.

In Part 2 of this article, we’ll detail more of the annual trends in coworking and coliving from the previous year. We’ll also look at some of the main criteria for choosing a coworking space and highlight important factors for these shared spaces, as cited by those already living this lifestyle.

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Author Bio:

Tyler Sorce is an American writer and digital nomad currently living in Lisbon, Portugal. In a past life he was a chef in Manhattan and Paris, follow his travels and favorite dishes on Instagram.

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