In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the concept of coworking and co-living spaces for remote workers, what the average demographic is for those who take up the lifestyle, and how data and trends from previous years can paint a picture for the industry in 2018.
Below, we’ll look at some of the yearly tendencies for coworking and co-living (according to the Global Coworking Survey 2017), as well as some of the primary deciding factors for those looking to pick a specific coworking space.
Coworking spaces are a booming trend in the global landscape, allowing for those who work remotely to freely travel, network with like-minded people, have access to office infrastructure, and reside in any chosen city without the pressures of long contracts or the price of renting private offices or apartments.
Annual Trends for Coworking Spaces
No matter where in the world people choose to participate in coworking and co-living spaces, it seems that many of the trends and motivations are similar across the board.
January and September are the peak months for new members joining the coworking scene. January is usually the result of remote workers looking for more productivity after the holiday months, while September indicates recent graduates entering the workforce.
While some companies are beginning to shift their employees from traditional offices to coworking spaces in the same city, over half of those who participate in coworking spaces had worked from home prior to joining the shared-workspace scene. Despite this, coworking spaces largely operate on traditional office hours. Despite the freedom granted to its members to work on their own schedule, coworking days averaged about 9 hours – with most work being performed between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Primary Criteria for Choosing a Coworking Space
While personal freedom is likely a main motivating factor when it comes to choosing the coworking lifestyle, there are a few universal criteria that those who adopt this lifestyle put emphasis on when choosing a location.
Social Atmosphere. Almost 60% of coworking members listed this as their main criteria when choosing a coworking location. This makes sense, as this social interaction is what draws so many remote workers out of their homes in the first place. In continuing with this theme, 56% of those surveyed said that daily interactions with other members was the primary deciding factor – while 55% said strong community.
Location. Where the coworking space existed in a given city was also a large deciding factor for those surveyed. For those who weren’t living onsite, the proximity of the coworking space to their apartment or home was the one of the largest factors (51%). 41% also noted that ease of transportation and the quality of public transportation around the coworking space were also crucial factors. Generally, people wanted their coworking spaces to be within 20 minutes in commuting time from their primary domiciles.
Value. No surprises here. People who are motivated and adventurous enough to seek out coworking spaces are also resourceful enough to understand that the bottom line is everything. If the price vs. the service doesn’t match up, then there’s no point doing it in the first place. 41% of members surveyed said that the value of the space for the money was the most important deciding factor when choosing a working space, while 38% specifically cited the office infrastructure.
As the New Year approaches, people around the world are looking for better ways to foster productivity, maximize personal freedom, and increase quality of life. The best way to do this is by finding that perfect balance between work and personal life. Coworking and co-living spaces may be the best way to shed the restrictions of a traditional office, find social interaction not present when working from home, and grant you the freedom to perform your job from anywhere in the world!
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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.