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Predictions for Coworking and Shared Workspaces in 2017 | Greetly

The coworking industry will continue to grow in 2017. The industry will evolve too. Use these predictions to position your operation for long-term success.

What does 2017 have in store for co-working and shared workspaces?

The Evolving Definition of Co-Working

Research suggests the flexible workspace industry will continue to grow this yearThe term coworking originally referred to a shared space that focused on open seating and a shared sense of culture and community. Then the coworking concept became mainstreamed and any organization or business that offered a shared workspace or office began using the term.

Community culture and environment are still a primary focus of coworking spaces, but the trend toward more private work areas with a reduced emphasis on open seating is a trend that will continue in 2017, as offices offer levels of membership that incorporate the trend to greater privacy.

Appeals Toward Specific Communities

In order to strengthen culture and communities, shared office space owners and managers will target niche communities to create a culture and strengthen loyalty. Instead of having a community of self-employed individuals working in different industries, for example, office operators might target e-commerce website owners or self-employed writers.

By targeting specific niches, communities can offer specific training and mentoring, further strengthening its members and creating office loyalty and community.

Expanding to Multiple Locations

Look for co-working operators to offer multiple location memberships, similar to what chain fitness clubs have done. Instead of being locked into one place to get work done, co-workers can get to work at different locations, when convenient. More locations are also an avenue to increase revenue for your coworking operation.

Having a chain of offices appeals to small business owners who need to travel frequently, but might also appeal to individuals looking to drop in for a few hours of work while on the far side of town taking care of other responsibilities. 

Large Companies Experimenting With Coworking

You can already hear a collective groan from the co-working community, many of whose members became an entrepreneur as a reaction to their dislike of corporate hierarchy and structure. Corporations, however, do not become successful by ignoring things that work. Thus, many traditional companies are housing workers in shared workspaces.

Workplace collaboration among the employees of larger enterprise companies makes sense. This practice has already begun and it’s a trend that will continue in 2017.

Shared Office Operators Providing New Services

When athletic clubs came on the scene decades ago, they consisted of a few benches, a row of weights, and a drinking fountain. Once it became apparent that money could be made from selling memberships, competition arrived. The original setup was no longer good enough. Members wanted more.

Serviced office and coworking memberships will evolve similarly. Once entrepreneurs realized money could be made from selling co-working memberships, the competition arrived. In order to retain clients, operators will come up with more ways to serve their customers.

Technology and Design Becoming More Important

Original workspace layouts involved a lot of intuition and personal bias. Now, however, designers can draw on best practices and space management software like WUN to fuel their designs. Operators will also have specialist architects and designers with experience in creating co-working spaces as an option.

Along with the design, there’s a growing amount of companies that offer technological solutions geared specifically to shared office managers. Visitor registration app Greetly, for example, offers digital office technology to professionally welcome visitors and can be customized to fit the needs of any office.

Competition Increasing

Co-working solves a fundamental problem in the evolving workplace. For this reason, large cities now have more than one option when looking for shared office space. The number of co-working operators will grow even more in 2017.

Increased competition will naturally require operators to understand their market and understand how to better solve the problems of their market. The “if you build it, they will come” approach is no longer a viable choice for workspace managers.

With increased competition, there will also be an increase in the technology and services that cater to workspace operators to help them better their shared office.

How a new era of coworking will take shapeSummary

The coworking and shared work environment industry has grown rapidly in recent years. We predict industry growth will continue in 2017. The industry will evolve too. Use these 2017 coworking industry predictions to position your operation for long-term success.

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