Updated: Aug 11th, 2021 by Jon Muller and George C
Like many industries, coworking spaces was negatively impacted by Covid-19, though recent data suggests it’s back on track for steady growth ahead. The main reason? Demand for flexible workspaces.
To really understand the state of coworking space and its role in the brave new world, we’ve compiled 32 of the most illuminating statistics on coworking spaces in 2021, from market size, growth projections, to the main benefits workers feel they get by working in these flexible workspaces.
State of Coworking Spaces since the Pandemic
Let’s start by taking a look at the size of coworking spaces globally in 2021 and forecasts for its growth in the next five years:
The pandemic has certainly put a damper on things. The latest data shows that coworking spaces will grow by only 2.1% in 2021 in terms of market size, from $7.97 billion in 2020 to $8.14 billion. However, that is set to dramatically rebound looking ahead as demand for flexible work places skyrocket. In terms of market size, it is projected coworking spaces will reach a market size of $13.03 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 12%.
The number of current and projected coworking spaces have also been cut back due to covid-19, though healthy growth is expected from hereon. A new study expects the number of coworking spaces to reach over 40,000 by 2024, double the number in 2021 for a compound annual growth of 21.3%. This is still a big downward revision from the previous pre-covid-19 estimate of over 49,500 spaces by 2022.
The biggest driver of coworking growth in the foreseeable future will be corporate coworking as companies race to implement a hybrid work model to retain and attract new employees.
Global Coworking Space Race
In 2021, the United States ranks #1 for the most number of coworking spaces globally (3,762), followed by India (2,197) and the United Kingdom (1,044) :
In terms of region, Asia Pacific remains on top with the most number of total coworking spaces in 2021 (5,889), followed by Europe (5,858) and North America (4,698) .
Globally, the number of coworking spaces is forecast to hit 41,975 by 2024, double from 20,000 in 2021 .
5 million Coworking Users by 2024
The number of coworking members worldwide is still expected to grow to 5 million by 2024  This is two years behind the previous forecast of 2022 however, dragged down by the pandemic 
Think about this. It means by 2024, there will be 5 million workers that will no longer call a regular office (or home) their main workplace.
Corporate Coworking driving the growth of Coworking Spaces
The pandemic certainly stifled the growth of coworking spaces, but it may also be responsible for its resurgance as companies embrace the new normal that is the hybrid work place.
The biggest trend shaping the industry is the rise of the corporate coworker. Increasingly, companies are leveraging coworking spaces to decentralize their office space and support employees that wish to work closer to home.
As a testament to this shift, more than half of Wework’s customers in the first quarter of 2021 are now big enterprises.
68% of American Workers prefer a Hybrid Workplace Model
According to a survey by Prudential, 68% of American workers now prefer a hybrid workplace model where they are given some flexibility to work outside the office from time to time.
In fact, 1 in 3 workers say they would not want to work for a company that required them to return to the office full-time. 
Employees Favor Coworking Spaces second only to WFH
When asked where one would like to work that is not the company office, coworking spaces came in second, only behind working from home :
COVID-19 Accelerates Coworking in Suburbs
The pandemic has also expedited the expansion, and in some cases relocation, of coworking spaces into the suburbs. This is where the largest growth is expected as workers increasingly want to work close to home without wasting time commuting.
After having experienced WFH, 57% of employees now want an office closer to home moving forward. 77% of those surveyed even said that a conveniently located office is a must for their next job. 
A hub and spoke model can save the average London employee as much as £2,200 in commuting costs per year. The same goes for New Yorkers at $7,000 a year saved in mileage costs. Perhaps, even more importantly, employees can save about 1.5 hours in commute time per day. 
Employers can save as well with upwards of 23% by decentralizing their offices. 
Coworking Makes People Happier
This should come as no surprise, but most people who join coworking report feeling more social, productive, and ultimately, happier. Here are the statistics that back this.
According to an extensive survey done in 2018, 89% of coworking users report that they are happier since joining a coworking space, while 83% said that they feel less lonely.
86% of coworkers feel that they are part of a community when working in a coworking space, which corroborates with another study that says the majority of coworkers feel happier since joining.  
And get this, 54% said that they socialize with other members outside of the coworking space after work and during weekends. 
Ultimately, 80% said that having other coworking members to interact with is the thing that they liked most in a coworking space. 
According to new statistics on remote work burnout, 76% of employees working from home say they dislike the lack of social interaction that WFH entails. This makes coworking spaces a good third space employers can provide as part of any hybrid work model.
Coworking Leads to Better Connections
Apart from the social aspect, many people join coworking spaces to forge new business connections and be more productive, by immersing themselves with talent from a broad range of related industries. It seems to be working.
By coworking, 82% of surveyed members say it has expanded their professional networks.51% of Coworking Space members feel that joining has helped them in finding new job opportunities. (6)
Coworking Creates Better Employees
One of the main reasons large corporations are interested in coworking spaces is to help foster creativity and out of the box thinking in their employees.
According to a GCUC survey, 84% of coworkers say working in a coworking space makes them more engaged and motivated. 69% surveyed say they have acquired news skills, and 68% say they have improved their existing skill set as a result of working in coworking spaces.
The Evolution of Coworking Spaces Amid the Pandemic
Many coworking spaces have made adjustments to their offerings in light of the pandemic and to address members’ safety concerns.
Increase in Online Services and Private Offices
Deskmag surveyed coworking companies on what services they have increased since covid-19. The top 4 services are :
- Online Services: 44%
- Temporary Discounts: 43%
- Marketing Expenditures: 41%
- Private Offices: 29%
* Percentage of coworking companies that have increased the indicated service since the pandemic
In other words, close to half of all surveyed coworking companies have boosted their online offerings and a quarter have increased private offices to assuage member fears of covid-19.
Decrease in Community Services and Hot Desks
Inversely, many coworking spaces have slashed services that involve group gathering or sitting too close to one another in the facility. The top four services that have been cut back are :
- Community oriented services: 63%
- Hot Desks: 39%
- Working hours per staff: 37%
- Number of staff: 33%
24/7 Access to Coworking Spaces is Important
Currently, the most common amenities that are offered by coworking spaces are:
- Fast, stable internet
- Meeting rooms
- Printer and scanner
- Coffee and snacks
Unfettered access is an important consideration for many members, as echoed by 52% of those surveyed whom prefer having 24/7 access to their coworking space. 
Physical and Mental Wellness is the New Focus
To improve member experience, AllWork found that more coworking establishments are now offering amenities which focus on physical and mental wellness due to high demand. This includes:
- Yoga spaces
- Standing and ergonomic desks
- Ergonomic chairs
- Healthy snacks and curated beverages
- Meditation rooms
In one survey, 70% of participants prefer having an ergonomic chair, but only 36% report having ergonomic chairs in their coworking space. 
Coworking in the US
Despite the pandemic, coworking spaces are poised to come back strong in the US due to the rise of flexible workspaces.86% of US companies said that their long-term real estate strategy includes flexible and coworking spaces (20)
In a survey conducted late 2020, 86% of US companies said that their long-term real estate strategy includes flexible and coworking spaces. Their main reasons are:
- To give their remote workforce access to different locations: 45.5%
- To enter a new market: 43.9%
- To serve as a short-term space solution for their dispersed workforce: 42.4%
- To reduce capital expenditure: 40.9%
- To test different occupancy models: 37.9%
Biggest Coworking Hubs in the US
New York remains the largest coworking hub in North America with 16.6 million square feet of working space. Northern California and the Greater Los Angeles area come next with about 6.1 msf each. Rounding out the list are San Fransisco (4 million msf), Chicago (3.6 million msf) and Dallas (3.3 million msf).New York and Los Angeles take the crown in the US for most coworking space available in terms of square feet (21)
52% of the coworking spaces in the US are profitable while 31% are breaking even. 
Staying Viable as an Business
Coworking operators face various challenges from the moment they decide to open a coworking space to profitability.
Profitability increases with more Members
Only 42% of coworking spaces worldwide are profitable while 33% are breaking even.
These numbers improve significantly for coworking spaces with lots of members. 81% of coworking spaces with at least 200 members are profitable while 13% are breaking even. 
A 2018 report by Cushman and Wakefield showed similar numbers, stating that 70% of coworking spaces in the world with at least 200 members are profitable.
32% of this profit comes from renting desks, while 27% of the revenue derives from renting private offices. 
Key Coworking Statistics in 2021 Infographic
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- First results of Global Coworking Survey Nov 3rd, 2011,http://www.deskmag.com/en/first-results-of-global-coworking-survey-171
- Surprising Return to Work Statistics, https://ergonomictrends.com/return-to-work-statistics/
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- “The End of the Beginning.” https://www.cbre.com/-/media/files/the-way-forward/the-end-of-the-beginning-north-america-flexible-office-market-in-2020/north-america-flex-office-2020-1.pdf
- “The Changing Role of Coworking in the Workplace Ecosystem.” August 3, 2020, https://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en/insights/covid-19/the-changing-role-of-coworking-in-the-workplace-ecosystem
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