The coworking movement is stronger than ever. More companies are transitioning from dreary office cubicles to coworking spaces. According to Statista, almost 1.7 million people will be working out of coworking spaces in 2018. That’s nearly double the amount in 2016! 

Affordability, flexibility, and culture remain the top reasons for this paradigm shift. While cubicles sufficed in the past, businesses today want to save money, collaborate with other businesses, and have the option to work remotely. Only coworking spaces can tick all three boxes.

Below are a few coworking trends businesses will start noticing in 2018.

 

Enhanced Amenities

More coworking spaces mean more competition. To stand out, coworking providers will need to offer more unique amenities or upgrades to existing services. To retain memberships, coworking spaces will need to include experiences that contribute to a healthy work-life balance.

One of the most requested features are services and resources for physical fitness: such as yoga classes, a fitness center, or a rock climbing wall. These offerings can be further enhanced with other health-conscious add-ons: healthier snacks and treats such as fruit and yogurt, and spaces for relaxation and meditation. Other administrative services, such as presentations, lunch pickups, travel planning, printing projects, data entry, and expense reports may become standard offerings in the future.

 

Niche/Specialized Services

With so many different businesses in one location, it’s only natural for some spaces to feature highly-specialized services for certain clients. For example, a soundproofed room with a microphone and other audio equipment can easily become the space’s recording studio, perfect for music projects or podcasts. In another case, a photo lab setup with a professional studio camera, lighting kits, and a greenroom allow businesses to take high-quality company headshots and product photos.

As more corporations join coworking spaces, we’ll start to see more niche spaces, but tailored for a variety of industries.

 

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Approaches

Coworking spaces are in a special position to tackle environmental sustainability- after all, the coworking business model is centered around sharing to avoid waste. It’s no surprise that some spaces are already implementing steps to reduce their ecological footprint.

Level Office, for example, offers recycling services, reusable glassware and silverware, and energy-efficient lighting. These services will quickly become the default expectation for coworking spaces this year and beyond. Other coworking spaces are reported to be incorporating repurposed materials and solar power into the building design.

 

Local Events and Partnerships

Since coworking buildings are typically found in metro areas, there’s a tremendous opportunity to build relationships with the businesses within the area. Membership to a particular coworking location may unlock coupons or sales for nearby services, like a free dessert at a restaurant. One Level Office location in downtown Chicago partnered with a local coffee shop to offer discounted cups for members. In the future, we may see other services including discounted gym memberships or store purchases.

Coworking spaces are also the ideal place to hold networking events: not only are they sleek and stylish environments to host presentations and formal events, but culture of networking can attract local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Expect to see more frequent and more notable coworking events.  

 

Improved Technology

As our devices become increasingly advanced and interconnected, so too will coworking spaces. We are already noticing futuristic concepts implemented within spaces already: NFC-enabled card keys, touchscreen coffee machines, and wireless speaker systems. In the future, cloud technology may open up even more possibilities- such as smartphone or smartwatch controlled thermostats, televisions, and lights.

 

Voice assistant devices (Apple HomePod, Amazon Alexa, Google Home) will likely see more use in larger spaces for their functionality and ease of use. In a study of 500 businesses, nearly a third were reported to have already installed voice assistants in their office.

 

More Spaces and Higher Demand

Out of all these listed trends, the most certain trend is the growing popularity of coworking. As more spaces are added globally, more businesses will gravitate towards these new buildings for work. According to a study by DeskMag, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is projected to reach 18,900 this year.

Coworking is here to stay. In fact, the industry is relatively young, with tremendous room for growth. The industry has learned a lot in the past decade. Now it’s time to see those lessons expanded to even more businesses and industries. The future of the workplace remains bright, and the best is yet to come.

Explore Level Office’s plans to learn about options for your business needs.

 

Photo credits: eOffice, TechItalia
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