Coworking Statistics, Surveys, Research Papers and Studies (Global, Regional & National)

A central repository of coworking statistics, surveys, research paper and studies from around the world. It is organized with the two main global surveys on top, followed by national surveys, then those of coworking spaces themselves and of other related business, and then academic research on coworking.

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Table of Contents

Global Coworking Survey

2019

How Profitable Are Coworking Spaces in 2019? (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. 90% of coworking spaces generate a profit if they meet at least four conditions: they have more than 200 members, are older than one year, are profit-oriented and do not subsidize their operation through other businesses.
  2. 43% of all coworking spaces generate a direct profit from their operation.
  3. 83% are “for-profit” businesses, and 12% operate as “non-profit” companies.

2019 State of Coworking (PDF) Background information about the survey

Highlights:

  1. Coworking spaces worldwide growth of close to 20% in the last year.
  2. Average number of members per location increased to 90.
  3. 11% of coworking spaces host 300 people or more.

2018

Coworking in Europe 2018 (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Only 4 out of 5 members use coworking spaces for their regular work, although this figure is slightly higher in large cities. Smaller towns, members are more likely to come to their coworking space for meetings and events or use it as a base for local errands and activities.
  2. On average, when coworking members in the eurozone work from their coworking space, they spend 10 euros per day in the surrounding area. Considering 100 members per day who work 240 days a year (excluding weekends and holidays), a coworking space would contribute 240,000 euros a year to the local economy.
  3. Almost 80% of all members decided to work in a particular coworking space themselves. This probability increases depending on how big the city is where they work. The bigger the city, the more members are working as employees.

Rare Perspectives on Coworking Space Members and Their Spaces GCUC CANADA 2018 (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Purpose driven organization are the most popular local partner for coworking spaces
  2. 30% of coworking members are extroverted, 47% are ambiverts and 22% are introverted
  3. Introverted members prefer the social atmosphere of coworking more than any other group
  4. Every sixth member of a coworking space considers themself a digital nomad
  5. Digital nomads feel almost as attached to their current coworking space as all members

Operators & Staff Members: The People Behind Coworking Spaces (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Nine out of ten women, who have set up or currently own a coworking space, have at least a bachelor’s degree. This figure stands at eight out of ten for men, although the average age of 41 years is the same regardless of gender. Conversely, 20% of men founded a coworking space without studying or completing their studies.
  2. Profitable coworking spaces are much more likely to be run by a woman than a man. The proportion of men in managing positions increases at unprofitable coworking spaces.
  3. Among employed space managers, men are more likely to have a higher level of education. However, at the age of 36, they are on average two years older than women holding the same position. 40% of employed female execs are younger than 30. This share stands at 27% among men.

Quick Facts about the UK’s Coworking Spaces (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. The average lease is longer among coworking spaces. More than 40% of offices lease their location for at least 10 years. This result is also notably impacted by large locations.
  2. 42% of coworking spaces are run by a company that operates at least two locations. This group mostly overlaps with those who have longer leases.
  3. 27% of spaces in the UK are less than a year old.

Coworking for Introverts & Extroverts (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. The proportion of extroverted personalities among female members is almost as high as the total number of those with mixed personalities. Men position themselves predominantly in the middle. However, more extroverted than introverted male members work at coworking spaces.
  2. Introverted members – are more likely to enjoy relaxed and small spaces. ‘More introverted’ members often speak with around 3 other coworking members per working day, around half as many than ‘more extroverted’ members.
  3. Majority of introverted members decided on their own accord to work in a coworking space. They are even more likely to pay for it out of their own pockets. More than among other personality types, the main membership attraction is the social atmosphere in a coworking space.

The State of Coworking Spaces in 2018 (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. The average occupancy has increased slightly to 1.2 members per desk. For these figures, there are now 12 square meters (130 ft²) available per member, a little less than the previous year.
  2. A quarter of coworking spaces are without private offices. This is a huge drop, as the figure was almost 40% of all coworking spaces in the previous year.
  3. Rent continues to be the biggest expense for coworking spaces, accounting for around 40% of their spending.

2018 Coworking Forecast (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Around two out of three coworking spaces are planning to expand in 2018, slightly fewer than last year. On average, every coworking space is planning to expand their area by 70%.
  2. Members are becoming a bit more loyal. Three quarters of them aren’t planning on leaving their coworking space or will stay for at least one more year – slightly more than in the last survey, albeit fewer than in the years before that.
  3. According to responses received from operators, gaining new members remains the biggest challenge for coworking spaces. Another problem listed by operators is the general workload (31%).

The State of Coworking Spaces in Asia (slides)

Highlights:

  1. The average margin rate of profitable coworking spaces in Asia is currently around 9%, which is lower than the global average of 12%. However, they are one year younger on average and have started their operations 23 months ago – the global average age is 34 months.
  2. The planning, construction and opening of coworking spaces done faster in Asia (4.2 instead of 7.2 months) than in other places. Almost a quarter of all coworking spaces owns their location. Only around 60% are renting their spaces, globally this number is around 70%.
  3. The average coworking space in Asia has 205 members, more than on any other continent.

Impact of WeWork On Other Coworking Spaces (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. WeWork is harming 40% of all coworking spaces in its close vicinity. Among the coworking spaces based in direct vicinity, within 1 km of the WeWork locations, 40% stated that the presence of WeWork negatively affected their business and that clearly outnumbers the positive ones (26%).
  2. Second, the more profitable a coworking space is, the more positively they view the influence of WeWork – although at least older coworking spaces often feel more threatened.
  3. Older coworking spaces and those that have other locations themselves often feel more threatened by WeWork.

Opening Coworking Spaces & The First Year Post-Launch (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Significantly more coworking space operators are afraid of high renovation costs for their new location – with roughly 80% this number is almost as high as in the previous years.
  2. Founders are still investing a very large portion of their private assets into new coworking spaces. On average, this is 44% of the overall capital investments – slightly lower than in the previous year. On the other hand, the shares that friends or family contribute increased to an average of 17%.
  3. In the US, the average* cost of creating a new coworking space is US$ 450,000, however the median value recently decreased to only US$ 30,000.

Global Coworking Survey 2018 Publications

2017

The Members: How, When & Why Do They Work in Coworking Spaces? (slides)

Highlights:

  1. January and September are the peak season for new members. People join in January to make up for the amount of reduced working hours throughout Christmas. Every year, December is the month with the lowest number of new memberships around the world.
  2. Almost half of all members worked in a home office (45%) before switching to a coworking space.
  3. A social atmosphere (59%), interaction with other members (56%) and a strong community (55%) are still the most important deciding factors for coworking spaces. They are followed by the proximity to the members’ homes (51%), good value for money, good transport link (each 41%) as well as a basic office infrastructure (38%).

The Members: Who Works in Coworking Spaces (slides)

Highlights:

  1. Freelancers are predominantly working in smaller coworking spaces. As coworking spaces grow bigger, they usually provide offices for companies or private persons. For this reason, the (relative) ratio of freelancers has been declining continuously over the last few years. For spaces with 100 or more workstations, it is currently only around 30%.
  2. IT, PR & sales are the dominating industries for coworkers. Members in IT jobs are still the biggest group and were able to slightly increase their ratio compared to the previous year (20% to 22%). More often than before, you will now also find professionals who work in PR, marketing & sales in coworking spaces (8% to 14%). The relative share of consultants on the other hand has dropped significantly (11% to 6%).
  3. Members are highly educated. The high level of education remains a characteristic feature among members of coworking spaces. Around 85% of them have finished an academic education. 41% currently hold a bachelor’s, another 41% have a master’s and 4% have already received their doctorate. All of these numbers are similar to those of the previous year.

2017 Coworking Forecast from the Global Coworking Survey (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. Simultaneous occupancy rates in coworking spaces remain stable. Even though more and more people are working in coworking spaces, if you look around, it is unlikely you’ll notice the increase. Many members work at different times. Around 40% use a coworking space at least every work day, and 30% show up three to four times a week. During an average week, members come a little less often than before.
  2. Slightly more coworking spaces plan to expand, particularly by opening new locations. In 2017, two out of three coworking spaces intend to expand their floor space, a little more than in the previous year. Nearly 40% plan at least one new location, also slightly more than in the previous year.
  3. Coworking spaces were predominantly made up of new members, who first worked in a coworking space within the previous 12 months, still make up the majority (56%, versus 57% in the previous year).

First results of the Global Coworking Survey (PDF)

2015-2016

Canada Coworking Stats 2016 (pdf)

USA Coworking Stats 2016

2016 Forecast and results (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. As reported by members, four out of five of them plan to stay where they are for the next year. Two-thirds of members haven’t even considered leaving, a slight increase compared to the last survey. New data shows an increase in the number of members who work at multiple spaces (15% of 2016 respondents vs. 9% of respondents in 2013), a response most likely be linked to an overall increase of members who travel or identify themselves as digital nomads.
  2. In the previous year, several well-known coworking spaces such as New Work City closed due to expiring leases that resulted in sharp increases in renewal rates. Approximately one in eight coworking spaces will face having to renew and/or renegotiate their lease this year.
  3. The overall positive expectations provided by space owners are still quite high, but have shown signs of leveling off when comparing 2016 to 2014 results. 87% of respondents report expectations of growing membership while 82% anticipate increased revenue. The slight decrease of five percentage points may speak to the fact that more respondents have been in business for a longer time.

Global vs Asian Results

Preliminary results

2014

The coworking forecast 2014 (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. When we last took our survey, 80% of coworking professionals were still at their first coworking space; this time around, that number dropped to just under 70%. More people were also likely to return to their first coworking spaces.
  1. Two years ago, only every second person first joining a badly rated coworking space chose to move on within a year. In 2014, that average rises dramatically, with every nine out of ten professionals opting to leave their workspaces within twelve months. The ever-widening selection of coworking spaces gives professionals greater mobility and choice. On the other hand, highly rated coworking spaces are managing to hold on to more than a third of their members from one year to the next.
  1. Like last year, coworking spaces are taking clear steps to expand their offerings. 60% are planning extensions (in the previous year: 65%), but only one in five expect to expand upon existing locations (last year: 29%). New branches of existing spaces remained constant from last year, with every third coworking space planning to open additional locations. Approximately one in eleven are considering moving into larger workspaces.

4.5 New Coworking Spaces Per Work Day

Highlights:

  1. In the last twelve months, three new coworking spaces opened daily. Only taking the workdays into consideration, there was an average of 4.5 new spaces opening per day, offering workspaces for creative people in more than 81 different countries.
  2. It was observed that work spaces had become larger. There was an increase in the number of members of about 117% in the last 12 months, which is even more than a year ago! Overall, about 109,000 people worked as members of coworking spaces, as of February 1st, which was compared to the 50,000 observed in the previous year on the same day. By the end of February 2013, there were already 4,000 more members working in collaborative workspaces.
  3. Most coworking spaces are still in the United States (781), which remains ahead of Germany (230), Spain (199), Great Britain (154) and Japan (129). By continent, the European numbers continue to grow more steadily compared to North Americans. Yet, one must consider that there are also more people living in Europe when compared to the U.S. and Canada.

2013

The coworking forecast 2013

Highlights:

  1. Two thirds of the coworking spaces plan to expand – like last year. Expansion plans for coworking spaces, at first glance, appear to be similar to those from the previous year. In total, two-thirds of coworking spaces plan to expand within their existing spaces, by moving to a bigger location or by opening (a) new location(s).
  2. Big coworking spaces will open new locations more often. According to their size, the results have changed more drastically, when compared to last year. 53% of all large coworking spaces (with 30 members or more) consider opening at least one new location. The year before only 44% of spaces reported that. For small coworking spaces (with 29 members or less) it is just the opposite.
  3. Coworkers may prefer smaller spaces, but the size of a coworking space is not a definitive reason to leave. The reason, that members leave a coworking space, is not only because a space became bigger. In this respect, we couldn’t find any differences. The probability of remaining in a coworking space decreased in both small and big.

3 rd global coworking survey (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. 71% of respondents said their creativity had increased since joining, and 62% said their standard of work had improved. Countering the common claim that coworking spaces can be distracting, 68% said they were able to focus better, as compared to 12% who said the opposite. 64% said they could better complete tasks on time. 
  2. 53% of coworkers are freelancers, while the remainder are entrepreneurs, small company employees, big company employees, and 8% who describe themselves as none of the above (the proportion of “other” respondents has increased from 5% two years back to 8%, while entrepreneurs has fallen from 18% to 14%). The proportion of female coworkers is growing, up from 32% in 2010 to 38% today.
  3. More coworking spaces now report to be part of a network or chain. 79% are independent, while 5% are in a franchise, 6% are part of an association, and 10% are in a network of spaces.

1st Results of the 3rd Global Coworking Survey

2012

First Results Global Coworking Survey 2011

2011

First coworking survey

Emergent Research Coworking Survey

2018

US Coworking Forecast 2018-2020

Highlights:

  1. The forecast average annual growth rate for U.S. spaces over the period under discussion (2017 – 2022) is, by universally accepted coworking standards, a moderate 9%. 
  2. The recorded annual growth rate is relatively slower than the globally expected rate of growth of growth in spaces, which stands at 16.1% over the given period of time. The slower rate is recorded is as a result of the progressive maturing of the U.S. market.
  3. Due to the consistent increase in size of coworking spaces and results in the number of U.S. coworking members doubling up over the period, member growth is projected to increase by a whopping 14.7% average annual growth rate. 

The Importance of the Social Side of Coworking

Highlights:

  1. 87% of respondents report that they meet other members for social reasons, with 54% saying they socialize with other members after work and/or on weekends.
  2. 82% of respondents reported that coworking has expanded their professional networks.
  3. 64% said their coworking networking was an important source of work and business referrals

2017

Coworking Is About Feeling Less Lonely

Highlights:

  1. 87% of respondents report that they meet other members for social reasons, with 54% saying they socialize with other members after work and/or on weekends
  2. 79% said coworking has expanded their social networks
  3. 83% report that they are less lonely since joining a coworking space

2017 Coworking Forecast

Highlights:

  1. An average annual growth rate of 16.1% was projected to be observed between the years 2017 to 2022. Speaking in terms of numbers, the number of coworking spaces is expected to double up within the given time frame.
  2. At a significant annual growth rate of 24.2%, the number of coworking members is expected to grow faster than the number of coworking spaces. It is pertinent to conclude that there will be a steady increase in coworking members per unit working area.
  3. Standing at a fair rate of 15%, the mature coworking markets found in the US and in some parts of Europe are expected to grow slower than global markets within the given period of time.

2016

2016 Coworking Forecast

Highlights:

  1. The expected number of global coworking members is projected to increase from around 976,000 in 2016 to a little over 3.8 million in 2020. This represents a 41% compounded annual growth rate.
  2. The number of spaces is expected to grow 18% in 2020, this is a staggering difference from the 41% growth rate in 2016. This development partially reflects the emergence of larger space sizes. However, it reflects a maturing market and brings to fore, the challenges associated with rapid growth as an industry gets bigger.
  3. The 2016 forecast is the most promising with reasonable projections, as opposed to those of 2014 and 2015 which both ended up low on target.

2015

Coworking by the numbers (PDF)

Highlights:

  1. 68% of respondents reported they improved their existing skill set while being coworkers.
  2. 90% reported being either highly satisfied (79%) or satisfied (11%) with their coworking space. Only 5% reported being dissatisfied.
  3. 95% said location was very important (68%) or important (27%). 0% said it was not important.

GCUC infographic: coworking leads to awesomeness

Highlights:

  1. 67% of the respondents experienced improved professional success.
  2. 80% of respondents turn to other members for help and guidance.
  3. 78% of the respondents stated that they were able to maintain their sanity through coworking.

Coworking spaces are human spaces

Highlights:

  1. The major discovery happened to be that while coworking spaces are definitely workspaces, they are also much more. They are places where members work and assist other members, network with other members, learn and socialize together.
  2. A survey conducted among coworking members portrayed that women were better collaborators than men. They were discovered to be quick to seek the help of colleagues and possessed a generally high regard for access to conference rooms.
  3. An impressive 64% of coworking members indicated that their networking with other coworkers was a source of work on its own. This mean that coworking is one good way to tackle unemployment.

2014

Coworking Forecast: 1 Million Coworkers in 2018

Highlights:

  1. The number of coworking facilities, which had been on a steady climb rate was projected to slow down, even when it was expected to increase at a strong average annual growth rate of about 30% in the five years that follow.
  2. The number of coworking members was largely expected to grow at very fast rates. This phenomenon can be attributed to the increase in the number of coworking members per working space. The increase was as a result of coworking facility operators aggressively maximizing the available space in order to cater for more coworkers.
  3. The total global coworking membership was projected to grow at about 40% per year over the next 5 years and to have exceeded 1-million-member mark in the year 2018.

Other

National and Local Surveys

Coworking spaces and other businesses

PS: If you have any stats that I’ve not included here, send me the link :)

Academic Research Papers About Coworking

CoworkingStats & Surveys