The Coworking Growth Hockey Stick

If there where any doubts about the impact coworking is having, Google Trends shows us how coworking interest is growing in the world. Growth is accelerating and we are beginning to see the famous hockey stick shape that investors like so much and that may have helped some people raise a lot of money, in these searches and also in coworking usage stats.

Google Trends Web Search interest coworking co working Worldwide 2004 present

The other things that stand out in this trends search are that:

  • The biggest interest and growth is in continental Europe, with Spain crushing it. We all had anecdotal evidence of this at the coworking conferences (namely at Coworking Spain). This shows how the word has become a must in a country that started getting into coworking well after pioneering Germany.

regional-interest-coworking-trends

  • The standard spelling is clearly coworking, without a dash. With all the initiatives that have taken place to make sure that people understand that it is coworking that should be used for the industry, it is strange to see the spelling with a dash coming back every so often. This may be because some people are still trusting the auto correct features of their word processors too much (and journalists their antiquated style guides), or because most of the growth is happening in non-native English speaking countries. As you can see the co-working spelling is used mainly in the USA and the UK, but amazingly France leads the chart, which reinforces the interest on coworking in the country.

regional-interest-co-working-trends

There’s a wealth of other information in Google Trends about coworking: go check it out!

Coworkings in Russia. Why does not every Russian freelancer understand that staying together is better than alone?

Coworkings emerged in major cities almost at the same time. They were places and new ways to work. In Moscow coworkings opened three years after Brad Newberg had tried mixing freelance and the office. The reason for that was corporate downsizing, great number of free high skilled workforce and empty commercial premises.

In the summer of 2013 we found ourselves somewhere between independent specialists and a company by having created our Serebro Lab, and decided to conduct research about coworking and freelancers in order to look at the market inside out. We looked for a chance to understand what place we take as the team and what prospects we really have. The results of our work turned out to be interesting findings and partly unexpected.

Only about 25 coworking spaces ‘serve’ 500 000 Russian freelancers and more than 2 million small and medium size businesses (figures dated october 2013). 11 coworking spaces are in Moscow, 4 in Saint Petersburg; the rest are in other major cities in Russia. According to the survey which included social networks and online freelancer sites 12% respondents said that they had been to coworking spaces, 45% knew the name and had never been to, 43% had never heard of it and had no idea of what they were.

Meanwhile the owners of coworking spaces being surveyed complained that their areas were ‘underloaded’ and how hard it was to attract freelancers because freelancers can’t guarantee regular payments and are generally not attached to their workplace. We decided to check that myth. One could reveal the simple fact that the Russian freelancer gets paid not much but a little higher than the office worker. Moreover, the considerable number of freelancers are satisfied with their life, think they are successful and have no intention to come back to offices. We were wondering: maybe, the point is not about freelancers, it’s all about the owners of coworking spaces who do not study the primary needs of their target audience and are unable to make a good offer? Our further analysis confirmed our conclusions. For example, most freelancers prefer to work in the evening and at night but coworkings usually work as normal offices 9/5. Crash of coworking spaces happens only if their heads neglect the needs of their clients and do not focus on the main market trends ignoring marketing/advertising tools. The same thing with high degree of certainty takes place on a global scale.

We do hope that our data will help to improve the situation around coworking. I suppose that all heads of coworking spaces especially those who consider coworking as the money making project would agree with me: freelancers and small businesses can be successful without coworking but coworking spaces won’t survive without freelancers and small businesses. So let’s help each other be successful.

oxanna-serebroOksana Zheleznova, the founder and head of Serebro Lab intellectual laboratory, has been invited to write for the Coworking Handbook blog thanks to their presentation of this study at the Coworking Europe Conference. If you want to be featured in the blog, drop us a few lines or even better, a full article!

Great Coworking Job Postings

Our friends from New Work City have published a great coworking job posting that we thought merits to be kept as a reference for other spaces. If you have any postings that you think are worth sharing, please add them in the comments so that everybody has access.

Help us Run an Amazing
Community of Independents

We’re looking for someone who’s excited to meet an incredible and diverse group of people, learn how to manage a space and community, and help us make the world a little awesomer together.

Who are we?

We’re New Work City, a coworking space and community center for independents. Operating from our 4,700 square foot loft on Broadway at Canal Street, we’re home to a passionate and diverse group of people who gather to share space and collaborate. Whether technical or non-technical, startup or freelancer, we’re all united by a shared set of values and the freedom to choose where, when, and why we work.

Built from the ground up as a grassroots effort, we think of the business as something that serves the community and not the other way around. To that end, we focus our energy on maximizing positive impact for ourselves, each other, and the rest of the world. You can learn more about us here: http://nwc.co/about

Who are you?

You care. We’re here to make the world a better place in our own way, and that’s important to you.

You love making new friends. You can’t wait to get to know every person who walks in the door. You’re curious to learn about all the exciting things everyone is working on, and have an eye for connecting people who should know each other.

You’re reliable. You can stick to a schedule, respond to things in a timely fashion, and remember things that need remembering.

You’re great at communication. You have excellent people and writing skills and can handle a confusing situation with aplomb.

You like things neat. You’re not necessarily a neat freak, but you keep things tidy.

What will you do?

You’ll make sure everybody who walks in the door has the awesomest day ever. More than anything else, members get the most out of New Work City when they participate. You’ll ensure everyone is integrated into the community and actively involved in what’s going on.

You’ll help run the space. You’ll staff the front desk during standard business hours, opening up in the morning and sticking around until the end of the business day every day. You’ll welcome members, give tours, and generally keep things humming along. You’ll help keep the space fully functional and organized by ensuring the space is well supplied and in order.

You’ll help shape our future. New Work City has come a long way, and it has a long way to go. The direction it takes and the awesome things its community will do represent an incredible opportunity for the person who seizes it.

What will you get?

You’ll get to know some tremendous people. Our members are a dynamic, successful, remarkable bunch. If you’re new to New York or just looking to meet new people, you will not find a better opportunity to meet a great group of people.

You’ll have fun. Part of the point of New Work City is to give people the ability to enjoy their lives while also getting their work done. To ensure everyone else is having a good time, you’ll have to be having a good time yourself as well!

You’ll have an opportunity to be a part of something important. In just a short few years, the world of coworking has exploded from a handful of communities to countless hundreds around the world. As you work with us, you will be exploring new ways to help shape the way people think about how they work and live. How much of an impact you have on the future is entirely up to you.

Are you beyond excited? Did you skip past some of that middle part just to see where you can go to apply? Look no further!