Who Uses Coworking Spaces?

April 30th, 2020

Coworking spaces offer a unique model for a variety of workers and businesses alike. As the business world is increasing its remote and freelance career offerings, the landscape of coworking space users is evolving as well. 

The following is a breakdown of the types of workers who are using coworking facilities based on data collected by Coworking Insights.

Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) - 37.93%

SMEs are companies with a small number of employees, in addition to meeting other requirements and standards, depending on the country they are located in. For instance, in Europe, these are businesses with fewer than 250 employees, fewer than 500 in Canada, and fewer than 1200 in the United States. The qualification of the “Small-to-Medium” business is related primarily to the size of the business as related to its employees.

Startup Teams - 27.12%

These are teams of workers who have come together to start an entirely new enterprise. Instagram, Spotify, and Uber are just a few successful corporations that launched their businesses as startups using shared coworking spaces.

Freelancers - 16.61%

Professionals who choose which of the customers who seek their services they will work with and then proceed to do so on their own schedule and solely under their own guidance are freelancers. Freelancers are often entrepreneurs and business owners in their own right but the hallmark of a freelancer is that they are not conducting their business out of a fixed location. This makes coworking spaces very useful for this group and they can commonly be found conducting business in coworking spaces worldwide.

Entrepreneurs - 7.68%

Running innovative or high-risk businesses is what entrepreneurs are typically involved in and because they tend to be working on more than one project at a time, coworking spaces can be ideal for the entrepreneur on the go. With locations across countries and around the world, coworking facilities allow entrepreneurs to stay in touch with their contacts and businesses around the world, without the expense of maintaining expensive properties in every place they have professional dealings.

Corporate Remote Workers - 5.49%

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many corporations to send workers home and develop systems that allow them to work from home. As the world moves closer to being able to return to work, many corporations, such as Twitter, have made the decision to allow their employees to continue to work remotely permanently. For corporations that have made this decision, coworking spaces will save vast amounts of money in rent and property taxes by taking advantage of much more affordable packages on a much more flexible basis.

Digital Nomads - 2.82%

Surprisingly, many digital nomads are actually turned off by coworking spaces, due to their similarity to professional and corporate office spaces. For lots of digital nomads, “escaping the grind” is part of the appeal of working from the road, and the idea of putting down roots in any type of way defeats the purpose of the work/lifestyle they’ve chosen. To that end, a very small percentage of digital nomads actually use coworking spaces, and these, only out of complete necessity.

Largescale Corporations - 2.35%

In the smallest percentage of coworking space, users are Largescale Corporations. This demographic has mostly come to coworking spaces as a way to improve their corporate culture or to stand out amongst competitors as a more modern and employee-friendly company. Largescale Corporations can afford more coworking space, but few take advantage of the opportunity because it simply doesn’t offer enough of a financial or retention-based benefit to make a difference for them, overall.

While the numbers breakdown may be a bit surprising based on what you know about coworking spaces, the demographics are quite predictable and it’s easy to know the types of individuals you will run into in these spaces on a regular basis.

Source: 2019 CMCAS Data Report