Editor’s note: Danielle Commisso is a content marketing writer for CivicScience, a consumer intelligence research platform. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title, “Co-Working Stays the Course, but WFH Still Wins.”
Coworking spaces have popped up in cities all over the world within the last decade, from large chains such as WeWork to independent locally owned companies. Has the pandemic taken the steam out of the growth of these nontraditional workplaces in the U.S.?
A CivicScience survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults shows that coworking is still intact – and interest in the trend may be on the up-and-up. Currently, 3% of the general population rents or holds a membership at a coworking space, while 8% express interest in possibly joining one in the future.
That said, 6% – twice that of current renters – previously used to rent at a coworking space but no longer do. While coworking isn’t for everyone, seismic shifts in the labor force in the last two years (including job losses and record numbers of retirements) as well as COVID-19 concerns most likely account for this drop-off. When crossed with employment status, unsurprisingly, data show retirees and the unemployed are the most likely to have quit coworking space membership in the past.
At the same time, workforce disruptions may benefit coworking. Among current renters, more than 40% say they transitioned to working remotely as a result of COVID-19. Some of these remote workers may have joined a coworking space as an alternative to working from home.
There’s a one-in-two chance that someone working at a coworking space is a business owner. Among survey respondents, around 50% of current and previous coworking space members own or operate their own business. The flexible rent agreements and office amenities that are typical of the coworking model may be particularly attractive ...