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Why Coworking?

The 2018 Global Coworking Survey; A Look At The Facts

Nicki Empson

11 July 2018

Coworking is in; it's on-trend, it's cool, it's fashionable, it's modern, and it's for the corporate, the creatives, the freelancers, and everyone in between. The results of The 2018 Global Coworking Survey by Deskmag tell us we're right in thinking that. The whopping 1980 people that filled out the survey this year in just 3 months also tells us we're right.

Coworking, along with its rapid expansion, is undergoing huge evolution and adaptation in order to keep up with all the needs of its current, and future, members. Deskmag's Global Coworking Survey is one of the best predictors of the future of coworking due to the high number of people that fill the survey out each year. At OneCoWork, we like to make sure we, and our members, are ahead of the game and leading the way in all things innovation and progression. This is why we have analysed, interpreted, and summarised some of this year's mind blowing findings about coworking and its future. Read on to find out quite how much of a trendsetter you really are.


Just so we don't blow your mind from the very beginning of the article and then have the pressure of having to live up to the mind blowing opening, we are going to give you an unsurprising but nevertheless still interesting fact as the first; the number of coworking spaces are increasing. While that may not come as a surprise, what might is by how quickly they are increasing. In 2015 there were 8,500 coworking spaces globally; by 2016 there were 12,100; by 2017 15,500 and in 2018 there are now 18,900. In three years the number of coworking spaces have more than doubled!

If that blowed your mind, wait for this: the number of coworking space members has more than tripled in the same amount of time. In 2015, there were 545,000 members, in 2016 there were 890,000, in 2017 1,270,000, and in 2018 there are now 1,690,000. 

Clearly you, we, and the rest of the world are onto something big with coworking!


Fact number two: member loyalty is on the rise again after 2017, the year coworking members decided they weren't quite ready to settle down yet, commitment was just too much at that point in their life, they wanted to keep their options open, and they wanted the freedom to find what else was out there in the world for them. But 2018 sees them committed and ready to build something real and long lasting again! Member loyalty has risen back up to 66%, up from 62% in 2017; meaning 66% of members have only ever worked from 1 coworking space.


The survey found that two out of three coworking spaces are planning to expand in 2018. On average, each coworking space is planning to expand their space by 70%. One third of coworking spaces are planning to open at least one more location, roughly a quarter want to expand the total space of their current location, and about one twelfth want to move into a bigger space. Unsurprisingly, coworking spaces that are profitable are planning more expansions than those that aren't apart from one exception, moving to a larger space seems to be more appealing for unprofitable coworking spaces (12%) compared to profitable ones (7%).


This fact may sound strange based on what you've just read about about the popularity of coworking spaces, member loyalty, and future expansion plans of many coworking spaces. However, despite the raging popularity of coworking spaces, coworking spaces feel the number one challenge they face in 2018 is attracting new members. 50% of coworking spaces feel this is their biggest challenge, up from 41% in 2016.

This challenge could be explained by the increasing number of coworking spaces that believe there are now too many coworking spaces in their city and therefore see this as competition for members. In 2014, only 8% of coworking spaces felt there were too many coworking spaces compared to 17% in 2018. 

General workload was the second biggest challenge for coworking spaces, with 31% believing this to be so. 31% of coworking spaces believe the price of rent is a major problem, coming in at third.


We at OneCoWork proudly fall into the category of coworking spaces planning to expand in 2018. Did we say planning? We are! We are opening our highly-anticipated new coworking space in Placa Cataluñya this September! To secure your space at our beautiful new location or to simply request a tour on our website. We hope you found the findings of the 2018 Global Coworking Survey as interesting as we did and that it makes you, as it did us, feel part of an exciting, progressive, and global community. 

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