As the coworking industry continues to evolve, it becomes crucial for operators to stay attuned to their members’ changing needs and desires.
To shed light on this crucial aspect, andcards, the Ukrainian Coworking Association, Nat Coworking, and CBRE of Ukraine conducted a comprehensive research study. This study aimed to evaluate the state of the coworking market amidst a full-scale war in Ukraine while analyzing emerging trends within this rapidly evolving industry.
The research, spanning from February to April 2023, encompassed the participation of 40 coworking space operators and owners in 12 cities, along with 630 members representing diverse business sectors.
The significance of these findings extends beyond Ukraine’s borders, offering coworking operators worldwide invaluable insights into the genuine desires of their members.
Let’s embark on this insightful journey into the minds of coworking space members together!
1. The Key Factors Influencing Coworking Space Selection
Coworking members consider various factors when deciding to start or continue working in a coworking space. Here are the key considerations that shape their choices:
● Community and Collaboration: An impressive 28% of coworking members prioritize the opportunity for communication and collaboration within the coworking community. They value the synergy and knowledge exchange that a vibrant community offers.
● Infrastructure: Reliable shelter and stable internet/electricity are crucial, with 45% of respondents considering them critical. Coworking spaces need to provide a dependable infrastructure to support uninterrupted productivity.
● Cost Savings: 18% of respondents value the provision of discounts, indicating the importance of cost savings when choosing a coworking space.
● Flexibility: 14% of respondents emphasize the importance of flexibility, highlighting the need for customizable workspace solutions that cater to individual preferences and requirements.
● Service and Location: For 22% of respondents, service level and location are vital aspects. Quality amenities, professional support, and convenient access to transportation and amenities significantly influence their decision.
● Administrative Costs: Interestingly, only 9% of respondents see the reduction of administrative costs as a decisive factor. This advantage holds greater relevance for larger teams and medium/large companies.
2. IT Sector Dominates Coworking Spaces with Nearly 60% Tenant Companies
In coworking spaces, one industry takes the lead: IT. An impressive 58% of tenant companies operating in coworking spaces belong to the IT and technology sector. This dominance reflects the strong affinity of tech-related companies for flexible work environments.
While IT leads the way, other industries also find representation in coworking spaces. Marketing companies account for 19% of tenant companies, recognizing the benefits of coworking for creative and strategic work. Public sector and government institutions make up 11% of tenants, showing an increasing interest in flexible work arrangements.
Non-profit organizations and business services contribute 12% and 11%, respectively, embracing coworking for collaboration and cost-effective operations. Various sectors like logistics, FMCG, banking and finance, HR, retail and trade, agriculture and farming, and healthcare and pharmaceuticals also have a presence, each representing a varying percentage of tenant companies.
3. Community and Collaboration Take the Lead in Coworking Work Format Selection
When choosing a coworking work format, community and collaboration steal the spotlight. A substantial 35.7% of members prioritize a supportive community and opportunities for collaboration. This emphasizes the vital role social interactions and collective synergy play in the coworking experience.
Rent cost also holds significant weight, with 25.2% of members considering it a crucial factor. Coworking spaces offer flexible membership options and pricing plans, providing access to professional workspaces without the financial burden of long-term leases, which appeals to individuals and small businesses.
Flexibility in rental agreements is another critical consideration for 13.9% of members. Adapting workspace size and terms to evolving business needs offers agility and freedom that traditional office formats may lack. Coworking spaces accommodate changing team sizes and project demands.
While other factors contribute to the decision-making process (17.4% overall), the reduction in administrative expenses compared to traditional offices ranks at 7.8%. This suggests that while cost savings are significant, they may not be the primary driver for most members when choosing a coworking work format.
4. Small Teams Dominate Coworking Spaces with 32% Membership
In the lively coworking community, 32% of members work in small teams of 2-10 individuals. This highlights the prevalence and strength of small team dynamics within coworking spaces.
Small teams benefit from the collaborative and flexible environment provided by coworking spaces. Sharing resources, brainstorming ideas, and building strong interpersonal connections contribute to their success in the coworking ecosystem.
Moreover, the survey reveals that 26% of members are self-employed professionals, freelancers, or independent workers. This indicates the appeal of coworking spaces for those seeking a supportive and productive work environment beyond traditional offices.
Coworking spaces cater to diverse team sizes, with 17% of members belonging to teams ranging from 11-20 people and 15% comprising teams of 21-50 individuals. This demonstrates the flexibility of coworking spaces to accommodate small and medium-sized businesses.
Larger organizations also find their place in coworking spaces, with 2% of members belonging to teams of 51-100 people and 1% being part of teams exceeding 100 individuals. These organizations recognize the advantages of coworking, including increased flexibility, access to amenities, and opportunities for networking and collaboration.
5. Speed and Responsiveness Key to Member Satisfaction with Coworking Administrators
When evaluating coworking administrators, members expect more than basic administrative functions. They value individuals who can serve as supportive assistants with strong interpersonal skills. Here are the crucial factors members consider when assessing administrators:
● Speed of Work and Responsiveness: 32.3% of members prioritize administrators who can work quickly and respond promptly to their needs. Efficiency in addressing inquiries and resolving issues is highly valued.
● Establishing Rapport: 31.9% of members consider the ability to build rapport an essential factor. Administrators who create a welcoming and inclusive environment, understand member preferences, and foster positive relationships contribute to overall satisfaction and community building.
● Organizational Skills: 22.7% of members appreciate administrators with high organizational skills. Effective task management, attention to detail, and keeping operations running smoothly are attributes valued by members.
● Multitasking Abilities: 10.2% of members recognize the importance of administrators who can multitask effectively. Given the dynamic nature of coworking spaces, administrators who can handle multiple responsibilities and prioritize tasks contribute to a well-functioning and efficient workspace.
6. Members’ Desires for Enhanced Coworking Experiences
● Improving Member Engagement and Connections
In our lively coworking community, fostering interaction and collaboration is a top priority. According to member feedback, 50% seek enhancements in events, team building, and parties. These social gatherings are crucial in building relationships and creating a vibrant sense of community among coworkers.
● Enhancing Coffee and Food Offerings
Additionally, 25% of members emphasized improving coffee and food offerings. A well-stocked and inviting café area can enhance the overall experience, providing a comfortable space for informal meetings, networking, and relaxation.
● Infrastructure Improvements
Meeting rooms and engineering systems were highlighted as a priority by 25% of members. Access to well-equipped meeting spaces, reliable technology, and efficient engineering systems contribute to a productive work environment and facilitate successful collaboration.
● Elevating Service Levels
Furthermore, 14% of members highlighted the significance of enhancing overall service levels. This includes attentive and responsive staff, efficient administrative support, and a welcoming atmosphere that fosters member satisfaction.
● Promoting Well-being and Fitness
For 9% of members, the availability of sports training within coworking spaces emerged as an area of interest. Incorporating fitness facilities or organizing fitness classes can promote well-being, work-life balance, and a sense of community among members.
● Welcoming Guests and External Collaboration
Finally, 4% of members expressed their desire to have the option to invite guests to the coworking space. This feature can facilitate collaboration with external partners, clients, or potential new members, contributing to a more diverse and dynamic coworking environment.
This article appears in Coworking Smarts. View the original article and download a PDF of the report here.
FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE AUSTRALIA
Flexible Workspace Australia is the peak body for coworking and flexible workspace providers and partners across all cities and regions of Australia.