According to some, the coworking industry has been around for about 17 years, but it’s still relatively new. Its most recent boom in popularity is due to the broadening acceptance of remote working, a phenomenon that is only growing with the rise of technology. Today, coworking spaces are popping up across the globe and have become a new way of business life. Venture X has been at the forefront of this shift. This blog post will explore how the coworking industry has changed over the past year.
A Brief History of Coworking
In the early 2000s, coworking spaces started to appear in cities worldwide. Some of these spaces were part of larger office buildings that included traditional office space. This nascent trend was not well-received at first but, by the late-2000s, the tide had turned. As more and more people began working remotely, just over 160 available coworking spaces were in existence worldwide. A mere decade later, the global coworking industry was flourishing, with almost 19,000 coworking spaces in operation. Indeed, what had started as a trend not long ago is now the next frontier in business.
Comebacks, Innovation, and Expansion
The coworking industry enjoyed quite a ride in 2021. Despite the COVID-19 impact and the near toppling of an industry behemoth, it still managed to show no signs of surrender.
The Comeback Kid
There’s no bigger name in this game than WeWork. The coworking giant’s catastrophic 2019 IPO led many experts to speculate about the future viability of the coworking industry. But the sector proved them wrong, continuing to grow despite the fall of its most prominent player. And the continued survival of the company led to a much smaller public offering in March 2021. Although its future remains uncertain, WeWork’s survival and continued relevance in the marketplace is a testament to the irrepressibility of the industry as a whole.
New Development Innovation Speeds Expansion
At Venture X, buoyed by our own strong and steady growth, we put a transformative stake in the ground. Last year, we teamed up with the flexible workspace designer Vari to solve an industry-wide problem: the costly lag wrought by a fragmented market in new space development. With Vari as a single point of contact, we found a way to innovate a faster, more economical process for getting new spaces up and running by streamlining the design, purchasing, and implementation phase. This innovative partnership has set us apart from the competition, with the ability to keep pace with the accelerating investor demand for new workspaces.
The Increase of Isolation from Quarantine Fuels Growth
Having learned some valuable lessons from a year-plus of at-home quarantining, employers and employees alike gained new insight into how we work. Employers discovered they could realize savings in their property costs. They also saw a sizable increase in employee productivity. Employees appreciated the time saved from less commuting and how more scheduling flexibility helped boost their work productivity. At the same time, sustained isolation gave them a finer appreciation for the community and socialization that shared workspaces provide.
Was That a Bump in the Road or a Speed Ramp?
The COVID-19 impact on the coworking industry saw a short-term decline in the demand for coworking space. But as quarantines began to lift, so too did industry demand. In 2021, the coworking industry came back even stronger, thanks to a wiser consumer base seeking cost savings, higher productivity, and more community.
Probably no one could have predicted the twists and turns the coworking industry would have taken over the past few years. But for those who indicated that the industry’s expansion was likely, they proved right. And Venture X is excited to be at the forefront of the action.
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