2016 Predictions: Everybody wins
- Lines blur. Everybody goes a little more “co” this year. Coworking spaces COnvert some open space to private offices, executive suites hire COmmunity managers, hotels create club level floors designed for COliving, COrporations start serving local COffee and beer.
- Coworking focuses on sustainability. The entrance of bigger players with deep pockets (WeWork, MakeOffices), drives the independent players to up their game and provide more of what the market is asking for; sometimes trumping what they want to deliver. This means fewer pure open office layouts, more “choice architecture,” and a higher bar on aesthetics, design and services.
- WeWork spends enough $$$ on Facebook ads to make the term “coworking” completely mainstream. We all win!
- The traditional shared space leasing model fades into the sunset. The future brings joint ventures and operating models where the real estate asset holder sees the value in flexible, community-focused shared space run by an operational and community building expert. The shared space expert can grow her community without worrying about her lease inflating to unsustainable levels after 5 years.
- The consumerization of workspace changes everything. Now that the average worker is starting to catch on to the fact that they can choose where and when to do their best work, the providers are leveling up. Corporations are trying to figure out how to compete with coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are competing with corporations’ big design and furniture budgets, hotels are competing for lobby love and Starbucks now serves champagne.