Many of you who are reading this probably are doing so from a laptop in a coworking space. The number of global coworking spaces is forecasted to grow from 14,411 in 2017 to just over 30,000 in 2022. The reasons why include:
Corporations are moving to coworking: The growing need for greater workplace flexibility and agility is leading more corporations to use coworking spaces for some of their space needs. This trend will accelerate over the next 5 years, especially due to corporations looking to reduce their exposure to long term leases and employees insisting on more workplace options.
The global number of self-employed knowledge workers is growing: While there are no solid estimates of the total number of global self-employed knowledge workers, it’s clear their numbers are large and growing. This growth, coupled with a growing realization of the value of coworking by independent workers, will continue to drive demand for coworking spaces.
Startups will continue to flock to coworking spaces: Startups understand the cost, flexibility and talent attraction advantages provided by coworking spaces. Because of these advantages, coworking spaces will continue to be the location of choice for most startups.
Niche spaces are expanding the coworking market: While very large coworking spaces – and especially WeWork – get most of the attention, the number of smaller niche oriented spaces continues to grow rapidly. These spaces appeal to members with specialized interests or needs (shared biolabs, women oriented spaces, writers’ spaces, industry specific spaces, shared commercial kitchens, etc.) and attract people who likely would not join a traditional coworking space.
I work in such spaces. Most have rapidly become a commodity and , already, need to rethink what they offer and how, particularly for clients interested in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship. Some suggestions:
If you want quiet place to work that's free, just get a library card.
Coworking spaces need to think of themselves as being in the hospitality business, not the office space business.
For customers who want more, though, commoditized coworking spaces will morph into unique, personalized innovation experience idea resorts, where ladies, gentlemen and entrepreneurs will take care of ladies, gentlemen and entrepreneurs to differentiate themselves. It's the experience, stupid.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.