The headlines about WeWork’s financial issues have shaken the coworking space in recent weeks but the sector still has lots of potential.
That’s according to Cushman & Wakefield which surveyed real estate leaders in partnership with CoreNet Global, a worldwide association of corporate real estate executives.
It found that among the 550+ CRE execs polled, almost two-thirds of companies utilize coworking to some degree, and many respondents expect to double their commitment to coworking over the next five years.
“The results show that corporate leaders have a generally positive view of coworking and see flexible space as a growing part of their occupancy strategy,” said David C. Smith, Americas Head of Occupier Research at Cushman & Wakefield. “The percentage of employees with access to flex space is on the rise, and companies increasingly see this as part of a broader solution.”
The cost savings associated with using flexible workspace is a major draw for corporates. A third of respondents said they saved at least 5%.
“Increasingly, corporate executives recognize that integrating flexible space into their strategy can provide additional value while reducing occupancy costs by enabling them to adapt to major events such as merger activity – 63% of companies have stated they are using coworking as part of their office strategy,” said Melanie Gladwell, Vice President, Americas Head of Flexible Working Solutions at Cushman & Wakefield.
Despite their optimism in coworking, 48% of respondents see an increased difficulty in maintaining company culture and cohesion when workers are operating out of a shared, coworking location. There is also concern about digital security.
However, companies are 50% more likely to indicate coworking is an opportunity to increase employee satisfaction than it is a likely deterrent to employee engagement, job satisfaction or efficiency.