5 coworking trends to watch in 2022
The events that took place over the last couple of years have shaken up every sector, and the coworking industry is no exception. Coworking spaces first launched more than a decade ago, to provide working space solutions for freelancers and small startups. Over the years, coworking grew in popularity, but the industry greatly suffered when the pandemic hit. However, by adopting new values and collaborating with the wider corporate sector, coworking businesses have bounced back. In 2021, a recovery began that has led to predictions that the coworking industry will outperform pre-pandemic figures at some point in 2022, according to a recent Nexudus Insights report. What might 2022 look like for the coworking industry? Here are 5 coworking trends to watch in 2022.
- The importance of community
Community is valued as an essential aspect of coworking spaces, to connect members to one another and to their working environment. Many coworking brands employ a Community Manager to build their communities. This individual has a multi-faceted role; they “meet and greet newcomers with a welcoming smile, oversee social events, create a collaborative environment, and work to make each member feel at ease”, says Coworking Resources. The importance of the Community Manager cannot be underestimated and above all else, the Community Manager works hard to create fantastic guest experiences by incorporating the principles of community, hospitality and facility, as mentioned in our recent blog post on 5 ways to improve guest experience in a coworking space. Building a community at your coworking spaces will help retain long term customers and receive glowing reviews. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.
- Providing spaces for fun
Many offices nowadays provide ‘fun spaces’ - office environments with an element of play - with amenities from ping pong tables to climbing frames. Did you know the reason behind this design choice is to encourage workers to unleash their creative side? This can be very beneficial for startup companies, who require their team to stay sharp and constantly innovate. Research published by the Association of Psychological Science in 2017, discovered that play at work is positively associated with job satisfaction, being competent at work and creativity, which reduces fatigue, boredom, stress and burnout. Startup companies are popular occupants at coworking spaces, so if you haven’t included a feature for play in your coworking space, perhaps it’s time that you do.
- Focus on well being
As playful spaces encourage workers to explore their creativity, the contemporary office space must also offer a positive working environment for members who, like many of us, have increased levels of stress and anxiety following events of recent years. Fora is a UK coworking brand that encourages their coworking community to associate work with positivity and productivity. Their facilities aren’t limited to office spaces, as yoga studios, personal trainers, gyms, reading rooms and events that focus on well being are also provided to members. Co-founder, Katrina Larkin, explains that “as the work/life boundaries continue to blend, we all need to be mindful to look after ourselves and make sure that we are giving enough time to our own well being”. Fora are trailblazers for healthy working environments.
- Corpoworking trend
Many corporate workers enjoyed the flexibility that lockdown gave them, particularly as they spent more quality time with family. Some workers even moved out of the city for a quieter pace of life. So, when it was time to get back in the office, the workforce simply didn't have the appetite to return to their traditional working schedules, which resulted in the Great Resignation at the start of 2021, a trend whereby US workers collectively resigned from their jobs. Consequently, corporations have listened to their workers and become adaptable; in 2022, Nexudus predict that corporations will “look to decentralise their real estate strategy” by leasing office space in coworking spaces, in support of their staff who wish to work closer to home.
- Spaces enhanced by technology
The last couple of years have proved that technology is essential, as people stayed connected and the workforce collaborated with each other despite the physical distance. By implementing our wireless chargers at coworking spaces, YOOLOX improves accessibility to technology. Since 2019, YOOLOX has provided wireless technology at five WeWork locations, including spaces in London, Munich and Paris. YOOLOX charging spots are retrofitted into existing WeWork Labs desks to offer a seamless charging experience for its members. Our technology has been praised for adding value to WeWork spaces after positive feedback was received from its member community. If you haven’t already enhanced your coworking space with technology, 2022 is the year to do so.