All you need to know from the annual Coworking 'Unconference'.

Words by Mona Kovacheva, eOffice

And here we meet again at the annual Coworking Europe Conference, held this year at the buzzing city of Milan, Italy. Seeing many familiar faces and meeting new friends from the coworking sector created invaluable networking opportunities with much exchange of ideas and knowledge.  

This year the conference gathered over 400 space operators and facilitators from around the world with a comprehensive list of speakers, workshops and informal – “unconference” – panel of discussions set on raising awareness and attention towards the coworking industry flexible working. And the statistics spoke for themselves.

You might be surprised to learn that the number of coworking spaces have doubled in the space of just two years.

"There are 7800 coworking spaces in 2015 as opposed to 3400 in 2013. But then again, perhaps that isn't that much of a surprise..."

In the last twelve months, there's been an increase of +36% of new spaces opening worldwide. And this trend shows no sign of slowing down.The frequency of using coworking spaces as main hub for working has also grown. 73% of members work at a coworking space three times a week, while 44% head to their coworking space every day. This is more than a 20% jump comparing statistics from 2014.  Not bad at all...

With regards to members and the global coworking community, the average coworking space has around 30% more members than two years ago.  Number of members worldwide sits pretty at 510,000 in 2015 as opposed to 295,000 in 2014. This reflects the trend of the growing number of freelancers as well as people working remotely.  

Baptiste Broughton, Founder Neo-Nomade – an online platform connecting big corporations with coworking spaces - shared his findings of the growing demand from employees, pining for a desk within a coworking space.  

Detaching from the formal business environment as well as reducing the commute time increases employees’ satisfaction with 65%. These employees would also have access to a community of like-minded professionals from a range of industries – a rich pool for new ideas and inspiration. 

What drives entrepreneurs and startups in the coworking spaces is the need to connect, collaborate and create. 

"75% of members in coworking spaces expect to be engaged in casual talk with other members and 68% expect knowledge sharing when they join a coworking space."

The access to a like-minded community has been established as one of the most valuable aspects of joining the coworking revolution. 

Once settled, members are quick to meet and get to know each other. It might sound irrelevant, but that over 51% of coworkers in 2015 leave phones and possessions unattended, compared to 30% in 2013, highlights just how comfortable they are in these places.

Coworking continues to take the working world by storm, and we look forward to even more growth, creativity, inspiration and collaboration as we head into 2016.


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