CBRE just published a second report summarizing their research on shared workspace. This report focuses on the perspective of the occupier.
We pulled three key highlights that we thought were the most important considerations for the shared space operator. To download the full report:
#1: Shared workspace awareness is growing as is intent to use - but with a focus on those that create community
Excerpt from the CBRE report: "A recent survey of large corporate occupiers conducted by CBRE Research found that more than 40% of respondents are using or considering shared workplaces, with a small, but growing, segment focused on coworking specifically." CBRE's definition of coworking (we'll consider the version without the hyphen to be materially the same): "Co-working is an emerging model which provides many of the amenities of traditional serviced offices but places a much greater emphasis on space that creates a community and an experience for consumers." CBRE's respondents are a mix of corporate users and startups. And spoiler alert on the insight below - those using coworking spaces are NOT primarily that crazy millennial generation.
Community is a consumer-driven requirement. The theme of this report is that the space is just the delivery vehicle for the experience that today's worker is looking for. That experience can be delivered in a variety of shared space formats - hotel lobbies (Marriott, Ace Hotel, Aloft), maker spaces, incubators, university coworking spaces and accelerators, corporate spaces designed for interaction, generic coworking spaces and more formal serviced offices that are shifting their focus from "clients" to "members."
Community is not just on the wishlist for hippy millennials. It is on the list of today's worker as a basic need to be met by a workspace.
#2: Shared workspaces are NOT dominated by millennials
Exerpt from the report: "According to CBRE Research’s survey of co-working users, 63% of users were 31-50, with a median age of 40. This also corresponds with the most active years for entrepreneurship in the U.S."
This will certainly shift as Millennials make up a greater proportion of the population, but to bust a myth - todays 'coworkers' span multiple generations. The design, staffing, marketing language and programming of a space will attract more of one generation than others to a shared space - but know that the available market of coworking space is not just Millennials.
#3 Large corporate occupiers put a high degree of importance on a great "work experience"
Shared space operators owners and operators looking to align with consumer demand, and the long-anticipated strong growth of corporate-demand, will think "experience." Think design, experience-enhancing technology, amenities, facilitated community, programming, services, location. As the report notes: "The shared office represents the rise of “office as a service” similar to the rise of software as a service and taps in to the concept of the sharing economy."
Excerpt from the report: "A recent survey of large corporate occupiers by CBRE Research revealed that today’s labor force puts a high degree of importance on the desire for a great “work experience”—specifically, the functionality of the workplace, the freedom of work style and the sense of community between related organizations. These spaces offer a unique opportunity for employers to access the work experience much of their talent base is calling for. They give optionality in location while embracing progressive designs that include functional workspace, common areas, a vibrant aesthetic and amenities such as high-end coffee bars, which highlight the aspect of hospitality these models convey to their occupants."