Some may be questioning whether coworking is the Google Glass of the real estate market, but according to CoreNet Global research with Gold Strategic partner Cushman & Wakefield, it’s here to stay.

Together, we polled real estate professionals at CoreNet Global Summits in North America, Europe and Asia throughout 2018 and 2019. Here are some of the top-level findings:

  • 63 percent are currently utilizing coworking in their portfolio
  • Nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed have a positive or very positive view of coworking
  • 34 percent say that real estate costs decreased by more than 5 percent
  • The median company surveyed has 3 percent of its employee base currently utilizing coworking on a regular basis. This is expected to grow fivefold in the next five years.

“We’ve seen coworking grow dramatically over the last several years, and we expect that to continue,” said Tim Venable, Senior Vice President at CoreNet Global. “The sector will face issues including maximizing cost efficiency and maintaining a corporate culture across many locations. As that happens, coworking will continue to be a major force shaping corporate real estate.”

Across all global regions, the top two benefits are flexibility (i.e., the ability to quickly ramp portfolio up/down), and reduced real estate costs.

Digital security is the most commonly cited potential downside in each region, but is much more salient in EMEA with 70% of respondents selecting this as a concern (vs. 54% of Americas and APAC respondents). Approximately half of all respondents indicate decreased company culture and cohesion and personal privacy are main downsides of coworking.

“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.”