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Thursday, 28 May

Niche Co-working Spaces Are On A High

Fore Street, Moorgate
Co-working space with table tennis
Co-working space
A modern office space

Co-working spaces focused on the cannabis, construction and gaming industry have risen over the last few years - with new flexible workspace registrations more than doubling year on year.

Flexible workspace and new workspace operators focused on niche industries are experiencing rapid growth based on the latest data from brokers Office Freedom. So much so, that there has been a 70% growth in the number of new operators registering space with Office Freedom (143 in 2019 vs 84 in 2018).

 

Co-living and childcare

The trend of creating flexible spaces for particular groups of people is especially interesting considering the diverse range of groups that are now catered for. Niche spaces are now offering experiences such as co-living or childcare and they are opening in spaces considered to be underutilised real estate such as hotels, restaurants, and retail outlets.

 

Europe and Asia

For example.  Edspace in London welcomes those in education to join ‘Europe’s largest community of people changing education for good’. Village Underground in Lisbon offers an eco-friendly space for creativity and culture and is made from refurbished shipping containers and double-decker buses. OneCoWorkMarina in Barcelona offers a beachfront dream where you can 'work on the water'. OneCoWork plans to open a further 40 locations (mainly across Europe) over the next four years.

Naplab in Bangkok provides a mixture of co-working and co-napping in recognition that downtime away from work is as important as work itself.

 

More than convenience

For niche spaces to succeed in today’s market they need to provide more than simple convenience such as secure Wi-Fi, free coffee or meeting rooms by supplementing coworking spaces with unusual features and amenities. Their objectives go beyond attracting new members and look to achieve longevity through building and nurturing successful communities.

Looking at the latest Office Freedom data, it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing.

 

Global investment in niche spaces

In June 2019, it was reported that New York based start-up Alma raised another $8M for its community and shared space for mental health professionals. The Wing, which describes itself as a members-only network full of work and community spaces for women has already received nearly $117M in investor funding.

In LA, Glitch City exists as a 24-hour co-working space for independent games developers. Writers are fully catered for at The Hatchery Press in Los Angeles. Even those working in the legal US cannabis industry can find a home at Paragon Spaces. In Denver you can find Tradecraft Industries a coworking space 'bringing coworking to the construction industry' and for the tech community Extra Slice claims to be the 'ultimate technology campus and platform'.

 

Flexible workspaces to grow by 56% in the next four years

The growth in the number of flexible workspaces has been global, with some of the strongest trends recorded in the Asia Pacific and USA regions. The US region has seen the most flexible spaces added to the Office Freedom portfolio. In 2019, 490 new spaces were registered. The UK, USA and EMEA regions have recorded the greatest number of new operators respectively.

According to Coworking Resources the global flexible workspace market is set to grow by 56% between 2018 and 2022 with volumes growing from 16,599 spaces in 2018 to a predicted 25,968 spaces in 2022. As the market expands there is increased competition which naturally means that attracting and retaining new customers is paramount. It’s this desire to stay competitive and thrive that’s fuelling the expansion of niche spaces for certain business types e.g. health, tech, music, legal, film.

In the first six months of 2019 Office Freedom added 898 spaces to its portfolio, more than double that of the same period last year.

Pictures: Fore Street, Moorgate is on Office Freedom's books. This flexible workspace is comprised of private offices and co-working space. Phone booths offer privacy and weekly events give residents the chance to share ideas and collaborate.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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