In my first blog post, I touched on different coworking operators and facilitators in the United States. Companies such as Level and Industrious are emerging in the market and competing against powerhouses such as WeWork. In my second post, I expanded on the coworking phenomenon by exploring where individuals cowork outside of a designated coworking space. Take your favorite local coffee shop or Starbucks for example, freelancers and digital nomads are drawn to such spaces because they are productive in them. With offerings such as free wifi, views of the outside and your favorite caffeinated beverage in hand, it is basically a recipe for success.
At the same time – with over 4,000 coworking spaces reported in the US in 2017, the amount of choices for a coworker appears to be quite daunting. And of course, aside from the official ‘coworking spaces’ there are thousands upon thousands of additional options to choose from. Cafes, libraries, local community centers, your home, the list can go on and on. With that in mind, how can you quite possibly choose? And, as a space operator: how do you position yourself to stand out from the endless competition?
One thing to keep in mind is, of course, not everyone is looking for the same thing in a space. While one person may prefer a space where they can do their work in collaboration with others, another may want a quieter space that is heavily equipped with technology. Nevertheless, several surveys have been conducted in an effort to understand what an individual looks for in a space to be their most productive self. Take remote workers as an example. According to the State of Remote Work 2018 conducted by Buffer, the biggest struggles of remote workers are loneliness (21%), collaborating and/or communicating (21%) and distractions at home (16%). In a sperate global survey conducted by Deskmag, the most important aspects of coworking spaces according to its users are interaction with other people, flexible working hours, and an environment that encourages serendipitous discoveries.
Taking this information into consideration, companies are able to better position themselves according to the expressed wants and struggles. However, do such companies really know what these users want? For example, what do remote workers mean by loneliness- do they simply want to be surrounded by other people yet remain undisturbed? Or, do they want to be provided platforms to network and socialize with others? Many of these questions remain unanswered. And since they remain unanswered, how can we verify that a space really meets the needs of its clientele?
With this in mind, I have created my own questionnaire aimed at digging a little deeper into the desires of coworkers. And please remember- coworking extends much further than the designated coworking spaces. Coworking is the use of an office or another working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers; typically, so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge. Thus, in keeping with my research which aims to understand how Seats2Meet should position itself in the American market, I have developed this survey specifically for Americans coworkers.
With that in mind, if you are a self-identified coworker who lives in the United States, I ask you to pretty please take my questionnaire! And if you are not from the US but have friends who are share with them! Not only does it take a short 5 minutes, but it will also help you think about what you are looking for in a space. It may also challenge you to consider if your current space is right for you and what could be done to improve the experience. And more importantly, the more research and information produced about what individuals are looking for in a space, the better-informed space facilities can be about what your needs are and how they can cater to them. It’s time to put the ball back in your court!
Follow the link to take the questionnaire: https://goo.gl/forms/c06uF7C9WIJoclMi2