The Cost of America’s Coworking Craze

By: James Flippin · June 13, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Changing Workspace

The American workplace is becoming increasingly flexible. Roughly 28% of companies allow their employees to work remotely.

However, when it comes to the question of whether to embrace remote work fully, workers are having a tough time making up their minds. On one hand, it can be freeing to not feel pressure to go into the office. But, for some, spending all day alone working from home can also feel confining. The result of these conflicting forces has manifested as a spike in the popularity of coworking spaces.

In 2008, there were roughly 160 coworking spaces around the world. By 2022, this number grew to around 19,400, with 6,200 located in the US alone.

From “Neat” to “Need”

Coworking spaces used to be a niche product. Initially, they were mostly used by entrepreneurs or freelancers, who, prior to the pandemic, made up only a small percentage of the workforce.

Now that remote work has become prevalent, plenty of remote workers are using coworking spaces as a place to set up shop. If the number of companies going remote continues to increase, the popularity of coworking spaces will likely skyrocket synchronously.

Time to Go to Cowork?

For remote workers, a coworking space can be a great way to get out of the house, meet new people, and even enjoy perks like free drinks or discounts at partner companies. Coworking spaces provide many of the benefits of a workplace, plus the flexibility to come and go as you please.

That said, reserving a WeWork (WE) space isn’t cheap. Coworking companies operate on tiered pricing models that vary depending on market and needs. Some estimates put them starting at $300 per month. But if you want your own office, you’ll likely have to pay much more.

Is coworking worth a minimum of $3,600 each year? For some, the cost may feel steep. But paying $5 a day for a venti latte isn’t that much cheaper. And, in most coworking spaces, the coffee is free.

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