DenSwap isn’t even 3 years old yet, but Driftmier and his partner Craig Baute have decades of combined coworking experience. All this means they have...
Starting a new coworking space in 2024
The landscape of work has been rapidly evolving over the past few years. Flexible office spaces and hybrid work policies are becoming the norm, with a 2022 McKinsey study finding that over 50% of companies plan to allow employees to work two or more days remotely each week post-pandemic. As the workforce seeks greater flexibility and connection, coworking spaces provide the ideal solution.
Now is the perfect time to capitalize on growing remote work trends by opening your own coworking community. With the right location, amenities, niche offerings, and technology, you can create a hub where diverse professionals, creators, and small business owners come together.
Secure the ideal location
Having the right location is key when launching a new coworking venture. Consider foot traffic, proximity to public transit and parking, infrastructure for internet reliability, opportunities for partnerships with nearby businesses, and zoning laws when evaluating options. Coworking is projected to grow over 13% annually through 2024, so securing real estate in an area primed for expansion will set you up for success.
An old building for a new coworking space? Do this first.
Former manufacturing and warehouse locations are particular favorites for coworking operations. But before you rush off and sign a lease to upfit an older building, there are some things to consider.
Foster community with unique amenities
While reliable wifi and printing/scanning essentials are a must, members expect more from their workspace these days. Wellness-oriented offerings such as group fitness classes, access to fitness studios, nutritious snacks and coffee, and ergonomic furniture cater to users' mental and physical health. Designating quiet spaces for focused work and comfortable common areas to spark new connections carries equal weight.
Get niche and curate amenities specifically for your target member base, like crafting materials for creatives or play spaces for parent professionals. When members feel cared for holistically, they're more likely to connect, refer others in their networks, and remain loyal members.
A prescription for healthier coworking spaces
Offering health and wellness amenities isn't just a way to attract new members, but can also ensure the productivity and happiness of your existing members. Explore the quirky, the sensible, and the downright essential health and wellness amenities you can incorporate into your coworking space.
Specialized coworking for every professional
Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all workspace. Professionals and creatives are seeking coworking spaces that cater to their unique needs and foster community with like-minded members. Consider launching a specialty hub for:
Interior designers, complete with virtual reality room for staged space previews, giant printers, and access to trade vendors.
Events industry specialists, equipped with projection mapping technology, catering kitchens, and rotating venue displays.
Working parents, featuring private pods for nursing and soundproof phone booths for calls, plus childcare and kid activity centers.
Product designers and artists, with shared studio space, equipment like 3D printers and CNC machines, and member skillshares.
The options are endless when it comes to tailoring your offerings to specific groups. Not only will the ideal members be drawn in, but niche spaces create natural networking and growth opportunities amongst members.
Coworking software — even if it isn’t a coworking space
The truth is that any business centered around community, collaboration, and shared physical space can benefit from using coworking space management software.
Craft a compelling brand
A distinctive and meaningful brand is essential for any new coworking space endeavoring to stand out in a growing market. More than a trendy logo and tagline, your brand conveys the fundamental values and community your space seeks to cultivate.
Brand Pillars - Identify the core pillars encapsulating your mission and vision. What purpose will your space serve locally? What makes it unique from other options in the area? Distill this into three to five words that communicate your niche, values, and offerings at a glance.
Tone and Messaging - The language and visual assets used across platforms should clearly reflect the culture you are welcoming members into. An artistic, creative-focused hub would adopt vibrant, playful messaging while one catering to attorneys may lean formal.
Consistency - While specific marketing campaigns and promotions will shift, the heart of the brand should remain reliable. When branding touchpoints like the website, signage, merchandise, digital communications, and member interactions all align, it strengthens clarity and connection to the culture being built.
Community Input - Consider surveying local professionals prior to launch on what they would hope to see in a newly founded coworking space brand. Their perspectives on gaps to fill and what resonates in your area can prove invaluable.
By spending time intentionally developing every aspect of your brand strategy, you attract members who align with the community being created. A branding process fueled by research, self-awareness, and creativity manifests connection, while an incomplete or disjointed brand risks disengagement over time. Conveying consistent vision boosts exposure and nurtures the relationships that eventually shape member experience.
Tap into 200+ years of coworking experience with Cat Johnson and The Lab
The Lab Community is where operators can connect, communicate, kvetch, and continue their business growth. Coworking Convos™ is a virtual event series for workspace operators with free, informal and community-focused discussions on topics in coworking every month. Johnson is also a coach, offering custom 1:1 sessions for “clarity” in branding, customer service, and community building.
Coworking management software for streamlined success
Managing a thriving coworking community takes far more than sending Venmo requests and wrangling Excel sheets. The most successful spaces run like well-oiled machines, with specialized coworking space management platforms handling everything from inception to optimization.
Look for an all-in-one space management software that handles tasks like:
- Online membership sign-ups and billing
- Access control and usage tracking
- Space reservations and event scheduling
- Community engagement features and member profiles
- Reporting dashboard with key metrics and data insights
This will empower you as a founder to focus on growing your business vs. sorting through admin tasks. The data the system collects will help you identify opportunities to better serve members, inform strategic decisions, and maximize revenue channels.
Platforms like Coworks equip entrepreneurs to launch quickly and scale strategically over time with the right foundational technology in place.
While the landscape of work may look different in 2024, the human need for connection and creativity remains unchanged. Coworking spaces meet professionals wherever they are, offering community, collaboration, and care systemically even through times of uncertainty.
If you feel called to make work more accessible, equitable, and empowering for all, then now is the moment to answer that call. With sound research, insight, grit, care, and the right tools in place, you can build a space to uplift your broader community, foster innovation, and drive our economy forward.
The future of work is flexible, and the opportunity to shape it starts today. Are you ready to get started?