Research from Ezra, the leading provider of digital coaching, has found that an estimated half a million people around the world are currently WeWork members, with the UK home to the third-highest number.
The US co-working giants have established themselves as the biggest name in the shared office sector, offering up shiny modern spaces, with the allure of free after-work drinks among just one of the draws.
Co-working is now a big business and one that is only predicted to get bigger, with previous research by Ezra estimating that by 2025, 6.5m around the world will be using a co-working office space such as WeWork.
WeWork currently operates an estimated 768 office spaces across 36 different countries and, with some 490,000 members, around 638 of us are spread across the average WeWork office.
Having originated in America, it’s hardly surprising that WeWork has the strongest foothold stateside. With 273 offices and an estimated 174,180 Americans using WeWork, 36% of their total office inventory is located there, with New York alone home to 75 WeWork’s, housing an estimated 48,000 members.
With 85 offices and some 54,000 members, China is WeWork’s next largest market, with Shanghai home to 22,000 members and 35 WeWork spaces.
The UK ranks third with an estimated 54 WeWorks and 34,000 of us calling it our home during work hours. A notable 47 of those are located within London and 30,000 of us heading to the capital to work do so in a WeWork.
However, like many, problems posed by the pandemic mean it hasn’t been plain sailing for WeWork. Lockdown restrictions have forced many around the world to adopt a remote approach to working and, as a result, WeWork memberships have fallen by -29% year on year. The results have been first-quarter losses to the tune of £1.47bn with a settlement to former co-founder, Adam Neuman, also rocking the boat.
Despite this, a cautious return to the workplace and the flexibility provided by co-working spaces are predicted to see the sector as a whole continue to gain momentum.
Founder of Ezra, Nick Goldberg, commented: ‘WeWork really has revolutionised the co-working environment, providing professional, relaxed, trendy spaces that incorporate a social aspect that is missing in many traditional, corporate facilities.
While they are arguably the biggest brand, there are a whole host of awesome co-working companies striving to change the face of the workplace landscape. Although the pandemic has proved problematic, we expect co-working to really come into its own as these spaces provide the flexibility that many now value when achieving that work-life balance.’