Following the end of Covid-19 lockdowns, coworking spaces are in high demand as international travel and major events resume across Australia.
Following a dismal economic performance in the international travel industry last year, statistics are indicating positive development, with hotel occupancy in Melbourne more than doubling compared to the prior corresponding period.
According to STR, Sydney alongside Melbourne had been responsible for majority of the hotel occupancy rate recovery, as corporate workers are beginning to increase their average stay.
With many global events such as South by Southwest arriving in Australia and the highly anticipated FIFA World Cup in Qatar, white-collar travelers are resorting to coworking spaces as they provide the ability to maintain professional working standards while being overseas.
This is a direct result of the pandemic, as people are now more comfortable with coworking in an unfamiliar place as it offers a sense of security and community.
A recent study by law firm Baker McKenzie found that 43% of corporate workers would feel more comfortable coworking in an unfamiliar city, rather than working from their hotel room. The research also found that 36% of respondents would feel more comfortable coworking in an unfamiliar city, rather than working from a coffee shop.
This shift in working habits is having a positive effect oWhat is coworking?
Coworking is a shared workspace environment in which different businesses and independent professionals work side by side. The aim of a coworking space is to provide flexibility and reduce overall costs for professionals.
The trend of coworking has gradually increased over the years as it allows for remote and hybrid work, along with international travel. Corporate travelers often seek out coworking spaces as they provide an opportunity to network and connect with other professionals from around the world.
More freelancers than ever
According to a 2017 report there are more freelancers now than ever, with at least one million independent workers at the time, accounting for nearly 10 percent of total employment. As more freelancers and entrepreneurs start making up a significant number of the workforce, coworking spaces are becoming a favourite as they reduce financial barriers.
When following the basic trend between an increase in freelancers and demand for flexible working conditions, the forecasted trajectory for the global coworking space market is self explanatory.
According to Statista, the global coworking space market is currently worth USD $7.9 billion and by 2030 it is expected to reach USD$24 billion. This growth can be represented at a compound annual growth rate of around 15 percent.
Businesses which utilise coworking spaces benefit greatly from this trend as the correlation between a wealthier market and more international travel likely equates to better service. Some global coworking space providers have membership perks which lets them utilise space from all of their branches, which will be the biggest benefit for international travelers.
For example, Servcorp coworking members get access to 150 locations across the world which ensures they have a professional space to work from whenever they travel.
The rise of the digital nomad
Since Covid-19, there has been a significant increase in the number of people working remotely. This newfound freedom has allowed for a new type of worker to emerge, known as the digital nomad.
A digital nomad is defined as someone who uses telecommunications technologies to earn a living and conduct their life in a nomadic manner. This term has been popularised by the rise of coworking, as it offers the perfect opportunity for digital nomads to work from anywhere in the world.
As the barriers to entry for international travel and remote work become lower, it is likely that the number of digital nomads will continue to increase. This trend is already having a positive impact on the economy, as digital nomads are often high earners who are willing to spend money on travel and experiences.
In fact, a study by PayPal found that digital nomads contribute an estimated $134 billion to the global economy each year. The study also found that digital nomads are often highly educated, with 36 percent holding a master’s degree or higher.
Furthermore, the study found that digital nomads are more likely to start their own businesses, with 29 percent of respondents reporting that they are self-employed. Digital nomads are also having a positive impact on the coworking industry, as these workers are often in need of a flexible and affordable workspace.
A study by Deskmag found that 43 percent of coworkers are digital nomads, which highlights the close relationship between the two trends.
What does this mean for businesses?
The rise in corporate travel and the rise of the digital nomad are both trends that are here to stay.
This means that businesses need to adapt in order to cater to the needs of these workers. One way to do this is by offering flexible working arrangements, such as the ability to work from home or from a coworking space.
Another way to cater to the needs of these workers is by offering perks and benefits that appeal to them. For example, some businesses offer discounts on travel and accommodation for employees who frequently travel for work. Some businesses also offer free membership to coworking spaces, which can be a great perk for employees who often work remotely.
By offering flexible working arrangements and perks that appeal to these workers, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in the global marketplace.