The results of the Coworking Survey

So…wow…we collected over 120 responses (including the first 11 via email that aren’t in the spreadsheet) and I spoke with quite a few people who said they didn’t get the chance to go take the survey, so I think this is representative of the fact that there is quite a bit of interest worldwide in coworking! Yay! Some great information, too…really telling us where we are at and highlighting people’s needs.

Some overview results for you:

Countries of respondents
Country Percent Total
USA 58.18%
Unknown 9%
Canada 6.36%
Ireland 3.64%
UK 3.64%
Italy 2.73%
Australia 1.82%
Croatia 1.82%
Germany 1.82%
New Zealand 1.82%
South Africa 1.82%
Afghanistan 0.91%
Finland 0.91%
France 0.91%
Poland 0.91%
Portugal 0.91%
Singapore 0.91%
Spain 0.91%
Switzerland 0.91%

NOTE: I’m guessing due to the anglo-centric discussions, we are getting much higher response in English speaking countries. This may present an opportunity for those in other countries to champion this movement themselves, by translating important text into their own language?

Stages of people on the list
Stage Percent Total
Are currently looking for a space to work from (wanting to be coworkers) 30.9%
Are interested in setting up a space (potential space owners) 25.5%
Other 18.2%
Are just watching the list (lurkers) 10.9%
Are in the process of setting up a space (future space owners) 10.0%
Are currently working at a coworking space (coworkers) 2.7%
Are currently running a coworking space (space owners) 1.8%

NOTE: The trick, for me, is to turn the 10.9% lurkers (and the 18.2% others) into either future space owners or coworkers and turn those potential space owners into actual space owners so the people looking for spaces have somewhere to work!

The order of importance of features in a space (rating out of 5)
Features Importance (out of 5)
Atmosphere 4.5
Community Feeling 4.3
Collaborative Environment 4.1
Location 4.0
Networking Opportunities 3.9
Excellent Coworkers 3.7
Meeting Spaces 3.7
Quiet Spaces 3.4
Security 3.2
24 hr Access 3.1
Event spaces 2.9
Privacy 2.8
Personalized Space (own desk) 2.6

NOTE: For those setting up a space, think of creating a really great atmosphere as the #1 thing to concentrate on. There is a great article here on seriously great workspaces. So, do you need art? Comfy chairs? Plants? Rugs? Flowers? Games? Yep. In the end, EVERYTHING was pretty important (nothing scored less than 50%), but Atmosphere and Comunity Feeling blew the others away.

So, how can we help the people trying to set up coworking spaces?

Immediate needs expressed
Needs Percent Total
Finding Space 13.6%
Money 10.9%
Partner 7.3%
Space Management Tips

5.5%
Coworkers 5.5%
Structural Health 4.5%
Networking 3.6%
Other 2.7%

…if we could encourage the lurkers, maybe #3 (Partners) wouldn’t be such a big deal and they could help us find space (#1). Money? That’s a whole other issue. Anyone have good tips? For us, we decided to take fewer risks on the monthly rent (found a fix-me-upper that doesn’t have parking spots so the building rent is lower) to make for a better space and not as much pressure on us if we lose tenants…

What are they getting out of the coworking list?
Benefits Percent Total
Community 16.4%
Advice 14.5%
Support 10.9%
Promotio 8.2%
Mentor 5.5%
Coworker 5.5%
Other 2.7%

…aaaawwwww! Community, advice and support are awesome things to get out of this list and everyone should be proud of themselves for giving so much! πŸ™‚

The rest of the answers are here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pVSaj5ixYmAyYm–dbRhgXw in long form. I’ve removed all of the personal information as far as I know…(like IPs and emails)

Enjoy!

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11 Comments

  1. Cichy
    Posted April 23, 2007 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    The part “The order of importance of features in a space” would probably say more if the answers of people who already do the coworking is separated from answers of those who so far had no chance to try it. I suspect that different experience make their expectations differ.

    I had no chance to take part in this survey but I am looking forward for the next one, and thank you for this one as I am planning to set up a space in my city in Poland, and this survey is realy helpful. It also give some picture on the current situation of co-working in general.

  2. Posted April 23, 2007 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Hi Cichy,

    You would think, eh? You can go take a look for yourself, but I didn’t see any major differences between those already coworking and those looking for coworking (other than a few more high scores on meeting spaces).

    Everyone wanted that Community/Atmosphere thing.

  3. Posted April 23, 2007 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Interesting…

    I founded a co-working space in vancouver (http://abetterplacetowork.com), and we’ve been trying to answer a lot of these questions. I’d love to see more data on people who are “considering” co-working. Mainly people that are accustomed to traditional offices and are hesitating to join the movement for ____ reason.

  4. Cichy
    Posted April 23, 2007 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Yep, I’ve already done it:) It was just my first thought after reading this article. I am a little bit scared of what might be missing at our place when first people come over. But we’ll see when we start πŸ™‚

  5. Posted April 23, 2007 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    @Bill – We are very much aware of your gorgeous space in Vangroovy! I agree…what helps people make that leap?

    I’m actually going to post some thoughts on that to the coworking list soon as I’ve made some totally non-researched, but gut-instinct observations on this.

    @Cichy – good luck! Keep us in the loop! πŸ™‚

  6. Cichy
    Posted April 23, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    thanks, and I will πŸ™‚

  7. Posted June 5, 2007 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Do you have many more people taking the survey since you published the results? Have the results changed any?

  8. Posted June 5, 2007 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    We haven’t collected any more, I stopped at 120. I figured it’s a pretty significant sample size.

  9. Allison Rohe
    Posted September 28, 2008 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting these results – as I am drafting a business plan to open a coworking space in Madrid, Spain – it’s quite helpful to see these results both for the business plan and mostly in terms of designing the space itself.
    I look forward to reading more… and eventually translating some materials and articles into Spanish as part of my efforts to raise awareness of and foment a culture of coworking here in Madrid. Thanks again!

  10. rebeccabrian
    Posted March 27, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    This is great stuff! We’re in development stage of a coworking space in San Francisco and this is very helpful. Do you have specifically where your respondents answered from?

  11. Posted April 6, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I work at CoWorking Rochester (coworkingrochester.com) and we’re always looking for more coworkers to share in this fun new working style. Give us a shout if you’re ever in Upstate NY!


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