Living in San Francisco, I’ve seen the number of coworking spaces--shared workspaces where members pay an annual fee for access to a desk/table, mailbox, and other office amenities--balloon in the last few years. I assumed at first that this was a phenomenon unique to the city by the Bay, which is known for harboring startups that offer flexible work environments. In fact, the first coworking space in the world did open in San Francisco in 2006. But the coworking phenomenon is growing across the globe, according to a survey from Deskwanted.com.
The survey, conducted in February 2013, compiles all the coworking spaces that the Deskwanted.com crew could find by reading forums, directories, social media, and the news into a series of statistics. Private offices with spare desks weren’t counted--only spaces with collaborative working areas and flexible membership plans were included.
According to the survey, Europe has more coworking spaces than any other continent, clocking in at 1,160 spaces. North America comes in second, with 853 spaces, and Asia comes in third with 245 spaces. The top coworking countries are:
- United States (781 spaces)
- Germany (230 spaces)
- Spain (199 spaces)
- United Kingdom (154 spaces)
- Japan (129 spaces)
- France (121 spaces)
- Brazil (95 spaces)
For now, coworking is largely a phenomenon of the Western world. But that could quickly change--the number of coworking spaces has grown 89% in the last 12 months. That number is up 300% since 2010, when there were only 600 coworking spaces worldwide.
Interested in coworking? Deskwanted.com provides a comprehensive list of spaces around the world.