MDB Insight Blog


Coworking & the Evolution of Work

#WednesdayswithMDBinsight – This week Jordan Tidey, Senior Consultant, talks about the growth of coworking as part of the evolution of work.

One of the largest coworking conferences in the world was held in Toronto recently (the Global Coworking Unconference Conference, or GCUC) featuring everything from workspace design sessions to expert panels talking tech applications and building community. It’s all part of the exponential global growth and interest in coworking. As the Global Workspace Association’s Scott Homa puts it, coworking continues to be “the hottest topic in the office market right now”.

The 2017 Global Coworking Survey reported that more than 1.1 million people went to work at 13,800 coworking spaces worldwide, and growth has been accelerating since. The 2019 survey reported worldwide growth of coworking spaces at nearly 20% over the past year.

Popular with solopreneurs, these spaces have been steadily growing their footprint in cities around the world. Most coworking spaces now have an average of 1.2 people per desk and fewer are offering private offices as users are increasingly attracted to the community offered by open, shared spaces. But there’s more to coworking spaces than social connection, reasonable rent, and good coffee.

Beyond their affordability, these spaces are essential to supporting remote workers in communities and promoting entrepreneurship overall. They provide a valuable focal point for services with some focusing on supporting working parents and care givers. And, according to John Wechsler (What Will Coworking Spaces Look Like in 2020? Entrepreneur) the evolving nature of work and the demand for new technology will mean changes to coworking that include greater connections to corporate innovation groups as well as growth in industry-specific supports.

For entrepreneurs focusing on bringing IoT technology to market, dedicated space for building and testing hardware won't be optional. This also goes for entrepreneurs looking to break into the food or agritech industries. All three industries require physical assets and product testing. Because traditional coworking spaces aren't equipped to handle the demands of the test-refine-repeat cycle of getting a physical product ready to go to market, a new generation of coworking spaces and accelerators will rise to meet the need.

Working remotely or freelancing are more appealing options than ever before for many in today’s workforce. And, importantly, these are becoming significant considerations for communities grappling with workforce gaps and shortages. Coworking spaces are a good fit for those who can’t or prefer not to work from home. They are also supporting the entrepreneurs who continue to drive innovation in technology, creative industries, and other sectors.

The Global Workspace Association predicts 50% of all companies will have shared workspace by 2020. That seems an ambitious projection, but there’s no question of the appeal in these flexible, affordable spaces. Something to watch as the evolution of work continues to unfold.

To learn more about Jordan and the rest of our team, go to

Our Wednesdays with MDB Insight posts (#WednesdayswithMDBInsight) feature the thinkers and doers on our team sharing ideas and talking about what’s important to us as professionals. We have very diverse backgrounds and a range of interests to share with you. We hope you’re enjoying these posts and that you will join the conversation with us and let us know what’s on your mind mid-week.


Related Posts