This article, “Find Your Fit in the Fastest Growing Segment of the U.S. Office Space Market: Co-Working,” was originally released by Money Inc. and is reproduced with permission here.

No segment of the office market has shown more growth than the co-working industry, with flexible office space growing at an average annual rate of 16.1% since 2007, according to findings from the Global Co-working Conference. With short-term leases, flexible spaces and operational support, co-working allows tenants to tailor space to their needs without the lift associated with finding and maintaining a permanent location – leaving tenants with time to focus on growing their business rather than running an office.

However, despite these proven benefits and the industry’s continued expansion, many Americans remain wary of co-working spaces. A recent survey commissioned by NYC’s premier shared space provider, Emerge212 – and conducted online by The Harris Poll –  found that while the majority of Americans (82%) have never worked in a co-working space, the office segment suffers from a negative perception. In particular, many Americans perceived co-working spaces as lacking privacy (43%), being noisy (38%), and feeling crowded (31%).

This negative perception of co-working– particularly among those who have never worked within a shared office space – is likely because many don’t realize the variety of options available within the industry, which ranges from daily desk rentals to tailored office suites.

To determine whether co-working could be a fit for your business:

What environment are you looking for?

Are you just starting out and looking for a relaxed, collaborative environment with a simple rented desk, open concept office and amenities like ping pong tables, social hours and beer on tap? Or are you a more established business in search of a sophisticated, corporate environment with private or team offices, high-end design and amenities like conference rooms, event space and expert administrative support? Either way, co-working could be the solution – you likely just need to research the variety of options available to find your perfect fit.

How much space do you require?

Are you an entrepreneur looking for a single desk, a business owner anticipating new hires, or an established team searching for a group office? While shared amenities allow businesses of any size to leverage a provider’s infrastructure, it’s important to establish whether you need private office space or the opportunity to grow organically into added desks/offices within your provider. Across the board, coworking office providers are far more willing to accommodate this flexibility when compared to traditional leases or subleases. Additionally, some offer a virtual office option allowing your business to take advantage of the amenities, meeting rooms and day offices when needed without the long-term rent commitment.

What are your core business needs?

Are you a sales representative who spends the majority of the day offsite, a business owner who anticipates onsite meetings with clients or a finance firm in need of private rooms and secure databases? Your primary business functions will help determine the amenities and administrative support required. Before you tour a potential coworking space (or any space), make sure you are prepared with a list of your requirements and specific questions about technological support, start-up costs and more.

Research Method

The survey referenced within this piece was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Emerge212 from April 17-19, 2018 among 2,023 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among 789 who currently work in an office environment, and among 392 who currently work in a traditional office space. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About the Author: James Kleeman

James serves as the Director of Emerge212, overseeing all operations, branding and strategic alliances for the full-service office suite provider. James has driven property expansion and has worked hand-in-hand with his business partner, Alexandra Bogen to concept and design each location with the modern entrepreneur in mind. With a background in business and hospitality, James understands how important one’s environment is—whether it’s in the home or at the office. James sees the office as a space that should always be elevating your company’s image and reputation as well as meeting your operational needs both today and in the future. Prior to joining Emerge212, James was the Marketing & Events Manager for the Time Warner Center at The Related Companies. There he focused on creating dynamic, experimental environments at The Shops at Columbus Circle. James holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate and a Graduate Certificate in Hospitality Management from New York University. Follow James at