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Analysis

Coworking: overview of a flourishing sector

In recent years, the coworking market has been infused with significant investments by hospitality and real estate actors, the constitution of international groups, the development of various service ranges and the emergence of pure player distributors.

A new trend that was watched with interest 10 years ago, coworking is now a well-established phenomenon. There is a concrete example in New York where the operator Wework claims more than 50,000 regular customers, which is more than the city's leading employer.

Actors in the hotel and real estate sectors are taking a close interest in the coworking or work-sharing sector. Nexity has taken a 54% stake in Morning Coworking (BAP group). The Covivio hotel group opened its first 3 Wellio sites a little over a year ago, while Nextdoor, the result of the alliance between AccorHotels and Bouygues Immobilier, opened 8 locations in 2018 and announced 14 new locations by 2022.

The market leaders, WeWork and IWG (International Workplace Group), repeatedly announce sharp increases in their figures. The prior announced that it more than doubled its membership between 2016 and 2017 from 80,000 to 175,000 customers. The latter now has nearly 3,300 locations listed on its site compared to 1,411 in 2012.

Some actors have positioned themselves in services reserved for individual workers. Others, such as Knotel, deny that they are coworking venues in the strict sense of the term, but rather present themselves as "flexible workspaces" that are more suitable for teams of up to 40 workers. All plead for the advantages of these locations that encourage innovation and networking.

Like a ZOKU Hotel (candidate in the 2015 edition of the Worldwide Hospitality Award for the category "Best innovation in hotel concept"), new hotel brands systematically have coworking spaces. As for well-established brands, new openings offer them an opportunity to present new designs in shared spaces and, once again, coworking plays a role (Appartcity opens in Brussels).

An overview would be incomplete if Airbnb went unmentioned following the takeover of the distribution platform Graest that demonstrates its ambitions. 

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