Forecast: 26,000 Spaces and 3.8 Million Members Worldwide by 2020
When we opened BEAHIVE in Beacon in 1999 there was a small handful of coworking spaces in NYC and just a couple hundred worldwide.
The number has essentially doubled every year or two since the movement began in 2006 in a loft in San Francisco. The rate is slowing a bit, but what is now called an “industry” continues to grow at a fast clip.
Emergent Research notes in its recent report that “Starbucks had about 23,000 global stores at the start of 2016 and McDonald’s had about 34,000. We think it’s reasonable to believe coworking could be bigger than Starbucks. Interestingly enough, by 2020 some Starbucks stores might be considered coworking spaces.”
Steve King of Emergent Research, separately in an email, said: “This industry has truly been built by a grassroots community — which is very rare. Yes, big money and bigger firms have moved in, but they are simply extending the grassroots efforts….”
“And the impact of the coworking industry is much broader than the numbers reflect because coworking work styles are being widely adopted by organizations of all types,” he continued.
We’re very much part of the grassroots contingent. Clearly we’ve tapped into something.