Good news, bad news. That might be the best way to describe the results of a national survey by CoworkCT into public awareness of, and interest in, coworking. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) said they would consider working in a collaborative work environment once they understood the concept (good news), but 60% said they had never heard of it (bad news). CoworkCT, a network of coworking communities whose members include small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and contractors who share space, resources, and ideas, conducted the national survey to better understand how familiar Americans are with coworking. Answer: they're not.
A new website will be launched next week at www.coworkct.org, with more information about coworking in Connecticut. Additional data, links and information will be added to the current test site, to assist in explaining the coworking concept to what the study suggests will be a receptive public.
According to the survey, the demographic groups most inclined to consider a coworking environment were 18 to 34 year olds (75%) and residents of the Northeast (72%). That is certainly true of Connecticut, which has seen growth in the concept in recent years, with coworking locations established in communities across the state, including Danbury Hackerspace, reSET (Hartford), the Grove (New Haven), B-Hive (Bridgeport), Stamford Innovation Center and Axis 901 (Manchester). Each will have a presence on the news website, reflecting their growing community presence.
CoworkCT reports that the average cost of a coworking membership is $200 per month and the average cost of a private desk or office in a coworking facility is $350. The data from the survey showed that on average, people think the monthly cost of an individual coworking membership is $1,300. Not even close.
Other key findings from the research include:
- Nearly 40% of respondents said that collaboration with other professionals (not necessarily within their organization) was the most attractive feature of a coworking space, followed by 19% of respondents who chose affordability
- Forty percent of respondents thought small businesses with fewer than 10 employees were best-suited for coworking, followed by 21% of respondents who said entrepreneurs would be the best fit
- More than half of respondents (55%) said they thought it costs more than $500 per person per month for an individual space in a coworking environment
CoworkCT is a network of Connecticut coworking communities where members share space, resources, and ideas. The goal of the network is to educate the public on the benefits of coworking and increase general awareness for the collaborative work style.
CoworkCT is coordinated by CT Next, Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem supporting the success of companies and entrepreneurs by providing guidance, resources and networks to accelerate their growth. The statewide network “connects promising companies to mentors, collaborative work spaces, universities, vendors, suppliers and other like-minded entrepreneurs to help facilitate the growth and scalability of their business.” CT Next is a program of CT Innovations, the leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies.
Among the other coworking sites in Connecticut that are expected to be invited to the new CoworkCT website are SoNo Spaces in South Norwalk, Group 88 in Simsbury , and The Soundview, Colodesk and Comradity, all in Stamford.
The national data in the report was based on an ORC International telephone CARVAN® Omnibus survey conducted among a sample of 1,006 adults 18 and older living in the continental U.S. Interviews were completed from April 24 to 27, 2014.