Finding Success With a New Community Coworking Model

Coworking emerged as a solution to the rise in remote work and subsequent isolation in the workplace.  However, traditional coworking fails to effectively create a community amongst members. ...
Finding Success With a New Community Coworking Model
Written by Brian Wallace
  • Coworking emerged as a solution to the rise in remote work and subsequent isolation in the workplace.  However, traditional coworking fails to effectively create a community amongst members.  

    There are several reasons why traditional coworking no longer supports workers.  For one, traditional coworking models are expensive, costing roughly $200 to $700 per desk.  These models also revolve around potentially high risk real estate investment deals in an effort to find viable space.  Unfortunately, only 46% of coworking spaces are profitable, making these investments risky and expensive. 

    Loneliness in Coworking

    Traditional coworking can also be lonely.  In fact, amongst members of WeWork, a provider of coworking spaces, 69% of individuals reported that they did not have friends at WeWork other than immediate coworkers.  Over half of US adults are considered lonely, so breaking this cycle in coworking spaces is critical.  However, traditional coworking has not been able to forge strong connections between members. 

    Finally, traditional coworking is boring.  It has low differentiation, as many spaces feel and look the same.  It also has little vertical integration, with coworking spaces focusing only on working, rather than the numerous other aspects of life, such as social connection.  Similarly, there is not much else to do in these spaces other than work. 

    WeWork faced a collapse after struggling to make a profit and build connections, and this story is not unique to this company.  In fact, traditional coworking providers are struggling across the board.  58% of coworking space operators say that fluctuations in membership are a main challenge.  Additionally, while coworking usage has doubled, members have not reported increasing satisfaction.  Rather, only 7% of members prefer coworking to traditional offices. 

    Enter the Community Coworking Model

    With all these problems in mind, coworking might seem like a lost cause.  However, there are other models of coworking that could have more success.  For example, the community coworking model is on the rise and has promise.  

    Tavern is a company that focuses on promoting this model of coworking.  Its mission is to provide an affordable, inclusive, and community-focused experience that prioritizes work and social connection.  In order to do this, Tavern creates niche schedules, builds an inherently social schedule, and partners with community organizers to help them grow their communities and earn money. 

    In Conclusion

    Community coworking also operates on a more sustainable business model than traditional coworking.  It leverages underutilized space in hotels, bars, and restaurants.  This means that Tavern can provide coworking spaces with $0 real estate expenses.  In turn, community coworking can be less expensive than traditional coworking.  For example, monthly membership fees for Tavern start at just $30. 

    There is a wide variety of groups and careers that can take advantage of community coworking.  For instance, Tavern works with entrepreneurs and creatives of color, podcasters, marketers, AI, comedians, foodies, and more. 

    By 2025, more than 32.6 million Americans will work remotely.  Finding supportive, profitable, and engaging coworking spaces is key as the remote workforce increases in number.  Community coworking is an alternative to the flawed traditional coworking model.  For lower costs, it provides more social interaction and engagement, making it an appealing option for remote workers. 

    ​Coworking Spaces in NYC
    Source: Tavern Community

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