A worrying trend in coworking spaces

Shyam Nagarajan / Reading Time: 7 mins

The landscape of coworking spaces is undergoing significant changes, reflecting new trends and demands post-pandemic. One notable trend is the reduction of common areas and shared conference rooms. This shift is driven by a need to maximize revenue from available space. Tenants are increasingly requesting private, dedicated meeting rooms, resulting in fewer shared facilities.

This is creating a complex decision-making environment for tenants. They must weigh whether to invest in private meeting spaces or rely on shared amenities. While private meeting rooms offer convenience and privacy, they can also lead to higher costs and underutilization. Tenants need to carefully evaluate coworking spaces, considering the availability of common areas and shared facilities to optimize their investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Common areas and shared conference rooms in coworking spaces are decreasing.
  • Tenants are demanding more private, dedicated meeting rooms post-pandemic.
  • The choice between shared facilities and private meeting rooms affects overall costs and utilization.

Trend Observation in Coworking Spaces

Diminishing Common Areas

Coworking spaces are experiencing a noticeable decrease in common areas. Operators are allocating less space for these areas to maximize revenue by increasing rentable seats. For instance, with a 20,000 square foot space, reducing common areas to less than 20% allows 80% to be used for rentable seats.

Reduction in Shared Conference Rooms

Shared conference rooms in coworking spaces are also on the decline. Post-pandemic, many clients prefer private, dedicated meeting rooms. This shift reduces the necessity for shared conference rooms. Yet, it often results in underutilized private meeting rooms, leading to inefficiency in space usage and unnecessary additional costs.

Post-Pandemic Changes in Office Utilization

Shift to Collaborative Spaces

Post-pandemic, offices have increasingly become hubs for purposeful interactions. Teams often gather for cross-functional activities and collaboration. This shift towards collaboration has led to a demand for open and flexible spaces.

Feature Pre-Pandemic Post-Pandemic
Open Collaborative Areas Limited Expanded
Purpose Individual work Team collaboration

The focus is on creating environments where employees can easily move and interact. The design of these spaces often includes:

  • Hot desks
  • Lounge areas
  • Casual meeting spots

Increase in Private Meeting Room Demand

There has been a noticeable rise in the demand for private meeting rooms. Businesses now prefer having dedicated meeting rooms within their office spaces.

Requirement Pre-Pandemic Post-Pandemic
Shared Conference Rooms Sufficient Reduced number
Private Meeting Rooms Rare High demand

The following factors contribute to this trend:

  • Reduced dependency on shared facilities
  • Increased need for privacy
  • Better control over meeting schedules

Financial Implications:

The financial aspect must be considered. Dedicated meeting rooms, while convenient, often lead to higher costs. For instance:

  • Rent increase due to dedicated space
  • Under-utilization of the meeting rooms


Opt for coworking operators with ample shared conference rooms. This provides flexibility and optimizes expenses.

Cost Implications for Tenants

Efficiency versus Expenditure

Tenants are often faced with the decision of balancing efficiency and expenditure. For instance, private meeting rooms within offices come at a high cost. A dedicated six-seater meeting room in a private 40-seater office may lead to underutilization while still accruing significant rental costs. Tenants need to evaluate whether their teams will use these rooms enough to justify the expense.

On the other hand, shared facilities provided by coworking spaces can potentially lead to cost savings. Although these may offer limited complimentary credits, paying for additional hours in shared meeting rooms can still be more economical.

For example:

Room Type Rent (per month) Usage (%)
Dedicated Room ₹60,000 30-50
Shared Room As per use Flexible

Check our latest guide on flex space rent in Chennai:

Chennai Flex Offices Rent Guide - June 2024

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Fixed Rent for Underused Spaces

Tenants often opt for dedicated spaces, which might not always be the most cost-effective. A dedicated room, whether fully utilized or not, comes with a fixed rent. If a six-seater conference room is rented at ₹60,000 per month, tenants pay this amount irrespective of use. This adds to the financial burden if the room is underused.

Alternatives like shared meeting rooms and common areas offer more flexibility. Coworking operators that provide numerous shared conference rooms and common areas allow tenants to avoid the high cost of fixed spaces. By leveraging these shared facilities, tenants can manage their expenses more effectively.

Emphasizing the use of smaller discussion rooms can also offer savings. A four-seater room may suffice for impromptu discussions, reducing the need for larger, costlier dedicated spaces.

Decision Making for Office Space Renting

Evaluating coworking Space Value

Increasingly, coworking spaces are seeing a reduction in common areas and shared conference rooms. This shift allows operators to maximize revenue by selling more individual seats. For clients, the decrease in shared facilities can impact collaborative opportunities and networking. When choosing a coworking space, it's crucial to prioritize those offering extensive shared amenities to avoid the cost and inefficiency of private meeting rooms.

Optimizing Meeting Room Choices

Post-pandemic, many clients demand dedicated meeting rooms within their offices. Such rooms can be inefficient if not used frequently, leading to unnecessary expenses. Instead, opting for spaces with robust shared meeting room options can be more cost-effective. For impromptu discussions, small discussion rooms or casual meeting areas within common spaces can provide a more practical solution without incurring high costs for underused dedicated rooms.

Strategies for Renting coworking Spaces

When renting coworking spaces, consider the importance of common areas and shared conference rooms. Recently, these spaces have been shrinking, impacting networking and collaboration opportunities. This shift is due to coworking operators reallocating space to increase revenue from rentable seats.

Clients should look for operators that maintain ample common areas and shared meeting rooms. This reduces the need for investing in dedicated meeting rooms, which can be costly and underutilized. For instance, paying for a private six-seater meeting room can add substantial monthly rent costs.

A small four-seat discussion room may be beneficial for impromptu meetings, but larger private conference rooms can be a financial burden. It's crucial to calculate the costs and usage to determine the most cost-effective option.

Selecting coworking spaces with a variety of shared facilities allows for flexible and economical collaboration options. This approach ensures that rent expenses are minimized while still providing necessary meeting spaces.

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Final Thoughts

The coworking space industry is evolving, with a trend towards reducing common areas and shared conference rooms to boost revenue. Post-pandemic, there's a growing demand for private meeting rooms, which, despite their benefits, can result in higher costs and inefficiencies. Tenants need to assess their requirements carefully, weighing the convenience of private spaces against the cost-effectiveness of shared facilities. Choosing coworking spaces that offer a good mix of shared amenities can help tenants manage expenses while meeting their collaboration and privacy needs.

Category: Coworking

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