JLL: DC area illustrates growing trend towards coworking

by Brianna Crandall — April 13, 2016—The rise of start-ups and the freelance economy have produced a profound shift in demand for office space, with creative coworking establishments such as WeWork and MakeOffices (formerly UberOffices) and incubators such as 1776 and Eastern Foundry growing at a rate of 195.9 percent annually over the past five years in Metro Washington, DC, according to a recent report from global professional real estate services and investment management firm JLL.

JLL coworking graphic

JLL’s Chart of the Week illustrates the future of coworking.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of freelancers, temps, independent contractors and solopreneurs will grow from 30 percent of the workforce today to 40 percent of the total workforce over the next five years.

Assuming Metro DC office-occupying employment remains steady at 1,359,000, and that these freelancers, independent contractors and solopreneurs use 100 square feet per person, the shift could create over 13.5 million square feet of demand among users that would be likely to work out of a coworking establishment.

Scott Homa, senior vice president, Research, JLL, observes:

Today in the Metro DC region you will find just over 1.8 million square feet of shared office space, spread among more than three dozen different coworking providers. If workforce mobility trends continue, and the rise of the freelance economy maintains its trajectory, we could see sustained demand for coworking space over the next several years.