Coworking forecasts 2021: the "Next Normal" perspectives

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Number of coworking spaces on the rise

The vast majority of coworking spaces surveyed in recent research conducted by Deskmag it has shown interesting prospects and expects there to be a greater number of coworking spaces! This trend would be particularly evident outside the big cities.

More digital nomads - fewer business trips

The coronavirus pandemic reduced business travel in 2020 to an unprecedented level. Will business travel return to previous levels once the pandemic is over or will it be partially replaced by remote video calls?

For people who work in coworking spaces, it depends on the purpose of that trip. Two-thirds of respondents expect a increase in the number of digital nomads compared to before the pandemic.

Because? Probably because such trips allow for experiences that people cannot reproduce online. And the demand for them would increase after this long absence of travel.

On the other hand, business travel will occur less frequently than pre-Covid. Many of these will be replaced by online meetings.

2020: the year of 'work from home'

What images of 2020 have become iconic? One above all Anna Wintour from Vogue magazine sitting in front of her laptop at home in sweatpants!

If at the beginning smartworking was necessarily coincided with working from home, with the progressive loosening of prohibitions and restrictions the most authentic meaning was discovered: work remotely yes, but not necessarily within the home.

It is in this evolution that the investigation of Nibol, the start-up of the diffused office, conducted on a sample of 20 thousand smartworkers who highlighted, as anticipated, the contraindications of transforming the house into an office.

In detail, the 30% of the participants the survey indicated the first negative aspect solitude in which you are forced to work from home and the lack of relationships with colleagues and customers.

It follows, with the 28% of preferences, the forced sharing of the spaces of the house. Children who follow distance learning, companions and companions in turn in smartworking, the presence of pets: "Living together in the same room and sharing computers and internet connections are a cause of stress for those who work from home" he says Nibol based on the survey.

Again, «for the 20% of the interviewees, working from home means completely losing the work-life balance: working in the same place where you cook, relax on the sofa causes a continuous invasion of the professional sphere in the private one and vice versa. At the risk of spending the day in pajamas ».

2021: the year of 'work close to home'?

How will work change in 2021? What role will the offices play? How will we manage the organization and the relationship with employees? How will the work experience change? What will remain online and what will return to take place strongly live?

These are the questions that echoed in many meetings at the end of the year, between doubts about the pandemic and post Covid and the need to have some certainty. But the certainty is one: the work as we lived it up to the beginning of 2020 is neither there nor will be anymore, what we have experienced, forcibly, during the year will inspire us to create that or those new ways of working that will mark the future.

Smartworking or nearworking?

According to forecasts, working from home will continue to be common even after the end of the pandemic. Coworking spaces outside the big centers are waiting for him in particular.

However, coworking spaces expect people to work “close to home” more often in the future. This trend is even stronger in what until recently were called dormitory districts and in the towns adjacent to the large cities where most commuters live. 

Before the pandemic, most of the new members of coworking spaces worked from home. Why should it be any different once the pandemic is over? The demand for a sociable but productive work atmosphere is likely to be higher than ever after months of isolation and unwanted distractions.

Sociality, flexibility of schedules and environments, technology but also safety and hygiene: these are the needs that emerge most strongly for the 2021 office. In fact, the main characteristics of the ideal office are that it is technological, but also attentive to well-being and comfortable, functional and with hybrid spaces. Welcoming, open, shared and connected with the outside, flexible and safe.


The people who worked remotely during the first lockdown (March-May 2020) and in the following months developed a strong need for sociality: it was in fact the lack of networking and relationships between colleagues that weighed more on those who worked for home. The desire to have flexible offices emerges in the sense of adaptable according to the situation and the task to be performed at a given time of day. With regard to services, the most requested ones concern the lunch break, such as delivery services or refrigerated lockers and then parking.

Giorgio Cappelli