Report finds that, for 3rd year, less than 15% of remote workers use coworking spaces.


The awesome folks at Buffer and AngelList recently surveyed 3,500 remote workers to compile their 3rd annual State of Remote Work report.

Whilst the whole report is fascinating, and shines a bright light onto what Working Remote will look like in 2020 and beyond, the topic about primary and secondary workplaces caught my attention. For obvious reasons.

The report states, with bolding added by me for emphasis:

When you hear “remote work,” where do you picture people working?

If you thought “in their homes,” you’d be spot on! While it seems like remote workers default to working at home (80 percent told us that’s their primary work location), a wide variety of them mix it up and work from other locations part of the time.

Only three percent of respondents primarily work from coffee shops, but 27 percent head to coffee shops as their secondary work location. Coworking spaces are another choice, although they aren’t quite as popular — it’s the primary work location for seven percent and the second choice for 12 percent.

And going on to say:

In the past three years, we haven’t seen more than nine percent of respondents claim that coworking spaces are their primary location for working.

Should this data reflect the global trend, this means that over 80% of remote workers do not use coworking spaces for either their primary or secondary workplaces.

It got me wondering about why?!’.

Is it that coworking spaces aren’t suitable for remote workers? Not affordable, available, or accessible enough? Too trendy, noisy or entrepreneur-centric?

The report does give us a bit more information on a possible hurdle, that employers do not always cover the cost of coworking for their employees, as well as some other remote worker expenses. They said:

In our survey, we ask four questions about specific remote-work-related expenses that companies might cover for their remote employees. The expenses are home internet bills, drinks or food while working at cafés, coworking space memberships, and cell phone bills.

For the last three years, over 70 percent of respondents have consistently selected ‘No’ (their companies do not cover the expense) to all of these questions. Interestingly, cell phones are the most likely to be covered, even more than the places where work gets done: the home and coworking spaces.

As things shift, and more workers go remote, maybe these expenses will become easier to track, manage and cover or subsidise.

As for the other questions, I’ve begun asking around and look forward to discussions with both CEOs and teams at remote-only businesses, as well as with coworking space operators who are both succeeding at or challenged by the notion of hosting more remote workers.

Got some insights to share? Tried something that worked, or failed miserably?
Drop a comment below, join the discussion on, or ping me on twitter @inztinkt.

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Hey, I'm Hector 👋

I’m a flex workspace technologist – which is just a geeky way of saying that I get to work with awesome people & tech to support, run, market & connect thousands of flexible workspaces around the world. 

I’m currently the co-founder of and curate This Week In Coworking

Alongside other geeky resources and projects, I also founded and grew that global network to support 700+ communities. Learn more about me and my work here.

In my blog and on stage I share my thoughts, observations, and undercurrent trends at the intersection of workspaces and technology. 

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