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I’m often asked by my senior leadership team what is going on in the coworking industry in general and, more specifically, locally …. meaning our competition.  It’s no surprise that those of us within the coworking realm can benefit from sharing our best practices as well as touring our colleagues’ facilities. The following are my observations and food for thought on areas we can benefit from by networking with other coworking operators.

I categorize coworking facilities into two groups …. Those that began operating prior to 2015, and those that moved into the Kansas City area more recently.  The former are mostly local operators with the latter representing major national and international players. I am pleased to report that most of the early adapters are still in business, have successfully weathered the storm of major competition and are still in operation.

Controlled sound environment

Early adopters of coworking believed creating a “hip” environment was essential. This included cement floors, high ceilings, glass walls, and large open spaces. Many adopted these features. As coworking matured, the industry learned:

  1. While members wanted a combination of private offices and shared spaces, they did not want to work in “noisy” facilities. Newer spaces adapted their facilities by placing offices away from the common areas and strategically placing rugs over the cement floors in their open common spaces.
  2. Open spaces must be designed to be monetized. While fun bleacher areas or large “living rooms” gives the place a personality, there is difficulty monetizing the area. Many coworking facilities have since closed-in these areas with offices and added an enclosed meeting rooms.


Young, startup marketplace. Early on coworking locations were successful in attracting younger members and startup companies. The startup community continues to be a strong demographic in larger metro areas like New York, San Francisco or Denver with many Generation Z entrepreneurs.

This is not the case in Kansas City where an adjustment to marketing and design had to be made to attract the needs of an older business owner clientele.

Multigenerational membership. Many of the coworking spaces in Kansas City set out to attract the Millennial generation. Most of the spaces soon realized that attracting a multigenerational membership supported financial goals. When the lens switched to include Boomers as well as Millennials, coworking programming changed to attract a variety of interests and needs.

Hybrid workforce. Without a doubt, COVID changed the coworking industry. Once dominated by solopreneurs and gig workers, medium-sized companies looking to downsize their office footprint and offer hybrid options to their employees have embraced the flexibility of coworking. Spaces that were able to keep their doors open are now finding opportunities to market not only to startups and entrepreneurs but to larger businesses looking for alternatives.

I believe Aspiria NOW is leading in the new era of coworking. Nonetheless, we will strive to continue to observe trends and communicate with others in the industry to benefit from their successes and ensure our space continues to meet the needs of our members.

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