Coworking began almost 15 years ago as a grassroots movement of freelancers, start-ups and solo entrepreneurs seeking to establish collaborative coworking communities. Since then, it has snowballed into a global phenomenon that is disrupting the traditional commercial real estate market. According to our new report, Coworking: A real estate revolution?, coworking is here to stay, and it is forcing landlords, coworking operators, lenders and equity investors to evolve. The study is the result of a survey of 100 senior executives from across the real estate industry that set out to examine how stakeholders are responding to the rapid rise of coworking as a workplace strategy.

Coworking a Real Estate Revolution?


Our research identifies several trends:

  • 89% agree that traditional office landlords have adopted service innovations and amenities inspired by the coworking sector.
  • 73% believe an economic downturn would have a positive effect on the coworking sector. 
  • 70% agree that the trend of coworking providers buying—not leasing—assets will accelerate over the next three years.
  • 55% of all respondents believe coworking will absorb traditional office space market share in the next three years.

About US

Ropes & Gray’s global real estate investments & transactions practice consists of more than 100 lawyers in real estate and related disciplines offering sophisticated legal and market guidance to our clients across a broad range of asset classes, geographies and deals. Our real estate practice represents many of the world’s leading real estate investors, private equity firms, hedge funds, pension plans, university endowments, insurance companies, REITs, developers, asset managers, family offices, investment banks and other institutional investors in nearly every area of real estate.

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