The office market has long been dominated by the Federal Government, lobbyist firms, and contractors doing government work. There is, however, a growing segment of startups, small businesses, and workers who only need temporary space. For these tenants, a traditional office space most times does not meet their needs. Because of this expanding demand, the number of flexible coworking providers has greatly increased in the metro area.
Here’s some data from our Truss commercial real estate database:
- There were 35 coworking and flex providers currently in the metro area.
- Although coworking comprises just 2% of the Truss office space inventory, they are “favorited” – selected by our clients who are searching for space – 38% of the time.
The top 5 Washington D.C. coworking providers by number of locations:
- Carr Workplaces
The Top 5 Washington D.C. coworking providers “Favorited” – liked by our clients:
- Carr Workplaces
- Perfect Office
Top 5 Washington D.C. metro areas ranked by number of coworking office locations:
- East End
- College Park
- DuPont Circle
Do Coworking Spaces Present More Flexibility than Traditional Offices?
Coworking providers have realized that their spaces have to offer a sense of place – a flexible workspace that ensures employee happiness, productivity, retention, and aligns with your brand and growth needs. They all offer various membership options that match your commitments and business need, whether you need an interim or long-term solution. They also offer amenities, from free coffee and snacks to gourmet dining to fitness centers.
What Kind of Spaces Are Available?
Here’s a shortlist of some of the options you can choose from:
- Dedicated desks – a workstation that’s not shared with anyone else.
- Hot desks – you get a workstation assigned to you when you arrive.
- Dedicated office, office suites – built-out spaces that are not shared with others at the provider.
- Meeting and conference space – if you need to host an employee or client meeting, or you are staging an event for prospects or clients, you can be accommodated.
- Board rooms – if you have a board that meets during the course of the year, some providers have long tables and video conferencing.
- Open setting – shared offices and lounges where just find a place to work.
What About My Headcount?
It’s a common misconception that coworking spaces can only accommodate small groups – many have the square footage to accommodate larger teams in dedicated spaces. The number of people, of course, will affect your agreement with them. For instance, providers will ask clients with large headcounts for more notice before they terminate their stay.
Washington D.C. providers have varied offerings – something for every sensibility and business need including events, dedicated offices, suites, AV studios and board rooms, fitness, and conference rooms. Some feature these within their space, others offer access to them in amenity-rich buildings.
The Future of Coworking in Washington DC
With the popularity of the existing coworking and continued demand for non-traditional space, coworking in Washington D.C. is here to stay. The prospects for existing and future providers are bright – just look at the doubling of the number of providers in less than a year as reflected in our Truss data. With the varied space and service offerings, these providers are offering different work experiences that match every business need. At Truss, we are placing businesses in coworking spaces who never would have considered it years ago: providers are hitting the right note with their offerings. Perhaps one day industries that have long been wedded to traditional office space will find flexible offices a viable option as well.
Tom is the Regional Senior Vice President for Truss, officed in Washington D.C. He has been a broker for 10 years and enjoys helping tenants find spaces that align with their business strategies.