Where and how often do people search online for “co-working”? Do they write it with or without a hyphen? Has the new style of work affected the popularity of “home offices”? Google offers daily data about their search volumes and requests. The freelancer’s online publication Deskmag worked its way through this data and extracted some answers about these and other questions. The first answer shouldn’t surprise you: “co-working” is still growing.
According to Deskmag, worldwide searches for the term “co-working” on Google reached their current peak in March 2016. This figure has climbed by 35% in comparison to the same month in 2015 – and by around 60% compared to two years ago. When looking back at the last five years, the search volume for “co-working” has increased six-fold in comparison to other queries.
The trends enable a general glimpse into the development of the co-working market.
“Co-working” Booms around the World
The demand for “co-working” has climbed in the last twelve months, especially in Canada, Italy, France, Thailand, Australia, and India. A stable upward trajectory can likewise be seen in the UK, USA, Brazil, and Spain and in general the trend has reached its highest point this year in nearly all countries.
The peak cresting in nearly all recorded countries over the last three months reveals that never before have so many people searched for “co-working” on Google. Some exceptions are Russia, Mexico, and Argentina, which reached their peak in the last quarter of 2014.
“Co-working” remains popular in Spain and Russia
Italy, the Ukraine, and Belgium have caught up compared with other countries in the last two years. Spain is ranked at the top ahead of Russia, Italy, and the Ukraine. Japan slid two places lower to the fifth place, and Brazil likewise fell to the sixth place. The data doesn’t show to what extent the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the economic crisis has impacted co-working spaces in Russia and the Ukraine.
The relative hotspots in the last two years are Barcelona and Moscow. The Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba have moved down the trend list and Milan and Turin are rising to the top.
“Co-working” more popular in the UK than “Coworking”
Perhaps unsurprisingly “coworking” is searched 15 times more in the USA than it is in Great Britain or Australia, where forms of writing with the hyphen are more widespread in general. That’s why Signature Works chooses to use “co-working” to reflect the brand’s country of origin.
Queries for “Business Centre” Stable
Some business centres see co-working spaces as competitors. Regus even defines itself as the “inventor” of co-working spaces. The debate about it has been consistent, but still peaks from time to time. Deskmag’s Global Co-working Survey has already shown in the past years that such competition doesn’t really exist. The concepts of business centres and co-working spaces – as well as their target groups – are quite different. Even on Google Trends, such competition cannot necessarily be identified.
Despite an intermittent peak five years ago, queries for “business centre” have declined over the last ten years by about a fifth. In the last two years however, more interest in “business centre” could be seen again on Google. Alternative terms like “executive office,” by contrast, decreased sharply, or played no part like ‘serviced office”. For the term “Regus,” the trend barely moved, neither up nor down, over the past ten years.
“Co-working” to overtake “Regus” and “Business Centre” in around Two Years
Another trend therefore shows itself clearly. If you pursue this trend further, in around two years more people will be searching for the term “co-working” than for “Regus” or “business centre. This clearly shows the globally shifting trend from traditional office occupation and corporate employment to a more flexible approach to working and a new generation of co-working spaces.