Start-ups and the freelance economy are causing a shift in demand for office space

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Scott_HomaFrom Scott Homa
Senior Vice President, Mid-Atlantic Research Director

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The rise of start-ups and the freelance economy has driven a profound shift in demand for office space, with creative coworking establishments such as WeWork and MakeOffices (formerly UberOffices) and incubators such as 1776 and Eastern Foundry growing at a rate of 195.9 percent annually over the past five years in Metro DC.

DC shared workplace growth is in the top three nationwide

us coworking tenant demand graph

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of freelancers, temps, independent contractors and solopreneurs will grow from 30 percent of the workforce today to 40 percent of the total workforce over the next five years.

Assuming Metro DC office-occupying employment remains steady at 1,359,000, and that these freelancers, independent contractors and solopreneurs use 100 square feet per person, the shift could create over 13.5 million square feet of demand among users that would be likely to work out of a coworking establishment.

Currently, shared workspace providers lease approximately 1.8 million square feet across the Metro DC region, presenting a situation in which coworking demand will be sustained over the years ahead if workforce trends evolve as forecasters expect and market assumptions hold true.

For more information, download our new office research report and feel free to contact me with any questions.

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