Study: Workspace-as-a-Service Shows Profits are Up

A new study released by the Global Workspace Association (GWA) says its membership of virtual-office owners and coworking spaces reported increased profitability last year – and expect to grow similarly through at least 2014.

“In contrast to the traditional office space sector, total revenues among our members grew modestly last year, and profits as a percentage of total revenue grew slightly, too,” said James C. Baughman, Jr., GWA president.

Corporate Users of Workspace-as-a-Service
Corporate Users of Workspace-as-a-Service

“Office space strategies and needs among small and mid-sized businesses — and even large corporations — are evolving. And workspace-as-a-service industry providers are increasingly becoming part of the mix.”

GWA found this data from a survey of its membership, and the results reveal a stable industry exhibiting growth mostly in new business segments. For example, 73% of GWA members said they expect profits to improve through 2014.

Surveys by 69 companies (representing 396 centers) revealed that:

  • Total revenue growth was up 2.1 percent overall
  • Occupancy grew in almost every category, with overall occupancy increasing by 3.3 percent
  • Virtual office revenue grew 6.8 percent, and meeting room or day-office revenue soared 17.2 percent in the same period
  • Occupancy and profit as a percentage of revenue were highest in the United States, while Canada had higher total revenue per available office

Reversing a trend, smaller workspace-as-a-service offerings were more profitable for GWA members than larger ones in 2011. Facilities with 15,000 square feet or less fared better than those ranging from 15,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet.

Centers by Square Footage
Centers by Square Footage

This GWA Financial Study is organized as a set of easily referenced industry performance tables. In 2011, 80 percent of respondents were office business centers, 6 percent were coworking and virtual office operators, and 14 percent were hybrids representing a mix of meeting space and coworking offerings. Fourteen percent of the centers reporting were outside the United States.

Business Type
Business Type


The worldwide workspace-as-a-service industry includes serviced office business centers, virtual offices, coworking spaces and a variety of conferencing centers. Globally, there are more than 8,000 such facilities, according to the GWA.

If you would like to purchase the full report, click here: 2012 GWA Financial Survey

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