Coworking spaces help London become No.1 destination for Gen Z

Which cities around the world will be most attractive to the Generation Z entrants to the workforce? New research identifies the top locations, with the coworking offer emerging as a key differentiator

Coworking was recently determined to be one of 22 key factors in Gen Z decision-making when it comes to destinations to live and work. Generation Z is the term given to anyone born between 1997 and 2012, with this group considered to be ‘digital natives who value security, diversity, and autonomy, and aim to achieve it through pragmatism and determination.’ With the oldest members of Gen Z graduating from college this year, cities around the world are career destinations for Gen Zers looking for the best places to live and work.

The 2019 Generation Z City Index by the apartment search site Nestpick examined 110 cities around the world and measured 22 factors under four broad headings: digitisation, business, principles and leisure. Each city was given a score out of 100, the total of the weighted averages of each of the four categories.

Appeal to entrepreneurs

London was identified as the top global destination for Generation Z workers, scoring a perfect ‘100’ for coworking spaces, beating New York (98.12) into second place. Flexible workspace is naturally appealing for entrepreneurial Generation Zers as it represents a low risk, affordable way into office rental.

While coworking has long been the preferred route for freelancers and start-up businesses, it’s now also attracting big businesses. Companies wishing to attract the best talent from amongst Generation Z workers should note that although office location is very important, office features such as natural light, kitchens, modern facilities and décor, and outdoor space are high on the wish list for Gen Z workers.

At the top of the list, London now has over 1,400 flexible workspace locations according to the latest data from global workspace brokerage Office Freedom. The team recorded a 16.2 per cent year on year growth in London coworking spaces between August last year and this, and London remains the coworking capital of Europe with over 11 million sq ft of flexible real estate. In London, a new co-working space opens every five days, placing it at the top of the global league.

This growth in flexible workspaces is a common theme among the top 20 Gen Z cities with an average 22 per cent growth in coworking space. The global coworking market has more than doubled since 2015 and is expected to top 25,000 spaces by 2022. Latest research from Zion Market Research values the global flexible workspace market at US $26.9 billion and predicts it to grow to US $111.68 billion by 2027.

Top 20 cities for Gen Z

Here are the top 20 cities best equipped for Generation Z’s wants and needs, and the year- on-year growth of coworking spaces in each location.

City Gen Z Index1 Yr on Yr % Growth in Coworking Spaces2
 20. Seattle, USA 77.71 57.1%
 19. Brussels, Belgium 77.72 27.8%
 18. Malmo, Sweden 78.96 0.0%
 17. Frankfurt, Germany 79.35 10.3%
 16. Gothenburg, Sweden 79.46 33.3%
 15. Montreal, Canada 80.00 92.9%
 14. Helsinki, Finland 80.33 7.7%
 13. Copenhagen, Denmark 80.70 20.0%
 12. Manchester, UK 81.18 19.2%
 11. Paris, France 82.13 31.1%
 10. Vancouver, Canada 82.48 37.5%
 9. Amsterdam, Netherlands 83.02 28.2%
 8. San Francisco, USA 83.09 91.8%
 7. Munich, Germany 83.11 5.0%
 6. Berlin, Germany 84.53 14.0%
 5. New York City, USA 86.03 63.2%
 4. Toronto, Canada 86.20 32.2%
 3. Los Angeles, USA 89.40 10.4%
 2. Stockholm, Sweden 89.88 13.3%
 1. London, UK 100.00 16.2%

Source: Nestpick.com1 / Officefreedom.com2

Access the top 20 cities with most appeal for Generation Zers, their top scoring categories and the number of coworking locations in the city here.

Richard Smith is an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Office Freedom, the first property consultancy to specialise in the serviced office sector. More from Office Freedom on the flexible workspace boom here. Access the Nestpick Generation Z City Index here
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