Coworking spaces for seniors are gaining traction in a market often just associated with the millennial generation.
And why not? While the average age of a coworker is 34, the business benefits of coworking spaces are universal. They boost innovation, morale and productivity, provide cost savings and flexibility while addressing the isolation synonymous with modern day work.
What’s more, just because you’re approaching retirement age, it doesn’t mean you’re ready to stop working. Research shows almost one-quarter of self-employed Americans are 60 or older.
The number of people aged 50 and above is also predicted to rise to 3.2 billion by 2050, representing a two-fold increase since 2015. And let’s not forget the average coworker isn’t going to stay 34 forever.
So, the world’s coworking spaces need to start adapting to meet the needs of an ageing coworking population.
What Coworking Spaces for Seniors Need
The Global Coworking Survey reveals the key differences between the needs of younger and older coworkers.
Job titles differentiate the younger (aged between 20 and 34 years) and older (aged between 50 and 64) groups in the survey. While 42% of the younger generation work in tech-related roles, older coworkers typically work as consultants, PR professionals, designers, or journalists. Only 12% of senior coworkers work in the tech sector.
What’s more, there are more entrepreneurs and business owners within the senior coworker group, whereas younger coworkers are more often employees of larger corporations, the research reveals.
Both younger and older coworkers benefit from the networking opportunities such spaces present. Within two months of joining a space, young coworkers make an average of six valuable new connections and older coworkers tend to make seven, according to the Global Coworking Survey.
Some niche coworking spaces also target older coworkers. For example, the Senior Planet Exploration Center in New York City is a flagship coworking space and learning center for the Brooklyn-based non-profit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS).
The workspace is dedicated to people 60 and over, with classes to help members advance their business skills and learn techniques to help them succeed to today’s increasingly digitized work world.
According to a report from the Fast Company, there are now Senior Planet centers in six states, and the nonprofit has realized $6 million in revenue, up from just under $3 million three years ago. Senior Planet’s executive director, Tom Kamber, believes there’s ‘significant potential’ for coworking spaces for seniors.