The business of coworking spaces has come a long way. From its beginning as hackerspaces and community centers, it has now evolved into a business that is changing the future of the real estate industry. An increasing amount of players provide workspace as a service, and as the bigger entities become involved, the structure of the business has become more sophisticated. These are the structures that we have observed:
1. Customized Instead of Cookie Cutter Workspaces. The original set-up for a flexible workspace involved a provider signing a lease (or maybe using its own property), handling the fit-out, hiring employees, and renting out the furnished space with facilities to others. Providers charged a membership fee, which was based on the amount of time and amenities the member may use.
To be more commercially viable, some coworking spaces are vertically integrated; offering food, spa and massage services, gyms, other sports facilities, and even sleeping quarters. For example, Singapore's "Kafnu" has a mini-hotel, virtual fitness studio, media production studio, gin bar, coffee bar, phone booths, and a podcast studio in its Alexandria site.