The way South Africans work is changing. Conduct a quick online search of coworking spaces in South Africa, and you’ll be surprised at the results. As of 2023, there are a recorded 442 offices dotted across the country.
“Considering there were roughly only 24 spaces back in 2013, the South African coworking movement is steadily on the rise,” says Louis Fourie, Founder of Venture Workspace.
“We’ve about reached the point where the concept is no longer considered new and novel. But rather, a viable alternative to traditional and rigid office models.”
From New York to Berlin, Egypt to Cape Town, recent data confirms more than 35,000 coworking spaces worldwide – a figure projected to increase to 41,000 by the close of 2024, reflecting a growth rate of approximately 21%.
“2024 is geared to be one of the best years for coworking locally and abroad, as the demand for affordable, fully-serviced, and flexible workspaces grows,” Louis adds. “The most exciting trend we’re seeing is accelerated expansion and accessibility – be it small towns and sleepy suburbs, to buzzing metropoles like Johannesburg where business and work culture is ever-evolving.”
Interested in how this way of working can elevate your business operations? Here’s why more South Africans are coworking in South Africa in 2024.
Access to reliable connectivity
Due to the ongoing power crisis projected to last until 2025, access to dependable power has become a major driver for the increased appetite for coworking spaces in South Africa.
“What coworking gets right is the ancillary services allowing working professionals to maximise their office time,” Louis explains. “Ultra-fast fibre and backup generators are non-negotiables at each of our Venture Workspace branches, with the backing of an on-site support team to keep things running like a well-oiled machine.”
With three offices in Cape Town and a recent expansion into Johannesburg, Louis details their eight-year mission of establishing a successful coworking model best suited for the South African context.
“As a business owner working closely with local SMMEs, I understand the operational challenges of running and expanding a business. We’ve worked hard to establish our multi-city footprint with all the right value-adds to fully support professionals navigating the hybrid work world.”
Strong sense of community
According to several studies conducted by the APA (American Psychology Association), isolation and loneliness remain a significant motivation for the increased interest in coworking environments globally.
“Here’s the really great thing about being in a coworking space: you’re not obligated to socialise and interact. The option is there if and when you want it,” Louis explains. “In a space like ours, you can feed off the energy of other professionals working around you. It’s a shared experience that nurtures productivity, purpose and even a sense of belonging.”
While reliable power and connectivity (and good coffee!) tops the list, the success of Venture Workspace is largely attributed to the team’s ability to create an infrastructure that fosters a strong sense of togetherness and community.
“It’s more than just a desk and chair. Coworking in South Africa provides a dedicated space where you can connect with professionals from different industries, backgrounds, and all walks of life. The environment is diverse and collaborative. It encourages people to share ideas, skills, and expertise, which can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and yes, even unexpected friendships.”
Flexibility in terms of expansion
The rise of remote work, coupled with the increasing number of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups, has fueled the demand for flexible workspaces in South Africa. As of 2023, there are between 2.4 and 3.5 million SMMEs in the country.
“To better mitigate risk and get a leg up on the competition, businesses need to be agile, robust, and resilient,” Louis adds. “Right now, very few commercial contracts accommodate this. They’re costly, long-term, and leave very little wiggle room for expanding or downscaling your business.”
A major benefit of renting a shared workspace is having the ability to utilise desk space or a private office for as long or as short as you need. “As your business grows, your office can grow too,” he says.
In terms of operating costs, SMMEs further benefit from immediate access to all-inclusive packages tailored to their individual needs. Affordability is a top priority, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
“Coworking spaces like ours do all the heavy lifting in terms of set up and maintenance, be it cleaning services, air-con, furniture, parking access, and kitchen facilities,” Louis adds. “If you’re ready to hit the ground running in 2024, don’t overlook the power of coworking in South Africa,” he concludes.
Cowork with us in Cape Town and Johannesburg
Considering coworking spaces in South Africa for you and your team? We have three offices available in Constantia, Claremont, and Somerset West. Not based near Cape Town? The doors are officially open at our Cedar Square branch in Fourways, Johannesburg, giving you access to:
- 80 desks
- 22 offices
- 2 meeting rooms
- 36 retail shops nearby
- Safe & secure parking
Sign up for 6 months and get 2 months free! Contact our team here for more details.