The global wellness market is worth over $4.5 trillion, with a growth of 5-10% year over year.
Taking care of your mental and physical health is becoming easier and more accessible every day thanks to companies and coworking spaces taking a vested interest in the well-being of the people in their space.
One coworking niche that has gotten a fair amount of attention from celebrities and coworkers alike is wellness-first coworking spaces.
In this article, we’re looking at the rising trend of wellness coworking spaces including what they are, how it benefits members and operators, and what the future of workplace wellness looks like.
What is a wellness coworking space?
A wellness-focused coworking space is a workspace that incorporates elements of health and well-being into its offerings.
These offerings are typically either incorporated into the entire space at no extra charge (ie. blue light blocking glasses available, use of HEPA air filters) or offered at an additional cost (ie. registered massage therapist on site).
Wellness coworking spaces range in terms of who they serve and what they offer, with some marketed as premium social clubs, while others are community-driven spaces.
However, we’re seeing all options becoming more popular, as people become increasingly interested in health and well-being and look toward alternative workspaces to fill this need.
What amenities are offered in a coworking space for wellness?
Apart from the usual coworking offerings, wellness-focused coworking spaces include a handful of other unique goods and services meant to support the health and well-being of members.
Here are some coworking amenities that we see most often.
Incorporated offerings in the space (included as part of a membership and incorporated into the cost)
- Standing desks
- Lots of natural light
- Air-filtering plants
- Filtered water on tap
- Alpha wave soundtracks or soothing music
- Complimentary healthy food and drinks
Wellness offerings available at an additional cost
- Morning yoga or fitness classes
- Registered massage therapist on-site
- Mental health counseling on-site
- Infrared sauna booking available
- Health and wellness-focused events
- Smoothie bar or vegan café on-site
Most spaces choose to include a mix of incorporated and add-on offerings for their members.
For example, a space could have air filtering plants and standing desks available, and offer yoga classes and an RMT on-site for members to book.
This gives operators some flexibility with how they charge for membership plans, and opens up additional revenue streams.
How do wellness coworking spaces benefit operators and members?
Entrepreneurs who start wellness workspaces are typically passionate about the intersection of wellness and work.
They open these spaces because they truly believe in creating a place that helps people work in a way that makes them feel good.
From a business perspective, creating a wellness-focused workspace can help you as an owner/operator:
- Differentiate yourself from other spaces
- Develop a community of like-minded individuals who share similar values
- Create additional revenue streams with add-on amenities
- Charge a premium for pricing of incorporated offerings
- Create a space that is on-trend and in-demand
- Improve member retention
Of course, there is a myriad of benefits to offering health and wellness-oriented services to your coworking members as well, the biggest being supporting their physical and mental health and providing a space for work-life balance.
It’s important to speak to these benefits when developing the messaging of your space in a way that will resonate with your audience and convey the benefits of your space.
What is the wellness and coworking business model?
Just like the typical coworking space business model, wellness spaces make money primarily by selling space in the form of desks, meeting rooms, and private offices.
One benefit to wellness spaces compared to other niches is you can typically charge a premium for your memberships.
This is for a few reasons:
- Outfitting the space with plants, HEPA air filters, standing desks, and healthy snacks is a premium offering. It will cost you more up-front to secure these things, but you’ll be able to charge more as a result.
- Memberships can come with access to exclusive coworking events and amenities like mental health counseling on-demand or monthly keynotes from health professionals. Again, these things will cost you more but you can also charge more for them.
- “Wellness” has long been associated with “premium” from a market perspective. People are often comfortable paying a bit more for something if they know it will be contributing to their well-being.
Although you can offer many additional amenities and services, most wellness space operators will agree that selling space remains the primary way they make money.
How to incorporate wellness offerings into your coworking space
1. Survey your members
Before making any changes to your community or offerings, it is always recommended to start by asking your members what it is they want
One of the best ways to do this is with a coworking survey. Here you gauge your current members’ interest in health and well-being, and what this means to them.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- What does wellness mean to you?
- How could this space better support your health and well-being?
- Which of the following services are you most interested in?
- Would you be interested in attending an event on XYZ?
This may also be a good time to ask if any members have any issues with certain aspects of health and would prefer for it to not be in the workplace such as overt diet talk. This can be a sensitive topic for some, so you want to understand how your community feels before making radical changes.
At the end of the day, you want to ensure that whatever it is you are implementing is going to be helpful for your members rather than make them uncomfortable or upset.
2. Tackle the low-hanging fruit first
Wellness offerings for coworking spaces exist on a spectrum. Adding plants to your space is easier than adding standing desks. Adding standing desks to your space is easier than incorporating a new filtration system.
Take the feedback you get from your members and begin by tackling the low-hanging fruit first. You can move gradually without feeling like you need to overhaul all of your offerings overnight.
Some of the easier-to-implement wellness-focused amenities include:
- Adding plants in and around your common areas
- Offering healthy snack choices
- Creating a meditation room out of an unused private office or meeting room
- Adding a walking treadmill (trackpad) to the bottom of some of your standing desks
- Adding essential oil diffusers to your common rooms
3. Organize a one-time or recurring event
Once you tackle a few of the low-hanging fruit and you’re getting positive feedback, you could try some larger wellness-type offerings such as holding an event.
There are many wellness-focused events that you can offer your coworking members. You could:
- Hold a monthly keynote where you invite wellness professionals to come and share their knowledge
- Organize a weekly meet-up for those looking to achieve specific fitness goals
- Hold yoga or fitness classes in one of your larger meeting rooms
- Invite members for a hike or spin class session after work hours
Again, what you offer should be informed by what your member’s needs are. You should also consider that if you will begin offering fitness classes on-site, then you will need to have a waiver incorporated into your coworking contracts or house rules.
4. Continue to iterate and make changes
As with anything you do in your space, continue to gather feedback from your members and learn how you can improve upon what you offer.
Member feedback is invaluable, and listening to and incorporating it appropriately can make all the difference in creating an exceptional user experience.
Using software to manage your space
The best coworking spaces are managed with the help of robust coworking management software.
Optix helps wellness-focused coworking owners and operators to manage their space by:
- Promoting wellness-oriented products to purchase online
- Enabling members to book a yoga class or meditation room on their phone
- Connecting members through a digital directory and messaging system
- Enabling members to reserve specific resources from their phone
Managing a wellness-oriented coworking space can be a big task. Using coworking software like Optix can make it easier for you to grow your business over time.
Learn more about Optix features and how it can enable you to manage, measure, and grow your business.
Want to see the product in action? Book a free demo with a member of our team today.