Since we started OfficeRnD in 2015, we’ve been working with thousands of coworking and flex spaces worldwide. The one thing common for all coworking and flex spaces is that they are all different. They truly are! This is one of the best things about our industry and one of the biggest challenges!

Being too different makes it very hard for all stakeholders to communicate clearly!

It makes it hard for investors to benchmark and invest in the right coworking operator.

It makes it hard for landlords to find the right flexible space partner.

It’s also hard for the coworking operator to onboard new team members from the industry or outsiders. As well as it’s hard to talk and exchange relevant information with other coworking operators.

We need to start speaking the same language. We need to be able to benchmark against the same terms, metrics, and KPIs. Having a common language will bring clarity and help our industry grow faster!

That’s why, we invested a lot of effort into building the most extensive Coworking and Flex Space Glossary. We collected hundreds of terms, metrics, KPIs, and indexes to help with industry standardization!

Space Categorization

We started with various Flex Space types, such as Coworking spaces, Serviced offices, Executive Suites, and various Managed Offices.

Then, we’ve added the different areas, products, and services that are available and offered by a typical coworking space, such as Private offices, Fixed and Flexible desks, Meeting spaces, Event spaces, and others.

One of the very interesting areas that require a lot more attention is the actual categorization – such as Premium, Upscale, Midscale, and Economy type of flex space. Also, we defined Coworking mood, for example, Essential or Luxurious, Professional or Unique, Lively, or Quiet.

Another interesting and very key definition is segmenting the spaces by Location Type – Urban, Suburban, Small Metro, as well as, Space Size.

These are key to being able to compare apples to apples. We need proper definitions to create industry benchmarks!

Coworking Terms

Then, we added the basic terms such as Member, Drop-in, Customer, Tenant, etc. I know these sound very basic, however, you will be surprised how many definitions there are for what is an Active Member!

Without these being very well defined and adopted by the wider industry, we’ll never be able to benchmark properly.

Then, we defined the various space agreements between customers and operators, operators and landlords, etc.

These are very helpful for onboarding new team members with the correct terms and definitions.

Revenue, Occupancy, and Retention Metrics

The most important KPIs (key performance indicators) for running coworking and flex space operations are revenue, occupancy, and related metrics.

We defined how to calculate Occupancy and its variations, such as Revenue Occupancy. We believe that Revenue Occupancy is the most important metric as it shows how well you can sell your space and hold up your prices.

Then, we defined the Revenue variations, such as Desk Revenue, Additional Revenue, Total Revenue, Invoiced Revenue, Target Revenue, and Forecast Revenue.

We’ve also added EBITDA, Rent Roll, Gross Margins, Gross Profit, and other financial metrics.

We also introduced very important averages, such as Average Revenue per Member (ARPM), and Revenue per Sq. Ft, and many more.

Furthermore, another extremely important set of metrics is Churn and Retention where we’ve added Average Length of Stay, Churn Rate, Lifetime Value of a Customer, and many more.

Indexes and Benchmarks

The last section is the most interesting one. Benchmarking gives investors and other key stakeholders peace of mind when they invest in a business.

Benchmarking also gives direction to the business itself. It helps you find weak spots in your business or specific areas of the business. For example, you should know if your Gross Margin is below the industry average for your area and type of operator. This can give you ideas for improvement, such as maybe you need to invest in better technology or reduce costs in certain areas of the business. Or, is your average meeting space utilization rate below your direct competitors?

In this section, we introduced several Indexes that we’re planning to launch soon via our FlexIndex initiatives, such as RevPAD Index, Coworking Occupancy Index, and Coworking Revenue Occupancy Index.

Let’s Build it Together!

We’ve set the foundations of the glossary but we need your help! The path to having a complete and very clear set of terms and definitions in our industry will be long. We’ll hugely appreciate it if you can help us make it better!

Please, reach out to [email protected] to submit your suggestions for terms or edits to existing terms. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you! Happy Coworking!

Let’s grow our industry together!

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".