The popularization of remote and hybrid work has led some professionals to seek out coworking spaces to create a separation between home and work. Of these spaces, The Plug has identified over 60 Black-owned coworking locations around the United States.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, less than six percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home in 2019, according to a survey by the United States Census Bureau. In the last couple of years that number has tripled
Upwork predicts that 22 percent of the American workforce will be remote by 2025. Recent job postings providing insight into this trend— 33 percent of all new postings in November were advertised as remote, up two percent from the previous month, with the highest concentration of roles in the tech industry.
Even for workers who have physical office spaces, many are choosing to work completely or partially remotely. According to a Pew Research Center report conducted in January 2022, 61 percent of respondents said they chose to work remotely, a majority of whom also reported that they feel less connected to their co-workers as a result.
Coworking spaces have been around long before the remote work boom, but now they are increasingly regarded as community spaces for professionals. There are more than 6,200 coworking spaces in the U.S. as of 2022, over 2,000 of which were established in the last five years.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the areas with the highest percentage of home-based workers are the District of Columbia (48.3 percent), Washington (24.2 percent), Maryland (24 percent), Colorado (23.7 percent) and Massachusetts (23.7 percent). Of those, our database suggests that Colorado is the only state with no Black-owned coworking space.
The Plug found California, Georgia and Maryland to have the highest concentration of Black-owned locations.
Similar to the general trend of coworking spaces, the largest number of Black-owned spaces were established before 2017, with 2014 as a standout year.
After the onset of the pandemic, only one coworking space opened in 2021: Ambition Center MKE in Milwaukee, WI. The center supports underrepresented individuals and communities and provides access to technology, resources, mentorship and strategic connections.
Like Ambition Center MKE, many Black-owned coworking spaces house inclusive communities and affinity groups. OpenHAUS in Portland is a space for people of color and LGBTQIA+-owned businesses and nonprofits; the Gentlemen’s Factory is a space for Black men; and Blackbird in Culver City is for women of color entrepreneurs.