ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 40, 2021

This week we see a recommended shift in mindset, a conference summarized in quotes, 40k US employees given remote work option, a JV in Birmingham UK, and more.

πŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

πŸŽ‚ 3 big milestones.

Common Desk turned 9, Hub Australia‘s Southern Cross location turned 5, andΒ The Workaround turned 3!

πŸ₯‡ HUUB wins Gold Award.

Jenny Poon shares that HUUB have won a Gold Award for Excellence in Economic Equity and Inclusion from the International Economic Development Council for their tech partnership with City of Mesa.

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πŸ“° Coworking updates.

πŸ•Έ Shifting the mindset from ‘an office’ to ‘an ecosystem of spaces’.

Kay Sargent from HOK dives into why ‘going back to the office’ is an outdated and flawed.

They discuss how the cat’s out of the bag, and orgs of all sizes need to shift from the notion of singular offices to ecosystems of different flex spaces.

Personally I much prefer the term ‘ecosystem of workplaces’ than ‘hub and spoke’. You?

h/t Nic B. from Spacestor or sharing.

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✌️ 40k more US employees given choice about where to work.

Following the trend of multinational orgs and governments giving employees more choice about where to work from, Price Waterhouse Coopers will allow all of their 40,000 U.S. client services employees to work virtually and live anywhere they want in perpetuity.

They’re now one of the biggest employers to embrace permanent remote work, and comes amongst increasing flexibility being offered by other major firms like Deloitte and KPMG.

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πŸ› What if going for dinner was organized using a hybrid strategy?

Neil Usher returns to his blog after a minor hiatus, with a humorous piece on how ridiculous a dinner would be if it were coordinated using some of the most vocal ‘hybrid strategies’ and advice.

A great short read for anyone looking to have a giggle about some of the more ridiculous ‘hub and spoke’ talking points.

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⏲ Predicting the end of the 40 hour work week.

The Independent shares a story featuring Drew Houston, the billionaire founder of Dropbox, sharing that he predicts that the 40-hour work week is on it’s way out. The article also notes some trends and studies that back up this prediction.

We continue to monitor this trend, knowing that if work weeks change, it may affect the utilization rate and methods for leveraging physical space.

h/t Mark Smukler from flow for sharing.

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πŸ“† October Challenge: Hosting diverse & inclusive member events.

The October Coworking IDEA challenge is facilitated by Barbara Andreatta and Marc Navarro and aims to help coworking spaces create and curate diverse & inclusive events.

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πŸ“œ 30+ notes and quotes from GCUC North America 2021.

Cat Johnson shares a whole bunch of her favorite notes, quotes and observations from last week’s GCUC in New York City.

Mentioned are Antony Slumbers, Dr. Tammira Lucas, Melissa Schilo, Ryan Simonetti, Richard Coraine, Kay Sargent, and Carl Desir.

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

🦁 How a CRM can help tame day-to-day coworking ops.

The team at Bitwise share how their tech consulting team implemented a Salesforce setup and dashboard for one of their coworking community manager.

Now whilst this CRM may not be the right solution for all, I am a firm believer in the benefits of setting up processes and automations to give community managers more IRL face-time with members.

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πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Berlin gets a new two-sided workspace marketplace.

David Turnbull shares the hypothesis behind new workspace aggregator called Denizen which is now live in Berlin.

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πŸ”₯ Why, after a decade, proptech is still heating up.

Jason Freedman, who sold his proptech co 42Floors to Knotel in 2018 and now invests in other startups, shares 5 takeways about why the sector continues to grow.

It’s a great piece, but in short they are that: the problems to solve are real, the industry is profitable, CRE is highly competitive, there’s a tight referral loop, and the tech side of the industry is very collaborative.

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πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Who are the biggest (by location count) operators in the UK?

Zoe Ellis-Moore did some digging and shared who the 9 biggest flex space operators are in the UK, by number of locations.

Whilst the list includes some well known names like the IWG brands, WeWork, Workspace Group, Landmark and The Office Group, it’s great to see names like safestore, flexspace, and newflex who may be less well known outside the UK.

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πŸ€” What do employees really want from their offices?

Mary Sorensen shares some insights they learned from a survey and subsequent quiz of employees on what they’d like when returning to the office.

An interesting note was that when asked what the ideal workplace would provide, ‘places for individual work’ was the top response chosen by 75% of respondents, and ‘collaboration spaces’ only selected by 11%.

Makes me wonder if that’s still due to physical distancing fears, or that going into an office is increasingly seen as a way to focus away from the house.

h/t and thanks to Daan van Rossum for sharing and summarizing.

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🌍 Which European countries are exploring remote working laws?

With some European countries still having 20% of their workforces working remotely, Shannon McDonagh explores how some countries are exploring laws for businesses to abide by.

Following on from the news I shared in TWIC 39/2021 re: the UK’s consultation around new remote work legislation, it’s interesting to see how Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Russia and France are also adapting their laws to better fit the new way the world works.

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🀝 Coworking market moves.

πŸ’Έ Global public company exploring breaking itself up.

Mark Dixon, founder and CEO of IWG, notes that the sum of the operator’s parts may be worth over Β£2.9 billion and so the company is considering various ways of breaking itself up.

OptionsΒ  include splitting its franchise businesses from its division that owns and leases space, as well as aΒ  potential U.S. listing of Worka, their flexible workspace comparison and booking app.

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πŸ“ JV announced to manage 3 floors of flex in Birmingham, UK

Hines have awarded the management of 40k sqft of flex space in Brindleyplace, a retail and workspace hub in Birmingham to x+why.

This represents one of the first flex locations outside of London to be managed by the latter.

According to the announcement, both firms will share the capex for transitioning the space (which I believe was an ex-WeWork location).

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πŸ‡«πŸ‡· Majority stake acquired of French network with 50 locations.

Giovanni Palavicini shares that Newmark have announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the French workspace brand Deskeo. The 50 locations will be combined with their recent acquisition of Knotel, and supported through the firm’s Global Corporate Services group.

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πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ US flex space alliance teams up with booking platform.

Ciaran Delaney (from hubli) and Michele Penaranda (from Preferred Office Network) share an announcement that the latter’s new website will be powered by the former’s whitelabel technology.

This follows the trend of more and more alliances around exploring the best way to work with as many booking platforms as makes sense fo their local markets, operators and potential members. Watch this space.

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πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Tenant experience app raises $14 million and enters UK market.

UKTN reports that French tenant experience app Witco has raised a fairly large Series-A round as they prepare to launch into the UK market.

Whilst they are def not alone in the building ops/comms sector, as we’ve seen in previous weeks, this area of the tech stack continues to heat up fast, giving operators even more options to pick from.

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πŸ—½ Ghost kitchen developer acquired by restaurant ops tech co.

Corey Manicone shares that Kitchen United have acquired Zuul. The former setup the first ghost kitchen’s in Manhattan, and pivoted to providing tech to restaurants during the pandemic. The latter offer turkey spaces and solutions to restauranteurs to accelerate growth.

Not strictly coworking I know, but fascinating to see moves being made in other sectors leveraging shared space and resources.

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πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Maija Patjas, Pontus Kihlman, Melanie Jones and Eeva Terava discuss flexibility, circular economy and sustainability in the workplace.

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Michael Cockburn from Desana chats with Emily Wright about the platform, market timing, and on winning the EG‘s Innovation award.

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Caleb Parker chats with Ian Minor, from neospace, about hospitality and community on the WorkBold podcast.

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Bernie J Mitchell, Monika Solak and Fiona Ross discuss coworking software and integrations.

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Jamie Russo chats with Josh White about their transition from a coworking space operator to ‘a building services platform’.

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πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ’» FlexWorld 2021 online in October

Oct 21. OfficeRnD have announced the first edition of their FlexWorld Conference, diving into the opportunities and challenges of flex & hybrid work. The event features two tracks, flex & hybrid.

f/d I’m speaking on a panel on future-proofing demand generation.

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πŸ“Έ Coworking + email marketing.

Oct 29. Coworking Convo dives into email marketing for coworking spaces.

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πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί Coworking Europe in Dec.

Dec 1-3. In Vienna and Online.Β 

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πŸ’Ό Coworking jobs.

Find or post coworking jobs for free here.

About This. is a weekly newsletter summarizing the coworking celebrations, stories, market moves, tech updates and discussions you may have missed.

Newsletters are curated by Hector Kolonas and made available for free via email or this website.

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