This Week In Coworking: #41, 2021

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$1M+ in grants awarded, a new coworking analogy, some tips for brand positioning, and 4 fascinating new data sets that may be useful to those filling flex spaces.

๐ŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

๐ŸŽ‚ The Melting Pot turns 14!

Huge congrats to The Melting Pot for celebrating 14 years of supporting and enabling social innovation in Edinburgh.

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๐Ÿ“ฐ Coworking updates.

๐Ÿ’ฐ $1M+ awarded in Collaborative Workspace Program grants.

Jay Pateakos shares some of the 28 organizations in 22 communities who were awarded $1,075,000 in grants throughout Massachusetts. This was the sixth round of the Collaborative Workspace Program, administered by MassDevelopment, which aims to accelerate business formation, job creation, and entrepreneurial activity in communities by supporting infrastructure that fuels locally based innovation.

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๐Ÿ‘ถ Coworking is kinda like ‘parallel play’ for adults.

The Ascender team share an interesting view of the benefits of coworking. They share 4 ways working from these spaces can be seen as parallel play, which is (in the field of child development), a concept where preschoolers who are still learning how to interact with one another will first play alongside each other, but not really with each other.

I’m a huge fan of new coworking analogies!

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๐ŸŽจ On positioning coworking brands.

Jamie Dundas shares some tips around brand positioning for coworking spaces in this guest post for Cobot.

With the flex market getting so crowded, and even McDonald’s trying to market free WiFi, how coworking brands position themselves is increasingly important.

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๐ŸŒพ 3 ways coworking may be boosting rural regeneration.

Riya Patel shares 3 ways rural coworking (or ‘green-desking’) may be kickstarting the regeneration of rural communities and economies.

They look at the reversing of rural brain-drain, mental health benefits and the economic opportunity (and gov support), with examples from across the globe.

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โฉ How coworking makes cities more equitable.

Members of Radius Cowork in Erie, PA share their observations and opinions on how coworking makes their city more equitable.

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๐Ÿงฎ How a flex space broker is structuring their 4-day week.

Last week I shared a story about the growing popularity of a 4-day work week, and promised a follow up with examples.

Last week Michael Dubicki shared how Flexioffices structured their approach to implementing such a strategy. Given that, much like coworking spaces, requests for space come in each and every day, it’s an interesting glimpse into one way an ‘always on’ business can approach giving employees another day. This week he also shared some of the snags.

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๐Ÿคฉ What corp offices can learn from coworking spaces.

Greg Smith, from Thinkific, shares how coworking spaces are doing something right (whilst traditional offices miss the mark) and gives a hint into why we’re on track to to grow into $13B+ industry by 2025.

Note: I’ve looked over the numbers linked to that $13B figure and although some of the data is now outdated, I do believe that numbers from market moves I’ve covered in previous newsletters make up, and possibly surpass, those in the original sources.

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๐Ÿ—ฝ Demand tilts back for private flex office space in Manhattan.

Ray Lindenberg, of Winning Workspaces Hospitality Group, shares how workspaces in Manhattan are seeing growth in demand for private flex space. Whilst there’s still abundant demand for drop-in and open-plan space, it’ll be interesting to watch what the split will be between private and open space demand in big cities over the next few months.

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๐Ÿ“ฆ Managers given the discretion to define remote strategy.

Amazon announced this week that their ‘directors’ (execs who oversee a handful of teams) will be able to “allow teams under their purview to stay remote”. Whilst this is a shift away from their original stance saying that all employees would need to work from the office at least 3 days a week from January 2022, it also highlights a trend

I’ve hinted at this a number of times in past newsletters: workplace strategy and decision-making is being pushed down the org hierarchy. This means that new decision-makers will be guiding the day-to-day policy that will apply to almost 60k workers.

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โœ… A use-case into how one unicorn is embracing on-demand access.

In this use-case WeWork highlights how Slack is using their ‘All Access’ membership (which gives employees access to any network location) and how employees are embracing, and engaging, with spaces and each other. There’s definitely some takeways for those looking to engage corporates, and then encourage continued utilization of flex spaces.

h/t Daan van Rossum for sharing.

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๐Ÿ”Œ Is remote work the reset working humans need?

Cal Newport digs into the topic of remote-first companies, city flight and a huge reset of what’s broken in how/where humans work following a conversation with Chris Herd, from Firstbase. An interesting read and viewpoint for sure.

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๐Ÿ’ป Coworking technology.

๐Ÿ“ฒ If pre-ordering ‘destroyed’ lunch time, what will it do to workspace?

Note: This one’s a little out of left field, but I believe it highlights an undercurrent trend that needs to be explored around how different customers may feel accessing your workspaces.

Henry Grabar shares an insightful look into how ordering ahead has changed the ways in which restaurants like Shake Shack, Chipotle, and Starbucks feel “different” (read: worse) for those who don’t use online ordering. Whilst exploring the benefits that pre-ordering provides, we also see how some, like Xiโ€™an Famous Foods in New York City, are going in a different direction altogether to improve the experience for all.

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๐Ÿ“ˆ Coworking data.

๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ In Aug: 4.3M people quit their jobs in the US

MorningBrew shares that millions of American workers quit in August. They highlight that 892k left hospitality roles, 721k left retail roles, 706k left business service roles, and 534k left medical/care roles.

Whilst this highlights the increasing leverage employees have due to the surpass of jobs available, I am curious what % of these moved (or may move) into freelance, remote-first and other more flexible roles.

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๐Ÿ“Š Who is the average digital nomad?

Pieter Levels shared an aggregated data set of the tens of thousands of digital nomads paying for his NomadList platform. The trove of data shares things like the average age (32), sex (male), what they eat, how they prefer to workout and more.

Ofcourse there’s selection bias, but it’s a fascinating data set to explore for spaces who host, or market to, digital nomads nevertheless.

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๐Ÿ‡ The world’s fastest (and slowest) internet speeds.

Speedtest shares their data showing the worlds fastest (and slowest) internet speeds, for both broadband and mobile. With the shift to remote work, and the adoption of more ecosystem-based workspace strategies, the speed of your internet may make/break deals moving forward. Are you checking, upgrading and promoting your speeds?

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โฑ How remote teams are leveraging meeting rooms.

Nicole Vasquez shares a snippet of Deskpass‘s data shared on stage at GCUC in NYC. Looking at the team utilization of meeting rooms, through their platform, on average 8 people use the meeting rooms for about 5 hours, and pay around $70p/hour.

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๐Ÿค Coworking market moves.

๐Ÿ›‹ Space + furniture partnership expands to 35 US markets.

WeWork have extended their partnership (initially piloted in New York) with Feather to 35 US territories. The tie-up, gives members the option to customize their offices with rented furniture.

I know for sure there’s a bunch of movement in this space, and am watching to see who will win over the hearts and imaginations of the 1000s of indie flex spaces that could offer furniture solutions to new and existing members.

h/t Giovanni Palavicini from Avison Young.

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๐Ÿ–Œ One of London’s fav e-commerce coworking brands… rebrands.

Runway East announced a bold new rebrand this week, sharing that as they evolve to support even more businesses, and larger teams from outside of the tech startup industry. Personally, I love the new look and feel.

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๐ŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Alex Ahom chats with Claire Carpenter about The Melting Pot‘s (rollercoaster) journey recently and over the last 14 years.

๐ŸŽง Listen to this

Jamie Russo,ย Amirh Davis and Christina Gutierrez chat about coworking + childcare.

๐ŸŽง Listen to this

Ciaran Delaney, Dave Cairns and Caleb Parker discuss the future of work in a recorded webinar.

๐ŸŽง Listen to this

Frank Cottleย and Nhat Nguyen discuss furnishing the new flexible world of work.ย 

๐ŸŽง Listen to this

๐Ÿ“† Coworking events.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Coworking IDEA online salon.

Oct 20. Rayaworxย is hosting an online call with Johanna Voll to discuss the Coworking IDEA Project. This event will be in German language.ย 

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๐Ÿ’ป 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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๐Ÿ“ธ Coworking + email marketing.

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

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๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ Coworking Europe in Dec.

Dec 1-3. In Vienna and Online.ย 

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๐Ÿ’ผ Coworking jobs.

Find or post coworking jobs for free here.

About TWIC

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

It’s curated by Hector Kolonas and available for free via email or this website with topics and trends being discussed Fridays on Clubhouse at 10:30am Eastern.

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