ThisWeekIn Coworking

36 things you may have missed this week, including founders letters, another AI interface, the community building secret, a better use for Apple Wallet, how to say a few good words about someone, a delicious idea, 3 interesting data set and more.

Do you know how your revenue gets sliced?

Are you sure? Like really really sure?

In Syncaroo’s latest best-practice guide we remind operators to evaluate their Blended Overheads for each sales channel, how when left unchecked spaces have lost money per sale, and how to fix this and cultivate a network of cost-efficient revenue drivers.

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๐ŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

๐Ÿ˜ฏ This is TWIC link 3600! #

This is the 3,600th link I’ve summarized and sent to you all.

It’s not really cheating that the link is to the newsletter’s live stats page. Right?!

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โœŠ Coworking impact.

๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ Representation matters… so please keep showing up #

Alex Young shares the frustrating reality many of you industry leaders face all the damn time – and why answering questions like "what do you actually do" or ignoring condescending responses actually breaks stereotypes and is so crucial for representation.

In short? Keep showing up. Please. You’re all doing great work.

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๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธ Over 30k office tenants logged wellness activites! #

Hopi Stradling shared an astounding summary of Nuveen’s Mindful Momentum week, in that over 30,000 of their tenants logged their new or existing wellness activities.

The gave away a retreat to Canyon Ranch to one of the participants who logged wellness activities and tracked metrics across the country. Imagine… for a second… if all coworking spaces ran a wellness week. Wow.

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๐Ÿ“ฐ Coworking news & views.

๐Ÿคซ The secret to building communities, from a head of community. #

Kasia Triantafelo shares what they’ve learned along their journey in building communities, first at HUBUD in Bali, and then at Running Remote.

Spoiler: "So, if anyone is asking me how to build a community, my unequivocal answer is to listen to your members."

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๐Ÿ“จ Gotta love a good Founders Letter #

I’m a big fan of founders who pen (or you know… type) open letters to their stakeholders and the wider community. In Freddie Fforde’s letter for 2024, he shares thoughts on Work-Near-Home’s progress and hints at what we can expect from Patch this year.

It’s a fantastic way to align mission, vision, and report on expected and actual impact to old and new team members, members, alumni, investors, partners, vendors and neighboring businesses.

P.S. If you write letters like these, please share them with us. If not, why not?

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๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portuguese brand puts member benefits front and center #

IDEA Spaces share how they’ve established over 45 partnerships to secure local perks and benefits for their members across hospitality, beauty and fashion, fitness, health, entertainment, and beyond.

Throughout my coworking career I’ve remained really bullish on the value of great member perks and benefits. But what do you think? Worth the effort? Not? Are member perks in or out of your membership strategies in 2024? Share your thoughts in a reply or via the discussion link.

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๐Ÿก A look behind the scenes of growing suburban operator TailoredSpace #

David Levitt shares a Q&A with Drew Sanden about TailoredSpace and their growth plans within and through suburban markets.

The soft-gated piece in Commercial Observer looks at the 9-location 5-year-old coworking brand (and it’s pared-down version SimplerSpace with 3 locations) and how the firm follows a ‘really disciplined approach to growth, which starts with a detailed understanding of who our customers are’.

The firm also focusses on growing through being a service provider to landlords, as oppose to the more traditional ‘rent arbitrage’ model.

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๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ Whose opinions don’t we usually hear about WeWork? #

Their members. At least their happy members.

It’s very interesting to read thoughts like Matt Giffune’s 10 year of experience as a WeWork member. Even with buildings closing, and having to relocate, twice – the local team in Boston always did right by them.

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๐ŸŽค Ever asked to say a few words to intro someone? #

Oli Barrett shares 7 tips for nailing the sometimes-awkward moment of having to introduce someone at an event, office gathering or social occasion. Have been in enough coworking-related and in-coworking events to see these ‘few words’ fizzle out or set up the speaker or guest on the wrong foot. Hopefully these can help you, your event coordinators and your members make superb intros every single time.

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๐Ÿฅซ What is the secret sauce of coworking spaces? #

Jamie Dundas is in the newsletter a second time this week! This time I loved his simple post sharing what the secret sauce of their coworking spaces is.

Spoiler alert: It’s hiring people who love people. Love it!

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๐Ÿช Do you have cookie-o-clock? #

In a world of increasingly amenitized office world, Jamie Dundas reminds us that operators can get creative with how they delight members. Their delicious idea?

Cookie Oโ€™Clock is the time of the day when they don their baker’s aprons and hats, put some cookies in the oven, then distribute them to hungry Hanbury Hall members. Yum!

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๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Now THAT is an amenity! #

Kayley DiCicco shares a short video of what a Mother’s Room at EXPANSIVE looks like.

If your space has amenities like this, do you have ANY idea how many employees want spaces like this? Market them to HR departments. Market them to execs. Market them to every single corporate employee you can reach.

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๐Ÿคฉ A beautiful space with a fun story #

Katie Rice shares a bit of backstory into why the Office Space In Town’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed building is not as random as it may first seem.

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๐Ÿฆ‹ A beautiful flex space transformation #

Helen Bolton shares some before and after snaps of the inspiring transformation of a picturesque building into the gorgeous Mill House Wooburn.

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๐Ÿ’ป Coworking technology.

๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช The German Coworking Map gets relaunched #

German Coworking Federation member Thomas Wick and his team have been actively building and maintaining the map of 990+ coworking spaces across the country.

I love that it’s fed from multiple sources and is actively maintained, and something I feel a lot of other national alliances will strive towards. I also believe listing is completely free.

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๐Ÿ Apple Wallet tapping coming to meeting rooms too. #

Michael Przytula shares a video of John Wang from IAdea showing off their meeting room screens that allow for rapid check-ins using Apple Wallet Digital ID.

We’ve been following what Apple + access control for a little while now (see this in 2022, and this in 2021) but this shows the next piece of the puzzle, where we shift from using mobile phones to do more than ‘just’ get in or out of the office or pay for lunch.

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โ˜‘๏ธ Online brokerage adds KYC compliance as built-in feature #

Ramon ten Tije shares (in Dutch) how flexado built in checks to make it easier for 4,500 locations to provide 10k companies with serviced addresses, while staying compliant with applicable regulations.

I’m 100% convinced we’ll see more and more compliance functionality and integrations across industry tech stacks. 110% actually.

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๐Ÿค– Another hint at how AI-powered booking interfaces may work #

Harry Wilson Hallberg shares some interesting thoughts and mockups about what the future of flex space booking, utilization and interfaces may look like.

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๐Ÿ“ˆ Coworking data.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ US gets a National Zoning Atlas #

"The fully-integrated National Zoning Atlas has launched! As of today, this first-of-its-kind map enables 33 million peopleโ€”from Baltimore to Nashville to Honoluluโ€”to see their communityโ€™s zoning (+ many more jurisdictions on the way!)."

_Over 320 analysts from 30+ states contributed to the effort, which provides an unprecedented look at the legal constraints around housing developments. With a little bit of creativity, it may also give a very interesting view into where coworking spaces could be helpful. _

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๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ What do coworking operators and mangers do all day? #

Coworks did a pretty sizable survey of operators and managers to find out exactly how they spent their time, how they wish they spent their time, and what tools they use, among other questions. Here is the ungated, full report.

Summary: 84.3% of community managers love interacting with members, but only 15.6% of their time is actually spent on member-related tasks, with the rest of the day being spent on marketing (18.5%), ops (40.6%) and facilities (25%) tasks. Oh yea 71% said better software and tools would help them run more efficiently.

The report also looks at respondents’ biggest pain points, inventory spread, marketing channels, integrated services and conversion tactics.

– Shared by Lauren

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง London desk rates stabilize, despite surge in supply #

There’s a whisper of revival in the London desk rates, edging up 2.6% to ยฃ625 per desk in the most recent quarter. Moreover, we’ve witnessed a remarkable swell in inventory, surging 43% (a whopping 1.5 million sq ft) since the start of 2023.

What’s fueling this unexpected upswing? Though the challenging economic atmosphere has definitely played a role in the growth of new inventory from existing Coworking and Serviced Offices, there’s also been a remarkable influx of new managed spaces entering the market from companies such as Storey, InfinitSpace, Kitt, and Workplace Plus, acting on behalf of traditional landlords.

These new Managed Offices represented a sizeable 44% or 669k sq ft of all new inventory in 2023, despite only contributing to 23% of all accessible inventory on Rubberdesk at the dawn of the year. In contrast, supply of Serviced Offices chipped in with 56% of new inventory or 834k sq ft over the identical time span.

– Shared by Tom Petryshen

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๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Irish WeWork profits climb #

Business Post shares that accounts filed by eight subsidiaries of WeWork show their Irish operations booked combined losses of close to โ‚ฌ7.6M in 2022 (2x the losses from 2021). However almost all the losses were tied to a lease in central Dublin, which was terminated as part of their firms "global operational restructuring efforts".

Excluding that holding company (which recorded a pre-tax loss of over โ‚ฌ12.9M in 2022 and has now entered an agreement to terminate that lease) the other 7 subsidiaries logged a combined operating profit of almost โ‚ฌ5M in 2022, with a 20% bump in topline revenue to โ‚ฌ45M.

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๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ Quick survey on community strategies #

Irmak Dalgรผn is running a 15-min survey on community strategies within coworking spaces as part of their academic research.

The results will be shared with everyone who contributes, submitted to the CoworkingLibrary and then shared here in TWIC too.

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๐Ÿค Coworking market moves.

๐Ÿค” Did IWG quietly acquire a local London operator? #

In what is one of the weirdest press releases of the last few years, IWG announced the "addition of 3 new locations in London… as a result of a partnership with HomeWork Workspace, which signed a management agreement with IWG".

"HomeWorkโ€™s owners said it decided to partner with IWG to capitalise on the rapidly expanding demand for hybrid working and maximise the return on its real estate space."

I really really dislike sharing any gated content, but this is legit the only mention of this ANYWHERE online. Even official channels point to this. I’ll try get more info for you all by next week…

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๐Ÿ†• San Antonio gets a Common Desk #

Entrada Partners shared that they’re on the verge of opening the first Common Desk in downtown San Antonio within their own building. The 20k sqft location spans the third floor of the building and got a $1M+ makeover as part of the fit out.

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๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Whoorks changes hands and returns to previous MD. #

Coworking Europe shares that French coworking brand Whoorks owned by construction group Legendre, is to be sold to Nexhos, the company of Pascal Martin, former Legendre Group’s MD. According to the news, Legendre’s coliving brand Whoo is also part of the transaction. Interestingly the firm hires 90 people and had revenues of โ‚ฌ35M.

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๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ Cubo expands with additional 20k sqft in Scotland #

According to TheBusinessDesk, Cubo have acquired 20k sqft from Forma Real Estate Fund to launch a 350 desk location. This would be their second location in the country.

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๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Polish operator expands with second location #

Coworking Europe shares news that THE SHIRE, a new-ish higher-end Polish operator backed by Devonshire Investment Group, are expanding across the country. Their second location is a 16,145 sqft space in Warsaw and set to open in April 2024. Following that they’ve got plans for additional locations in Poznan and Wroclaw.

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๐ŸŒ Investor opens shared workspace hub in San Francisco #

Alice Bentinck shares that Entrepreneur First are opening a shared hub for their portfolio companies to work from, be connected to advisors and attend weekly events. This is an interesting returning trend where investors extend access to workspace as part of their differentiator.

As competition for early-stage deals turns up, many investors are looking for how else they can add value – this presents an interesting opportunity for flex spaces and space operators. Go get it!

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โœ‚๏ธ Convene segments brands and converts specific locations #

EventIndustryNews reports that Convene are segmenting the brands to make the distinction clearer between their offerings. As part of this move 4 etc.venues locations are being converted to Convene locations.

Market positioning, especially within multibrand networks, are a big focus this year. This will create ripples for all operators as competition for keywords and budgets get diluted across offerings.

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Urban MBA launch edtech business hub in Hackney #

Urban MBA, the University for Street Entrepreneurs has signed a lease with landlord Powis Street Enterprises for its Ed-tech Business Hub at 3 Wenlock Street for 3 years. Powered by technologywithin, the 4,680 sq. ft (435 sq. m) unit will become the HQ for the charity, for students and alumni alike to use the hub to elevate their business. Spread across two floors, the space will be divided up into a podcast space, education and training rooms, acceleration hubs, along with a tech hub for AI/VR along with breakout space and coworking desks. Tech enabled, the charity and its space is catering for a new generation of businesses from fashion to metaverse communities, from NFT creation to data-mining and e-gaming.

Kofi Oppong, CEO of Urban MBA comments, โ€œThis is a long time coming! We have been looking for the right space to further our programmes at Urban MBA, and here we are. We are on a mission to shake up the education system using training and education tools that engage and support minority-led businesses in particular. Mirza and James our landlords have supported us with an affordable lease in a quality, central London location moments from Londonโ€™s OG tech hub; this is our platform to elevate our offer.โ€

– Shared by Aceil

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๐ŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Giovanni Palavicini chats with Frank Cottle about recent trends, and increasing landlord involvement in the coworking industry on the Future of Work podcast.

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Peter Block and Bernie Mitchell discuss the importance of creating meaningful conversations among coworkers and how rearranging physical spaces can promote social interactions on the Coworking Values podcast.

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Christophe Fahle discusses the overlap between coworking hubs and decentralized educational campuses with Serj Hunt on the City as a School YouTube channel.

๐ŸŽง Listen to this.
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John Wallace from Workbox discusses landlord partnerships, knowing who to serve and location takeovers with Gio and Jamie on the Flex Uncensored podcast.

๐ŸŽง Listen to this.
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Daniella Cornue and Jamie Russo discuss Le Village and the childcare + coworking model on the Everything Coworking podcast

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Enrico Sanna and Jamie Hodari, CEOs of The Office Group and Industrious, discuss the flex space office market in the wake of WeWorkโ€™s high-profile bankruptcy on CBRE’s podcast, The Weekly Take.

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About This.

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

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๐Ÿ’ซ Who's hiring?

(๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง) Patch are hiring a Community and Member in Bournemouth, UK

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(๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง) Patch are hiring a Community & Events Executive in Bournemouth, UK

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(๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง) Clockwise Offices are hiring a Community Coordinator in Leeds, UK

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Other Summaries.

Week 24, 2024

This week we meet WeWork’s new leadership, the impact of coworking scholarships, the first Undercurrents trend, a coworking secret, hyper-targeted content, survey data from Spain, revenue numbers from Romania and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 23, 2024

This week we explore Chicago’s $10M bet on coworking, Workbox’s big raise, going from CM to CEO, a dogs-eye tour, tennis, placemaking, who is making 70% of their profit from VOs, data from German and Spanish markets, summer promos and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 22, 2024

This week we explore if 95% flex occupancy is too high, the operator who saw 86% revenue growth. brokerage red flags, a superb drone tour, 3 warnings for operators, micro gyms, some local SEO tips, 5 market moves and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 21, 2024

Laptop squatters, rural coworking in South Africa, expanding into co-living, a sample SOP, a WIRED article on hyperlocal coworking, more fractional office moves, what’s Microsoft doing, and 18ish other things you may have missed This Week In Coworking.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.