ICYMI: A look into what may be slowing proptech innovation.
This blog post (and it’s audio version) are almost a decade in the making. In it I share how there’s a huge “reverse salient” that could stop tech innovation in it’s tracks, and how we can work around it.
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Coworking news & views.
🙅 Resource: How NOT to do Google Business Profile posts #
Darren Shaw shares a 30 page guide on how to do Google Posts the right way, and why they’re so different from social media posts.
🤗 A reminder to take the time to be human #
Alora Daunt reminds us just how amazing it can be for people to gather around a kitchen island in a coworking space. Take their advice "take the time to be human with your people".
🏚️ Are spec offices suites still viable in a modern market? #
Dave Cairns and Kane Willmott took a deep dive into comparing Spec Suites (ie fully furnished offices built by a landlord) to a ‘full-stack’ office building.
They look at how landlords are (and should probably) partner with experienced operators and tech/solution implementers to offer so much more than just a space.
🧲 Some firms are turning flex work into hiring magnets. #
Molly Johnson-Jones shared how companies like Spotify, Patagonia, Airbnb, Buffer, Flexa, FARFETCH and Hydrogen group turned their flexwork strategies into effective foundations for hiring.
Should this trend continue (and I believe it will), these companies will want to offer drop in and longer-term spaces to their employees, whilst centrally managing overheads, payments and servicing. This is why ‘corp coworking’ platforms are red hot right now.
🇩🇪 A look at the growing trend of “countryside coworking” #
A local coop-owned German daily newspaper dug into the growing trend of rural coworking across the country. They mention examples like Vierseithof, Coconat, cobot’s Coworking Festival, Unicorn, Blok-O (by St. Oberholz) and LUG2.
🙆 Neurodiversity and its reality in coworking spaces #
Founder and director of Nook Wellness Pods, David O’Coimin, spoke about the reality of neurodiversity in coworking spaces. He also provided some tips and information on how to create a more welcoming environment in coworking spaces for the neurodivergent.
🏴 A look back to 2005, and how an idea became a hub. #
A deep-dive conversation Helga Moreno had with Claire Carpenter about a big idea that became one of the world’s first coworking hubs, The Melting Pot.
💭 On connectivity, connection and the future of the office #
Huckletree’s Gabriela Hersham shares their thoughts on what’s changed for office-workers, the longevity of remote work, and what it means for office or coworking space operators and their communities.
🔻 Shares down 5.5%, even with first-even profitable month #
Reuters reports on a dip in WeWork’s shares last week following the co. forecast a current-quarter revenue of around $64M less than analysts’ expectations. The lower numbers were attributed to lower headcounts at tech firms following recent layoffs affecting certain locations.
The firm did state that Dec ’22 was their first-ever month with an adjusted EBITDA profitability, and it’s worth noting that the Q4 adjusted EBITDA was negative $26M, a mere 9% of the sum from the Q4 2021.
🏅 What can we learn from a group of award-winning restaurants? #
Danny Meyer from Union Square Hospitality Group shares insights with Whitney Burns at Hines about the synergy between hospitality and real estate in a typed up Q&A.
I think every flex space operator should take a read and remember that "people will eventually forget what you did and said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel".
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💻 Coworking technology.
🥞 The stack landlords could use to add flex revenues into their buildings #
Miro Miroslavov from OfficeRnD and Paul Stanton from Proptech Bankers put together a (longer) read on how asset managers can leverage flexibility & tech to drive more revenue into their buildings.
Mentioned are lulafit, OfficeRnD, Valve, Syncaroo, LiquidSpace, PilotoMail, HqO, VTS Rise, Equiem, Brivo, Kisi, Sharry, SwiftConnect, essensys, IronWiFI, isofy and others. A useful list for both indie operators and landlords exploring/implementing flex if you ask me.
⚖️ The office vs a hosted experience #
In a recent interview with The Urban Developer, Brad Krauskopf noted the following about the growing trend of ‘hosted offices’ as flex space is adopted by more corporations:
"A hosted experience is considered, deliberate mix of customer service, tech and amenity to make the office space a destination that people want to come to".
I completely agree that if technology, hospitality and offerings can be packaged in a sustainable way by more operators, they can turn the expected undersupply of flex space into a hugely profitable opportunity.
🔓 Can you demonstrate how safe you are as a data steward? #
Envoy seems to have proven that their software security was not at fault in the Atlassian employees’ data leak (that it was actualy an Atlassian employee credentials’ that got cracked, i.e.).
As a space operator, or as a Prop Tech software vendor, what is your "Data Collective" (or "Data Space" as we will soon say more and more in the EU) strategy, with members of local communities and spaces?
Do your legal and KYC and recovery plans in case of data leak vaguely stop at GDPR’s lowest requirements (at best), or are you going further? We have a new GDPR-like and aligned Swiss law going into force September this year (nLPD). With the latest EU Parliament stance on doubling down against a "Privacy Shield 2.0", thus reinforcing the risk on using US SaaS relying on US cloud services (e.g. using Google Analytics in Europe is already considered illegal, if you need an easy and strong example), I find this conversation so nonexistent it baffles me.
Note from Hector: I agree that this topic should be expanded on, in this week’s discussion as a first, but also with every platform and service as often as possible.
🏡 45% of coworking spaces are in the burbs. #
Roughly 45% of the coworking spaces across the country are now in the suburbs, "with 37 areas across that offer at least 10 coworking locations", according to research by Coworking Café/Yardi, based on their data.
LA tops the list with 361 suburban locations, with Washington DC following in second with 160 coworking spaces.
🆙 Companies bump up spending on flex space and AI. #
Matthew Parsons at Skift reports that according to corp card and expense firm Ramp companies are spending more on coworking and less on business travel.
The report that covers $10B of aggregate spending across 13,000 businesses in Q4 of 2022, showed a 5.7% jump in office spending (making it the 5th fastest growing bucket of spend). Interestingly spending with WeWork increased 90.7% in 2022.
Coworking market moves.
💝 A Valentine’s timed rebrand #
Craig Haggerty announced the new rebrand (and logo, website and look) for Business Cube on Valentine’s day.
A quick question for the BC team, how long did it take (or is it taking) to update the brand assets for 11 locations across all online and offline spots? Anyone know? I’m honestly curious. Please let me know.
🧾 CRE operator adds 18k sqft of flex in Atlanta, GA #
CP Group have shared that they’re expanding their worCPlaces flex offering via 18k sqft in One and Two Ravinia in Atlanta.
🤑 As some spaces dread zig away from picking tech, others zag #
Workbox are running an accelerator to equip, build and fund the next generation of "Future of Work" solutions. This early-stage support program for firms who could impact every coworking and flex space is a great strategic move from a firm growing rapidly and needing the best tech they can get their hands and devices onto.
😅 Another owner-led space switchover, this time in North Texas #
The trend of operators being brought in to rebrand and operator spaces run previously by other brands continues. This week John Arenas shares how Serendipity Labs are being brought in by Gaedeke Group (after a competitive process) to operate a former Venture X space.
🎙 Coworking conversations.
Jenny Schaepper-Uster chats with Nico Vogt (in German) about cofounding Flesk after a decade in coworking on the Mach-dis-Ding podcast.
Tara Everett, Founding President of Canoe Coworking and Founder of Speak Your Truth, talks to Tash Koster-Thomas about how with inclusion and diversity, we are changing people’s mindsets and how they go about their daily lives.
Jamie Russo dives into just how much focus a coworking space should put into being unique or different.
📆 Coworking events.
🤖 Convo: Marketing tools & automations #
Feb 24: Automating your workflow can increase efficiency, productivity, and help get those mundane tasks off of your plate. What are the best tools and automations that work for coworking space operators?
😃 DEI – Beyond the Buzzwords #
Feb 27 & 28: Diversity, equity and inclusion, also known as DEI, are needed to create an empathetic, accepting and progressive working environment in our society. But how do we go beyond the buzzwords?