ThisWeekIn Coworking

33 things you may have missed this week including dynamic pricing, AI bot risks, a new CRE fund, sports, arts and data drops.

You’re invited! Would you join us at the next Coworking Alliance Summit on March 6, 2024?

We’re bringing together the industry’s cooperative community and business leaders, to go deep into how Collective Ownership is changing coworking businesses, brands, and narratives across the world. We’d love to learn with and from you.

PS members of ANY coworking alliance can get complimentary passes, using their discount code.

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๐ŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

๐ŸŽ‚ Groundswell Coworking turned 5! #

Congrats Adam Liefl and Groundswell community!

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โœŠ Coworking impact.

๐Ÿค— How one flex space operator changed 139 lives. #

Josรฉ Rubio shares some data from the Spacemade and Beam partnership, showing how the firm has helped 91 people get into work, 45 people supported into housing and ยฃ2,100 given directly to members.

ICYMI: Beam is an award-winning Tech for Good platform that supports homeless people and refugees into stable jobs and homes. I do love how they share data on just how far these partnerships go in helping those who need it.

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๐Ÿ“ฐ Coworking news & views.

๐Ÿชง What if members could own their desk or office? #

Christoph Fahle poses and interesting thought experiment – what if members could buy (and easily trade/swap/rent-back) their offices or desks from workspace operators or brands?

It’s an interesting idea for sure, and I love me some public thinking out loud. Of course it could be powered by blockchain, but would need a huge shift in ownership models, taxation, operating agreements and figuring out how to cover other ongoing shared expenses – whilst still making it more affordable/useful than a month-to-month membership.

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๐Ÿ“ Paddle ball + coworking pops onto the radar #

In Como, Italy some enterprising folk are launching "Padel Resort" for fans of paddleboard the growing sport (similar in a bunch of ways to pickleball) which also features a coworking space (and a Maserati dealership) alongside other traditional resort amenities.

Interesting as we’re already seeing pickleball coworking/membership clubs popping up, and spaces adding courts as amenities.

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๐Ÿ€ Former NBA player launches coworking space in Denver #

Paul Shirley (who played ball for the Chicago Bulls, the Atlanta Hawks, and the Phoenix Suns) launched a coworking space called The Process in part to help creatives break down huge, open-ended projects. And they’d know, writing "Can I Keep My Jersey?" was one such project, that took incremental work over a long time to come to fruition.

The coworking space idea actually got solidified after hosting ‘social work sessions’ in the evenings at a loaned sandwich shop started to attract 17+ people per session.

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๐Ÿ”ต The coworking sweet spot #

Cat Johnson reminds us where the coworking sweet spot sits, and why the greatest space for you may not be the greatest for me. And that’s not only ok, it’s great. Great!

(spoiler: right at the intersection of ‘great space’ and ‘great community’)

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๐ŸŽผ New hub launches to support local musicians, artists and creatives #

Richard Craver shares the backstory of The CMPND, a collaborative hub focussed on connecting entrepreneurs in the arts, entertainment and other creative fields. Founded by Spencer Aubrey, Montelle Lemon and Alec Robinette, the business features coworking space, music and video studios, podcast rooms and more โ€” with monthly memberships ranging from $69 to $349.

"We want to see creatives flourish in ways that align with their art, and weโ€™re here to be a resource for the community along that journey." That’s a strong Why!

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๐Ÿ™ƒ When’s the last time you toured spaces as a broker would? #

Christoph Fahle shared another good post earlier this week sharing 6 new observations about coworking and the options available to businesses after spending a couple of days touring spaces with One Coworking clients, like a broker would.

Seeing coworking through their eyes, he saw how important location is (vs building and concepts), the value of amenities like showers to decision-makers, the power of moments, when the flex experience starts, the per-desk sizing confusion and how flexible budgets actually are.

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๐Ÿ”ฅ Dynamic pricing models & engines are heating up #

Nexudus shares more info about how their Dynamic Pricing module and systems work, looking at things like demand prediction based on historical data, surcharges for last minute requests and capacity-based pricing (like how flights get more expensive when there’s less tickets left).

This is definitely a swelling undercurrent trend we’ve been following in these newsletters as we explore the power of data-driven (if not always AI-powered) dynamic pricing and it’s impact on revenues, and sentiment, across the coworking industry. Given that some firms objections to using flex space is that pricing is inherently flexible and can fluctuate, I wonder if this will drive away any larger flex-curious employers.

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๐Ÿ“ˆ 7 tips for building successful coworking businesses in 2024 #

Miro Miroslav from officernd shared a comprehensive guide sharing 7 essential strategies to craft a growing coworking business in 2024.

The tips are helpful for both seasoned operators and newcomers to the coworking scene, and include defining ICPs, preparing hero products, having a hyperlocal strategy, exploring the ‘burbs, types of funding and others.

– Shared by Asen

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๐Ÿ“ A guide to running event spaces within your coworking business #

The andcards team share a new guide looking at how to plan event space amenities, design your event space, run the event-side of the business, promote the event space, grow the revenue and engage attendees with the rest of your coworking network.

– Shared by Helga

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๐Ÿ’ป Coworking technology.

๐Ÿคธโ€โ™€๏ธ How one flex space platform zigged for corporate accounts #

Clark Jacobs shares that FlexDesks has zigged when other zagged, allowing corporations to manage their traditional portfolios within their platform, measured alongside and against utilization data and eliminating manual data collection processes.

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๐Ÿค– Court forces airline to honor AI chatbot’s incorrect policy info #

What happens if your chat bot gets things like pricing, policies and guidance wrong? Well according to this recent court case in Canada, you’re on the hook for whatever your chatbot shares.

If you’ve ever heard me speak about AI, this is one of the three things I always warn operators about when it comes to putting technology that can ‘improvise’ or ‘hallucinate’ between you and your customers. What if they offer a rate you wouldn’t? Or a bundle you hadn’t thought of? Or provide incorrect, and potentially illegal or noncompliant recommendations?!

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๐ŸŽ’ Hybrid work platform rolls out their 3rd party booking layer #

The integration between Kadence and Liquidspace is now live, and helping organizations’ employees using the workforce management platform to book internal and third-party spaces to work and meet in. This follows the announcement from both firms in week 20, 2023, and included a full rebuild of the booking experience.

Expect to see more booking interfaces coming into other hybrid-enabling software, especially as implementation & integration timeframes are coming down, fast.

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๐Ÿ“ˆ Coworking data.

๐Ÿฌ Are we all misunderstanding US office market vacancy rates? #

Greg Meyer from Brookfield Properties digs into why vacancy rates in the US office market are so misunderstood. Short story: oversupply of outdated, obsolete office buildings, and an undersupply of modern offices that check off todays business’ needs.

The data drop digs into the state of the US office market, where oversupply came from, the impact of the pandemic, and a call to action.

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๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช A look at the flex market in Dublin (with their 7% vacancy rate) #

CBRE (via Megan Burke and Billy Hodges) share results from a recent survey of flex space operators in the Irish market. Key takeaways are that in Dublin: businesses are still transitioning towards hybrid working arrangements and that higher fit-out & financing costs are pushing decision-makers away from options with capex requirements.

In Dec 2023, vacancy across flex operator porfolios sat at just 7%, with rates sitting at โ‚ฌ600-โ‚ฌ900 per month being achieved in prime spaces. 101k sqft of additional flex space is coming onto the market in 2024.

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Average London desk rate soars 8.8% from this time last year #

The Instant Group share some data around how London’s flex space market is evolving to rising demand and changing landlord positioning.

Even through transacted rates remained pretty stable throughout 2023, coworking spaces did feel downward pressure on their rates. But as of Jan ’24, the "average transacted desk rate" in London rose 8.8% from last year, to ยฃ514 p/m (with premium spaces seeing prices skyrocket to ยฃ1,170 p/m). The average occupancy level for flex spaces also jumped from 81% in Q3/23 to 83% in Q1/24, with some areas (like Southwark and the City of London) seeing occupancy top 88%.

Client demand was up 10%, and increasingly looking for larger spaces combining private and open-access spaces. Landlords are also even more onboard, with a majority witnessing an uptick in flex demand and 58% anticipating that over 1/4 of their portfolios would transition to flex format by 2030.

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Q4 saw an bump in transactions as UK market proves resilience #

CBRE’s Q4 Flex Market update shares that following a slight slow-down in Q3, the last quarter saw a spike in demand for flex solutions across London and major UK cities.

Retention rates increased, with 60% of businesses places into flex space in 2022 renewing. Even though Flex operators were actively seeking new space in Q4, take-up was approx 150k sqft and lower than forecasted due to friction around management agreements.

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๐Ÿค Coworking market moves.

๐Ÿš๏ธ Office building ‘repositioning’ firm launch new UK investment fund #

Kinrise Real Estate cofounders Samuel Lawson Johnston and George Aberdeen share why they’re launching a new investment fund, Kinrise UK Cities Fund II, to invest in renewing UK cities.

Backstory is that they started CRE investing in 2005, buying and selling on behalf of others for 10 years, then saw great things happening in creative hubs like coworking spaces. So in 2015 they started Kinrise to merge an institutional approach to CRE investing with the creativity and culture of a managed workspace "to create buildings that outperform". To date they’ve invested over ยฃ100M in 12 projects across 5 UK cities.

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง London gets another new flex space brand #

The Howard de Walden Estate has launched their own flex workspace offering called Elmtree. The estate holds 92 acres of Marylebone in central London and partnered with Spacemade to operate the space.

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๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช 1000 Satellites opens 12th location #

Local operator 1000 Satellites celebrated the opening of their new 800 sqm location in Munich-Obersendling alongside property developers Hammer AG and Optima-Aegidius-Group. This is their 12th regional location.

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๐Ÿ–๏ธ More details released on Freedom Works’ 10th location #

Back in 2023 I shared that Freedom Works would be launching their 10th location in sunny seaside town Brighton. This week they shared more details, and the location, of their new hub.

_The 16,323 sqft location at Bartholomew House is setup through a 15-year partnership turnover lease (a form or revenue-share agreement) with Brighton and Hove City Council. _

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โš“๏ธ Spanish operator starts UK expansion #

OneCoWork have announced their first UK location will be in Preston, after being appointed by Branco Capital to operate their coworking center at Winckley Square.

Set to launch in April 2024 after a full refurb, will have a first phase of 300 desks and 4k sqft of communal space, meeting rooms, a gym and kitchens. It’s set to then expand to 500 desks.

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๐Ÿ›ฌ Runway East launching in Birmingham #

Hannah Whidborne and Natasha Guerra both shared the news that Runway East will be landing in Birmingham, UK. The 20k sqft hub will launch in July 2024, be their 10th location, and offer prices starting at ยฃ380+VAT per month for teams sized 3-100.

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๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Impact Hub London launching new Euston location #

Devi Clark shares that Impact Hub London’s new Euston location will be launching this month, offering more workspace, support and opportunities for social and environmental impact organisations, charities, social enterprises and innovators.

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๐Ÿง Residential tech co shares strategic acquisition plan for WeWork #

In a press release Rentberry (a tech company in the residential rental and management space) shared plans to ‘explore the acquisition of WeWork‘. They share that the move, which is backed by VC funds, aims to bring WeWork into the firms "Flexible Living" concept bringing together work and living environments.

I’ve not heard anything from WeWork about this, but I’m certain there’s a lot of interested parties exploring a strategic acquisition here, including Adam Neumann who’s pretty keen on merging residential and working spaces, again. Again.

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๐ŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Sneh Kadakia joins Liz Elam on the GCUC Podcast to discuss differentiation strategies, ‘non-traditional’ coworking spaces, and sustainably catering to diverse audiences.

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Sam Rosen joins Jamie and Gio on the Flex Uncensored podcast to dive into the Deskpass story, what’s changed in coworking tech since 2007, the merger with Breather and who from Industrious has joined their board.

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Seth Rosenblum joined Jamie Russo on the Everything Coworking podcast to dig into diversifying real estate assets, the evolution of long-term leases and how they as owners are rolling out coworking and co-warehousing across their portfolio.

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๐Ÿ“† Coworking events.

๐Ÿค Convo: Increase Networking in Your Coworking Space #

Feb 23: โ€‹How do you encourage members to network and connect? โ€‹Let’s chat about it!

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๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป Essential coworking & flex space trends for 2024 #

Mar 5: Join us to learn the evolving dynamics of coworking and flexible workspaces through expert insights, powered by OfficeRnDโ€™s FlexIndex. Future-proof your workspace by gaining access to critical trends, statistics, and strategies shaping the flex industry in 2024.

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๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป The 2024 Summit #

Mar 6: The 4th annual Coworking Alliance Summit returns, bringing together cooperative coworking leaders from around the world.

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๐Ÿค— Activating coworking spaces as centers for social reconnection #

Mar 13: Loneliness has reached epidemic levels, and it’s affecting how we work and live. Worse, millions of us are still trying to figure out a sustainable approach to remote and hybrid work. Fortunately, coworking spaces are already in the business of belonging. Learn how you can join our effort, so together we can raise awareness of the role your space plays in helping people find connection outside their homes.

– Shared by Tony Bacigalupo

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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.

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

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Other Summaries.

Week 15, 2024

This week we learn about excelling in a community manager role, what a CEO wants to achieve through the FWA, how to celebrate alumni members, a report on who US remote workers are, a strategic health partnership, coworking + resi growing in Europe, 5 new spaces in Nashville, a 10M round and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 14, 2024

This week we see a new way to connect with industry brands, a viral hula hoop video, a 4% annual growth in European flex supply,ย  the platform driving ยฃ200k in bookings, WeWork’s target date, Vast’s 2023 numbers, a new IPO and more.

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Week 13, 2024

32 things you may have missed, including the mental health amenity every single space has, 6 myths assets managers get wrong, the rise of desk-less offices, flex space struggles in Luxembourg, big predictions in India, a potential $1.9B sale, franchise growth and more.

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Week 12, 2024

This week we explore 32 things you may have missed including the growing trend of fractional office bookings, what should replace CSR, time capsules, new flex procurement tools, two 150+ location partnerships, that brand refresh and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 11, 2024

Here are 33 things you may have missed this week including if coworking has lost it’s magic, two rural acquisitions, how one CEO was ‘converted’ to actually like coworking, if office landlords are having their Blockbuster moment, and more.ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 10, 2024

Here are 25 things you may have missed this week including record revenue reported, an invite to celebrate 25 years of coworking, a directory of diverse industry leaders, a superb snail-mail marketing hack, two new data sets, and more.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.

Week 9, 2024

Here are 39 things you may have missed this week including if coworking is worth โ‚ฌ10k per employee, that $1 building transaction, chronoworking, “coworking is dead”, a two-tier system, an NZ market snapshot, how to kickstart delegation and more.ย 

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Week 7, 2024

Here’s 29 things you may have missed including a love story (obviously), the Deskpass-Breather-Industrious tie-up, collective ownership, what 70% of working parents lack, another local “partnership” with IWG, and more.

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Week 6, 2024

This week I share 37 non-Adam things you may have missed this week including viral bar content, a library of things, the USPS, being stuck in 1999, and more.

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Week 5, 2024

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.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Read this.