ThisWeekIn Coworking

Here are 39 things you may have missed this week including if coworking is worth €10k per employee, that $1 building transaction, chronoworking, "coworking is dead", a two-tier system, an NZ market snapshot, how to kickstart delegation and more. 

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✊ Coworking impact.

🇵🇹 How a Fab Lab in Porto pushes innovation in sustainability #

Christian Schmitz shares an interview with Irena Übler, a product designer and long-time member of Opo’Lab, about their work and the impact of having access to a shared workspace and fabrication laboratory (fab lab).

The fab lab is located in Porto, and was visited by various coworking leaders in the recent ‘bike tour‘ following a local conference.

👉 Read this.
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🙋🏾‍♀️ BIPOC Coworking Alliance goes all in for The Summit #

DeShawn Brown shares an update on the BIPOC Coworking Alliance (which soft-launched in 2023) and why they’re looking to do even more alongside other coworking alliances and community leaders who will be attending the 2024 Coworking Alliance Summit.

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📰 Coworking news & views.

📄 6 steps to kickstart delegation in your coworking space #

Abigail Schilling shares how flex space operators who often find themselves as the bottlenecks holding back growth and other success, can tap into the power of efficient delegation to get more done.

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👍 A big benefit of remote work…as told by remote workers. #

Brittni Ralston shares that almost paradoxically one of the biggest benefits of remote working is ‘connection’. By sharing that it was the only way a "girl from Florida living in Italy and this girl from the Ukraine living in Slovakia formed such a close friendship", as opposed to being forced into a specific office.

Pad this with all the other awesome people remote workers meet and mix with at coworking spaces, I’d have to agree that connections is actually big benefit of remote working.

👉 Read this.
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🤖 Microsoft to launch AI hub in Lisbon #

Filipa Pinto de Carvalho shares how Microsoft and Unicorn Factory Lisboa (a platform of programs and hubs envisioned by the Lisbon City Council) are partnering up to launch an AI Innovation Factory, as part of the city’s goal of establishing itself as a strong European technology hub and hotbed for startups and entrepreneurs.

Is your city or business ramping up support for AI businesses? If not, why not? If so, let us know!

👉 Read this.
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🌔 How the ‘chronoworking’ trend may affect your coworking space #

Forbes contributor David Morel digs into a new workforce trend called ‘chronoworking’ which he states "aims to fit work schedules around an individual’s circadian rhythm and optimum times of productivity, rather than the traditional 9 to 5 model." The trend which was coined by Ellen Scott, involves the re-evaluating of when we work as a natural evolution of the discussions around workplace wellbeing.

So what-the-fudge does this have to do with your space? If it does get adoption, and firms do offer different working schedules and times, access to your space will have to adapt or lose remote workers to spaces that do.

👉 Read this.
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🤺 Bamboo CEO shares 4 trends they follow to stay competitive #

Co-Founder and CEO of Bamboo, Amanda Lewan, shares 4 trends they’re following to stay competitive and to set themselves apart from the rest of the growing world of coworking spaces.

Spoiler: It’s all about hospitality and building a thriving community noting that it boils down to programming engaging experiences, embracing local culture and being thoughtful about how to merge wellness and well-being into your overall offerings.

– Shared by Asen

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⭐️ Has flex become a two-tier system? #

Daniel White from CBRE makes the case that the flex office sector has become a two-tier market. Using data from their recent Flex Market Update, it’s noted that higher-prices spaces in London are sitting at 85-100% occupancy, where ‘no-fills’ spaces are seeing 35-55% vacancies.

It’s an interesting way to look at it, but I believe that there’s going to be more than 2 tiers, with flex space ratings more akin to the "star system" for hotels, than the "Michelin star" system for restaurants.

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🎥 A few techniques to make your next vids pop #

Graham Hussey and the Dream Factory share a fun video looking at the different film making techniques that can be used in filming promo or social media content.

I’m such a fan of what Dream Factory do btw, a flat fee for 12 months of content – anyone else you know doing something like that?

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🏛️ Coworking in Congress?! #

David A. Singer shares that Congress are experimenting with leveraging coworking to break down (some of) the rigid partisan separations through "Staff Collaborations Space".

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💻 Coworking technology.

🧑‍💻 Another flex operator shifts over to “SaaS for flex operators” #

Christophe Courtin shares the launch of SAAS Office, a software suite for operators of coworking and flex spaces.

Christophe, who is also the Founder & CEO of FLEX-O, who you may remember recently opened their 16th location, notes that "operators face major challenges due to the fragmentation of software solutions" as one of the motivations behind launching a new tech solution.

👉 Read this.
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🗓️ Platform adds “price scheduling” for flex contracts #

Nexudus shared a new way for operators to manage price modifications on existing contracts, using what they’re calling "smart price scheduling". Using this, operators can set price increases/decreases onto contracts for upcoming dates up to 10-years in the future.

Having worked with a tonne of operators trying to sticky-tape solutions together for more complex deals, this is a good first-move from one of the industry’s biggest platforms. I’m certain others will, or have already, added similar flexibility into contracts.

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📈 Coworking data.

🇳🇿 State of coworking in NZ, according to 75% of the market #

The recent SharedSpace.co.nz survey got responses from 75% of the local industry operators. The results were compiled into a 2024 Market Report on coworking and flex workspaces in New Zealand.

Overview is that there are 194 spaces in NZ, averaging around 9,580 sqft in size, covering just over 1.8M sqft of total space, offering permanent desks at NZ$645 per month and private offices at NZ$837 per person per month on average.

As for market size and utilization, the local market has seen an average 22% y-o-y growth rate in number of spaces since 2013, with 56% of operators planning on expansion within the next 2 years. 82% of operators are locally owned, with 18% being international brands. Of the 102 operators, 68 operate one space, where 37 are multi-location.

I could go on and on, but it’s a fantastic and rich data set! Thanks Matt Knight for sharing an exclusive ungated report link for TWIC subscribers.

👉 Read this.
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👏 According to lock data coworking spaces have above average occupancy #

Bernie Mehl shares that Kisi have launched their Office Occupancy Index, which benchmarks the office occupancy rate by dividing the number of all daily unique unlocks by the maximum office capacity number.

At time of curation the US country-wide workweek average occupancy sat at 51.24%, with Wednesdays seeing the most foot traffic with 57.44% average occupancy. Most interestingly for you, is that based on office industry "coworking & bookable spaces" came in second highest with a 69.55% average (following "Agriculture & agribusiness", which I assume includes bio labs with 72.39%). We’re followed by "fitness & wellness" spaces (58.1%) and "manufacturing & distribution" (58.71%) – both of which have in-person utilization being a little necessary to function.

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🌎 What desk-based workers in 9 countries have to say #

MillerKnoll shared their Global Workplace Assessment, for which they surveyed 4,815 desk-based workers in US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Brazil, India, Germany and the UK in August 2023. Participants rated their current workplaces across a range of factors using a 5-point scale.

Key takeaways are: most companies had fully in-office policies (49%), where 37.4% worked for cos with hybrid setups (and spent almost half their week in the office) and 13.6% were fully remote. Surprisingly it wasn’t the long commutes that kept people away from offices with those who live over 60 mins from their offices only spend slightly less time there than those who live within 15 mins commute (2.25 days/week vs 2.59).

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📉 Four drivers of the dislocation of office real estate since mid-2000s #

Lisa Picard shares an interesting set of data that shows that the dislocation in office real estate as an investment class actually began in the 2000s. Noting declining lease renewals starting in 2013, and whilst the situation was accelerated by the pandemic, the root causes started with tech shifts that enabled organizations flexibility to relocate offices.

The four examples given are mobile computing (laptops in early 2000s, smartphones 2007), cloud software (O365 in 2011 and GSuite in 2006), WiFI and VoIP (early 2000s) and team software (Skype in 2003 and Slack in 2015). The post also shares a graph looking at the declining REIT office tenant retention rates since 2013.

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🇫🇷 What creates a productivity gain of 16%, or €11,000 per year? #

Coworking. Coworking does. At least that’s what the data collected by Asterès and the Flex Office Think Tank points towards. 540 desk-based workers were surveyed, and asked to estimate (on a scale of -5 to +5) the impact that coworking has had across eleven variables relating to satisfaction and efficiency at work.

Asterès then used data from five other papers to establish a correlation between well-being at work and productivity, and applying the resulting coefficient to estimate the change in productivity. Comparing that to the average income they calculated the increase in renumeration this would cause.

Other interesting facts are that for female coworkers saw their average situation at work increase by +0.63 thanks to coworking, compared to +0.47 for men (on a scale of -5 to +5). The most significant improvement concerns well-being at work which came in at +1.27 on the same scale.

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🤝 Coworking market moves.

💵 A closer look at that $1.00 building transaction #

This story was shared widely this week, with most folks (understandably) shook that a Canadian pension fund CPPIB sold their stake in a Manhattan office redevelopment project for ONE DOLLAR.

Side-stepping what this means for the relationship (or lack thereof) between capital markets and sub-prime office buildings for a second, it’s worth noting 3 things. First, the firm sold their 20% stake to their partner in the project (Boston Properties) after deploying $71M. Secondly, doing so released them from an obligation to commit another $46M. And thirdly, this was one of many transactions undertaken by CPPIB (most at less steep discounts), and came with a statement that the fund was ‘not actively backing away from offices’.

Now, it’s still news. And will definitely send shockwaves through the capital markets. But they aren’t dropping all their office stock. Yet?

👉 Read this.
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🇬🇧 Space operator announces further investment in Belfast #

Jonathan Weinbrenn shares that through a new partnership BE.Spoke will be deliver another 23k sqft of "human centric plug and play, customisable space".

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🤷‍♀️ “We’ve said it since 2016, coworking is dead” #

That quote is an "interesting" way to share that Factory Berline (a curated coworking community) is changing their venue from their current location back to their original location.

Also one of the first LinkedIn posts that have ever been submitted where comments have been turned off, so I couldn’t get any more info or follow up on the quote.

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🇬🇧 Youth workshop firm and local coworking space partner up #

Lawrence Tijjani shares that Just A Guy CIC have partnered with Oru Space to bring empowering workshops to Sutton’s youth.

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🇬🇧 Hybrid hotel firm eyes London expansion with key hire #

Zoku shared that Patrick Nelson (prev. head of international real estate at WeWork) has joined their Growth & Innovation team as they gear up for a launch in London.

ICYMI: The firm runs "home/office hybrid" properties in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Vienna, and Paris.

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⏰ Guess who’s also getting into the rev-share agreement game? #

Jacob Bates notes that WeWork have "finally" (paraphrased) figured out rev share agreements can be brought into the flex space mix.

The firm "announced today three new lease assumptions in the U.S. as part of its strategic restructuring process and ongoing negotiations with its landlords", which included "the first alternative lease structure the company has reached during he process". The alt lease structure is a rev share agreement with American Asset Trust who owns 830 NE Holladay St in Portland.

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🛍️ Operator to launch 8.6k sqft space in Romanian mall #

V7 Startup Studio, a coworking operator in Bucharest are opening an 800sqm coworking space in Palas Iași, a mixed-use complex and shopping mall. The firm also has plans to expand the space to 21.5k sqft (2k sqm) by the end of 2025.

👉 Read this.
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🇷🇴 Betahaus expands to Bucharest #

The Recursive shares that Betahaus are launching a new location in Bucharest in partnership with GTC Group. The space will span 2 floors, offer 170 seats.

👉 Read this.
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🏨 Hotel with coworking connection expands to Italy #

TRIBE hotels launched their first Italian location with a space in Milano Malpensa.

Why is a hotel in a coworking newsletter? Well let me tell you: a signature feature of hotel is the central Social Hub in every hotel, which in Milan encompasses a café-meets-bar concept, a Grab & Co Corner, as well as lounge and freely accessible coworking spots.

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☀️ Former WeWork space in Miami becomes a Venture X #

Vast Coworking Group signed a lease for a former WeWork space in Downtown Miami and will be converting 20,253 sqft of the building’s 7th, 8th, and 9th floors into a Venture X location.

– Shared by Caitlin

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🇩🇪 Mindspace continues expansion in Germany #

Tatiana Shkuta shares that the new location at Grünstraße in Stilwek is now officially open. It’s the firms 12th location in Germany (making this their largest operating market).

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✂️ Network opens location in Duluth, GA #

THRIVE launched their Suwanee location in a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

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🍔 Did this founder pay under $5 for workspace, lunch and a drink? #

James Coughlan, founder of reef – an alternative workplace platform and subscription, shares how he leveraged their subscription, partner lunch and drink offer, to get all 3 for £3.49 (around $4.42).

Definitely not the first time we’ve seen platforms like this, but looking at the comments the main complaint was that they didn’t have any locations closer to where commenters were based. Someone will get ‘alternative workspaces’ right, could it be this team? As an aside, you’re partnering up with local fav spots to give your members tasty food and beverage deals, right?!

👉 Read this.
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🎙 Coworking conversations.

Jeannine van der Linden joins Emily Breeder on the Coworking Values Podcast’s Accessibility Track to dive into the ECA IDEA Handbook as a the blueprint for accessible coworking, founder biases, unconscious choices and the benefits of coworking spaces that are genuinely accessible.

🎧 Listen to this.
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MaryAnne Gilmartin joins Brad Hargreaves on the Thesis Driven Leader Series podcast to discuss the future of NYC, placemaking and a 177 acre project in Baltimore.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Jean-Yves Huwart joins Jamie and Gio on the Flex Uncensored podcast to discuss coworking trends and why the 2024 Europe Conference is headed to Sofia, Bulgaria.

🎧 Listen to this.
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John Wallace from Workbox chatted with Anastacia Anderson from The Instant Group about the commercialization of the flex office industry and why office owners and operators need to ‘speak the same language’ around valuations and raising capital.

🎧 Listen to this.
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📆 Coworking events.

👩‍💻 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 OfficeRnD’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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👩‍💻 The 2024 Summit #

Mar 6: The 4th annual Coworking Alliance Summit returns, bringing together cooperative coworking leaders from around the world. (P.S. Members of any coworking alliance can grab complimentary tickets to participate.)

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🤗 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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🚀 Growth strategies for flex spaces #

Mar 15: Zoe Ellis-Moore is hosting a free webinar to share some of her top tips for growth and other insights into the flex work sector.

👉 Read this.
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🇺🇸 GCUC in SLC #

Apr 9-11: ICYMI, The next GCUC in North America is in Salt Lake City in April for 3 days. Speakers and the agenda have now been announced too.

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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.

👉 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,  the platform driving £200k in bookings, WeWork’s target date, Vast’s 2023 numbers, a new IPO and more.

👉 Read this.

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.

👉 Read this.

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.

👉 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. 

👉 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.

👉 Read this.

Week 8, 2024

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

👉 Read this.

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.

👉 Read this.

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.

👉 Read this.

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.

👉 Read this.