ThisWeekIn Coworking

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. 

Did you miss our Essential Coworking Trends for 2024 webinar? 

No problem! You can now watch the recorded version on demand and learn about the evolving dynamics of the coworking and flex space industry. You’ll get insights and actionable tips from Craig Baute (Creative Density), Amanda Lewan (Bamboo Detroit), and our very own CMO Samantha Kenney.

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✊ Coworking impact.

🇬🇧 How workspaces can be more accessible to 24% of the UK #

Christian Schmitz and Lucy McInally summarize the recent "Accessible Workspaces: Inclusivity, Language, and the Future of Coworking" panel from the Workspace Design Show.

The post shares insights from panelists Dom Hyams, Jeannine van der Linden, Lucy McInally and led by Bernie Mitchell (who stepped in for David O’Coimin). It looks over how workspaces can (actually) be more accessible, create a feeling of belonging, leveraging transparency, and how "inclusivity starts with a seamless user experience".

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👸🏼 Empowering female leaders via workspace, a social club and more #

Optix shares what it takes to create the next generation of female leaders with insights from Mariska, Fay, Christa, and Fresh of Salon22.

With an opening line that reads "What if women finally had the kind of social club that men have had for decades?", this is a fantastic interview with a team passionate about creating space and support for the next generation of female leaders.

– Shared by Kelly

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🇬🇧 Matching service launches for London charities needing space #

Jules Robertson shared how The London Society are running a campaign and service called FREE SPACE FRIDAYS with the goal of connecting charities who need space to host IRL meetings to ‘socially responsible companies’ who have extra office capacity.

I’m certain there’s a way for impact-focussed coworking spaces to offer under-utilized space to charities, I just wish they asked which days London’s coworking spaces were least busiest.

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📰 Coworking news & views.

🪄 Has coworking lost it’s magic? #

Drew Jones, who used to run Conjuctured in Austin back in 2010, shares some thoughts on some big things that have changed from the early days of coworking. In short, back then many were looking to build coworking communities, not coworking businesses in their cities.

I agree that many flex spaces today are run with revenue, costs and sustainability in mind (they kind of have to, how many of those amazing early brands still operate today?) but strongly disagree that everyone in our industry is purely focussed on just ‘revenue per square foot’. What do you think? Let us know via the discussion link.

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↩️ How one CEO was ‘converted’ regarding coworking #

Sean Johnson shares 10 ways Industrious converted them from thinking "no way" about using coworking for their office location, into admitting that coworking actually "makes a ton of sense".

Reasons shared include that only 20% of the team are in the office on any day; coffee, snacks and vendors are handled; beautiful spaces on flex terms; can flex up/down as needed; no IT stress; multiple locations; and overflow capacity when needed. Could any coworking space have written better copy? I think not!

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🤔 AI asks how coworking can benefit the self employed. #

One of LinkedIn’s AI experiments is a thing they call ‘Collaborative Articles’ in which generative AI is paired up with LinkedIn users to create sort-of guides on 1000s of topics. Folks who post a lot to the platform get requests to submit answers, and it’s arguably ‘good’ for personal branding (if you don’t mind letting a platform and AI you can’t control use and distribute your words – but I digress).

One such article caught my eye, as it was titled "You’re a self-employed individual looking for a workspace. How can coworking spaces benefit you?". It’s an interesting look at how AI generated content (on left of screen) is augmented by user-generated content, but as a geek has me wondering where it gets the questions from… and could they be used as superbly targeted SEO blog posts that your spaces could create.

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📼 How coworking spaces can think about industry collaboration #

Bernie Mitchell shares a quick video for coworking space leaders who see the value in collaborating with other industry leaders (to do together what they cannot achieve alone), but get hung up on the question of "why am I talking to my competition?".

In short: There are literally MILLIONS of people who could benefit from coworking space, many of whom won’t be the right fit for your own space or community. Agreed. I’d go a little further to say that our one shared goal, if we want to take an infinite game view of things, is to keep getting more people interested in, trying out and increasingly utilizing coworking space.

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🌍 Quick recap of what was discussed at The 2024 Summit #

I shared a summary of what was discussed at the 2024 Coworking Alliance Summit, and who was "in the room" if you will.

In short, we dug into land trusts, building multi-brand private/public partnerships, what the opposite of loneliness is, hacks for owning the coworking narrative outside our bubbles, IDEA playbooks, ending the lack of diversity on industry stages, and so much more.

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💻 Coworking technology.

💬 Are we racing towards 24/7 support? #

Andrew Segal shares how Boxer Property leverages an off-shore leasing support team to provide live sales support 24/7. Doing so allows them to fill more of the 13M sqft of office they own, even on a Saturday.

With the proliferation of such services, AI-assisted and fully-blow AI-powered support services, I’m watching closely to see who goes full 247365 and who leverages ‘our humans are sleeping, let’s grab a coffee together in the morning’ as a differentiator, and where everyone else will land in between.

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📱 Deposit-free rental app taps into coworking market #

Samreen Ahmad shares news from Singaporean-based startup Rently, which launched to make renting a room or apartment faster and deposit-free. The firm is piloting filling coworking spaces (as well as ghost kitchens) through the same technology – allowing startups and SMEs to book larger spaces without having to deploy capital for deposits.

Will keep an eye on this one, as I know there’s a few companies in US and UK trying to also drop deposits from the booking equation through insurance-like financial products.

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🗺️ Officially add social media feeds to Google Business Profiles #

Search Engine Journal share that Google have released an update for Google Business Profiles (GBP) that allow owners to connect up to one account per social media platform tho their profile, and have those social media posts show on search and maps results.

This is being rolled out regionally, so hop over to ‘Edit Profile’ -> ‘Business Information’ and click ‘Contact’ to see if there’s a ‘Social Profiles’ section for you to set up.

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📼 Is this the “Blockbuster” moment for office landlords? #

Justin Raymond shares that after meeting 25+ office landlords, some are certainly entering their ‘Blockbuster’ moment, relying on what has always worked and hoping it will start working again. Others, he shares, are way ahead of the pack and exploring how to thrive in what comes next.

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📈 Coworking data.

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🤝 Coworking market moves.

👩‍🎨 Coming soon? Workbox’s new look. #

Collaborative agency Geletka+ teases some of the brand identity work they’ve done for Workbox.

The new look feels quite modern and allows for a unified brand across the various mediums coworking brands need to think about, from external signage to social media, to merch and other internal uses. I wonder when we’ll start to see this branding rolled out.

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🏡 Consolidation comes to rural coworking with Alt Space acquisition #

Brian (and Bonnie) Watson share that Alt Space Coworking has been acquired by Brad Rowland and Brock Predovich at Emergent Campus.

The five Alt Space locations across Colorado (in Telluride, Ridgway, Montrose, Delta and Grand Junction) will become of Emergent’s unified network of local coworking spaces.

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🇸🇪 Real estate firm rolls out second flex location in Sweden #

RE firm Hufvudstaden’s flex brand ‘Cecil Coworking’ are expanding, opening their second location. The 32.2k sqft space will open in Fredstan a shopping mall in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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🇳🇱 Local brand launches 6th hub #

Rogier Braakman shares that local coworking brand Mr Green are expanding into Amsterdam. This 2k sqfm hub will be their 6th location, joining spaces in Zwollem Klarenbeek, Apeldoorn, Rotterdam and Vianen.

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🧘‍♀️ Australian wellness-focussed coworking brand launches #

Fitness entrepreneur Tony de Leede has launched a physical space called Wello Works in the Rosebery suburb of Sydney, Australia. Following this launch, a second location is set to open in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) next month.

The word ‘wello’ was coined by de Leede as a modern and health-oriented variation on Australia’s traditional ‘smoko’, the cigarette break people would take during their working hours. These spaces are built around making it easy to take ‘wellness breaks’ with in-house activities and facilities.

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🇫🇷 UK brand expands to Lille, France #

Jamie Dundas shares that The Good Space will be launching in France in May, and the space will be ‘intentionally bilingual’.

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🇲🇹 Hotel developer launches 7th coworking space #

Munich-based Ruby Group, led by Michael Struck, are mostly known for their design-orientated hotels, but on Feb 1st they cemented their focus into flexible workspace with the launch of a 1090 sqm hub in Malta as their 7th Ruby Workspace location (in addition the one in the lobby of their hotel in Hamburg).

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🇬🇧 London operator sets plan to triple their footprint #

Justina Cruickshank shares news from Andrew Clough and Jamie Hopkins that The Brew are planning to triple their London flex space footprint.

Note: Unfortunately the original link was email-gated, so I swapped it to a related story that notes that Jamie Hopkins, the former CEO of Workspace Group plc, had joined The Brew’s board to advise them on scale-up strategy, business optimization, asset acquisition and financial performance.

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👏 Another acquisition outside of “big city” coworking #

David and Jamie Orr share an interesting M&A deal that includes Chet and Trevor Pipkin buying Bernard and Cristi Creegan out of Cowork Tahoe, in turn merging that space into Untethered.

ICYMI: The Pipkins and Orrs own Untethered. With this move, the same owners also own Cowork Tahoe. Its unclear if they will merge/drop one of the brands, but it’s an interesting consolidation move. Oh yea, if Chet Pipkin sounds familiar, it’s because he is the founder of a ‘tiny’ company called Belkin, and was the CEO there till January 2021.

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🎙 Coworking conversations.

Stormy McBride joins Liz Elam for the 100th episode of the GCUC podcast and discusses her career journey from intern to director of ops, some fav. conference moments, and what you can expect from the organization this year and into the future.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Ana Sousa (Vertical Coworking), Tina Wolder (T Form Spaces) and Will Kinnear (HEWN) join George Sell on the Urban Living Webinar Series to discuss the flex workspace industry, WeWork’s shadow, and more.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Vibushan Thirukumar discusses coworking, high street regeneration and the local economy with Ian King on Sky News, oh any how indie operators like Oru are so different from the IWGs and other big brands of the industry.

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John Egan joins Jamie Russo on the Everything Coworking podcast to discuss his approach to hiring (including his go-to questions), how he screens for "joy" and how his career as a camp director and insurance advisor prepared him for the world of coworking.

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Willie Gutierrez joins Jamie and Gio on the Flex Uncensored podcast and chats about Premier Workspaces’ strategy to grow through leveraging profit, and how deep transparency and support among his team helps to continuously improve the business and guides them through challenging times.

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📆 Coworking events.

🚀 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.

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💬 Convo: Attracting perfect-fit members to your space #

March 29: How do you attract perfect-fit office members to your coworking space? ​Let’s chat about it! ​​Join us for a free, informal, community conversation with fellow workspace operators and coworking pros around the world.

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👋 Belonging happens here #

April 2: Learn about the Belongfulness project and how your space can get involved with fighting the loneliness epidemic.

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🇺🇸 GCUC in SLC #

April 9-11: GCUC is hosted in Salt Lake City this year, use code TWIC to get 20% off your passes before March 31st.

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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.

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Week 14, 2024

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