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Syncaroo has added a new auto-updating widget to help flex workspaces show off their best Google Maps reviews on any web or landing page. P.S. Best used alongside auto-updating availability widgets.
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✊ Coworking impact.
🚶♀️ 5 million steps for charity #
Abbie Davies shares that during May, the team at HomeWork Workspace will be walking 5 million steps (or 2,500 miles) in support of MIND for Mental Health Awareness month.
Coworking news & views.
🕵️♀️ What you may have missed about that “Live and Work Anywhere” initiative #
A lot of publications and people shared Airbnb‘s recent announcement and initiative since they went public with it on April 28th.
A lot of the buzz focussed on the five key features of the new remote work policy, and very few even noticed that the first one says ‘work from home or the office’, no mention of third spaces or coworking access/stipends.
However, snuck into the bottom of the announcement is Airbnb making a move further into ‘work tourism’, saying they’re already or going to be working with governments and DMOs to ‘create a one-stop-shop for remote-workers’ through the Live and Work Anywhere initiative. On that program’s website, they mention that one of the criteria that makes a destination ‘remote-working friendly’ is that its easy to work, and list that there should be spaces suitable for co-working (their hyphen, not mine).
And so, non-profit local coworking alliances, there may be a move to be made by partnering with your local govs, destination marketing orgs and Airbnb to bring more remote workers into your region.
😖 Is flex in a state of flux? #
David M. Levitt asks if recent closures expose weaknesses of flex office space busieness models. The article (behind a soft paywall hones in on the struggles of daybase and comments from their CEO Joel Steinhaus; WeWork (v1 and v2); and a landlord running flex space as a loss-leader.
In counter-arguments there are some positive snippets though from industrious’ Jamie Hodari, Convene’s Ryan Simonetti, and WeWork’s Annabelle Davis.
My thoughts? This year’s going to get bumpy for flex. Will this create opportunities for some operators? Abso-fudging-lutely.
🗺 18 months in – an update on a global firm’s remote work policy. #
Matt Sonefeldt shared Annie Dean post on how Atlassian‘s own team are embracing “TEAM Anywhere”, the firm’s distributed work policy giving employees more control over where they live and work.
In it, we see heartwarming stories of humans who could pick to change where in the world they work to how much they commute. We also see some interesting data like how many of their team moved to a new country (300) or to a new state in the US (10%), and how many of their Australian team live outside of Sydney (22%, up from just 7%). They also share that 47% of their new hires live 2+ hours away from an Atlassian office.
They’re making it work, and I’d love to hear from Annie or Matt how their teams leverage coworking spaces to WNH.
🤑 $7.6B take-private deal of business park REIT #
Blackstone have agreed to buy PS Business Parks (for those who wanted to know, they’ll pay a 12% premium for $187.50 cash per share) to take the firm private.
The REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) does operator business parks and office buildings, alongside industrial and multifamily properties. It’s also the 3rd REIT Blackstone has acquired this year.
And the reason I think this is interesting for us coworking folks, is that Blackstone will need to find a scalable way to activate the office buildings and business parks. An idea? Flex workspaces. Obviously.
💙 Why many people love coworking. #
The allwork team shared a sweet video, featuring some industry leaders, about what coworking means to them.
Hear from (and see) Cat Johnson, Felena Hanson, Brad Krauskopf, Liz Elam, Jamie Russo and Matias Vazquez.
🙃 What (even) matters in the future of real estate? #
Antony Slumbers returns with another long(ish) read on what 10 things matter when the future of the real estate is no longer about real estate.
It’s a great read that touches on machine assistance, flex, wellbeing, sustainability, storytelling, ecosystems and more.
🇩🇪 Spaces in north German join forces to promote coworking #
Cobot shares a snapshot from a big German newspaper covering the Coworking Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where a number of (often competing) coworking spaces worked together to promote the benefits of flexible workspaces.
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💻 Coworking technology.
💳 Airline partners up to give cardholders to earn miles on meeting rooms. #
hubli announced a partnership with Lufthansa to power their Global Spaces platform. Not only will this allow the airline to offer meeting rooms, workspaces and hotel stays, but it will also allow Miles & More cardholders to earn miles & rewards while they meet and work.
A potentially huge new demand segment for participating spaces, whilst also making coworking more ‘rewardable’. Expect other business credit cards or miles programmes to follow suit or offer their own creative workplace rewards plays.
📲 New booking app launches into limited beta. #
Jennifer Schaepper-Uster shares that after a challenging few years, her dream to offer a state-of-the-art offering for employers and employees to book flex spaces has finally come true with the launch of flesk onto the app stores.
ICYMI: This platform rolled out of a reorg of Swiss network VillageOffice back in w51/21.
👓 Trend: changing interfaces and flex space bookings #
As you may know, I’ve been tracking changes at the intersection of where tech and processes (aka interfaces) enable more people to find, book and access flex spaces for some time now.
In this post I look at changes to different kinds of interfaces (namely AI + APIs, Remote Work apps, and.. eek… Web3) and how they could create opportunities for flex space operators.
📼 How a fully integrated tech stack improves office experiences #
Caleb Parker shares why Bold (part of NewFlex) invested in a fully integrated tech stack across their hardware and software solutions in this testimonial video by NCG.
Yes, it is a nice testimonial for a tech implementor. But also… the positive affects of seamless experiences for as many members/guests as possible cannot be understated.
🌎 North American coworking markets recovering, and scrambling. #
Upsuite is back with their latest quarterly insight into the flex industry.
A notable takeaway is that even though Canadian demand (per location) is only at half of pre-pandemic levels, it was up (121%) from Q4. Big winners in shopping activity were Calgary (205%) and Toronto (113%).
Over in the US, overall demand is up, there was a seasonal slowdown in markets like Atlanta (50%), Nashville (45%) and New York (39%). However second tier markets soared with demand up in markets like Seattle (113%), Austin (112%) and Tampa (66%).
They also share a rise in pricing, and a race to open new locations (with NYC showing a 5:1 new:closed ratio).
🇬🇧 Growth spurt of flex offerings in Central London #
Laura O ‘Sullivan shared rubberdesk London Flexible office Market Report for Q1 (behind an email-gate), by highlighting a few takeaways.
Namely that a majority of nex flex space centers in Central London opening in the past 2 years, pushing the vacant floor space in the region to around 3.18M sqft. North & South London have the lowest vacancy numbers for flex offices, but more centers are set to open shortly.
According to their data, Central London is the most expensive city to rent an office at £742 per person, per month, followed by East London at £572, West London at £450, North London at £395, and South London at £300.
💰 Where are CIOs expecting to spend the extra $223B budget this year? #
Adam Blaskey shares an interesting infographic from Raconteur that looks at where Chief Information or Technology Officers in the UK are spending their additional IT budgets in 2022.
Although not strictly from the coworking or flex workspace sectors, the post does highlight that we are seeing similar trends with regards to proptech and workspace tech, “which whilst in the early stages of adoption will drive the next phase of growth”.
🏙️ Business Districts with the Most Coworking Spaces #
Researchers at CoworkingCafe put together the top 20 U.S. cities with the highest number of coworking spaces in their central business districts (CBDs).
Key takeaways: Half of US coworking spaces in CBDs are concentrated in just five major cities: New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Philadelphia. NYC leads the pack with 180 flex spaces across Midtown and the Financial District. Oakland, CA; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia, PA and Chicago, IL have more than 2/3 of their coworking spaces concentrated in the CBDs. Houston, Austin, Dallas, TX and Denver, CO made the top 20 despite having more than 80% of their flex spaces outside the CBD.
🤔 Some other things that World Economic Forum’s report tells us #
Sharon O’Dea shares key takeaways from the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report. As noted, a lot of the media coverage of the report focussed on how “technology will be a net negative on jobs growth” in the short-term, but there’s more to take away from what the 800 business leaders shared.
In short: the importance of reskilling/upskilling; combo of soft + tech skills more critical; diversity, equity and inclusion are ethical and smart strategies; a growing focus on climate change & sustainability and “the need for stakeholders from government, business, education, and civil society to collaborate and co-create solutions for the future of work”.
Coworking market moves.
😮 Mega merger creates largest private-owned coworking franchisor #
Michael White shares that Venture X and Office Evolution have merged (or as they call it, a ‘strategic alliance’ into CoWorks, a network of 130 locations (with around 100 more in various stages of development).
CoWorks is the newly formed coworking division of the United Franchise Group, and is allegedly the largest privately-owned franchisor worldwide. They have made big promises to add more brands and become the largest network in number of locations within 3 years.
🖐 Local operator launches 5th location through acquisition #
On May 1st, Hygge Coworking acquired Advent Coworking, which will become their 5th location in it’s footprint.
The transaction adds 28,000 sqft (including 84 private offices, five meeting rooms, a yoga studio and an event space) and bumps Hygge up to approx. 900 members and 2 employees.
🚀 UK operator set to almost double their footprint in 12 months. #
Huckletree shares an (unfortunately paywalled) interview with their co-founder Gabriela Hersham about how they plan to add 100k sqft of flex space in the UK.
And that’s on top of the 150k sqft they currently operator across the UK and Ireland.
⏲ Manchester gets hint of new pay-per-minute hub #
Rachael Mcvey shares that after 4 months of work, they’ll be introducing a new coworking concept in Manchester. Whilst the page is a coming soon placeholder, and the post mentions luxury offices, the metadata does hint towards a possible pay-per-minute model. Curious to see what oppidan offers.
Interestingly, the first pay-per-minute space I ever tried was actually an anti-cafe (that I believe have now closed) called Ziferblat in Manchester, UK.
🎓 Another uni + coworking partnership launches innovation lab #
Gabriela Hersham shares the launch of Huckletree Innovation Lab at Regent’s University to foster the next generation of ambitious entrepreneurs.
🚀 Further growth for in Columbus #
Matthew Davis shares that COhatch are opening 2 more locations in Columbus.
💰 Coworking space for the 0.1% sets launch date #
allwork shares that Colette Club (who you may remember from week 31/22) have set a launch date for April 2023.
According to the piece the initial buy-in has come down (from $165k to just $125k) but the annual dues has gone up $1k to a fascinating $36k.
🎙 Coworking conversations.
Matthew Lourey and Daan Van Rossum discuss how workplaces in Vietnam evolved in the last few years and how hybrid work, work from home and flexible workspaces will impact the future of work.
Jamie Russo and Carl Sullivan chat about Your Desk‘s 11-year coworking journey since opening the first location with 26 desks outside Sydney, Australia.
📆 Coworking events.
👋 Discuss this newsletter. #
May 6: Join other subscribers in discussing this week’s newsletter, and the trends the links represent.
👋 Continent-wide coworking member networking event #
10 May: TownSq are taking advantage of European Coworking Day to highlight the opportunities that can come from being part of a coworking community through a digital networking event that will connect our hubs and members with spaces across the continent. The event will take place at 8am UK time (9am CEST) on Wednesday 10 May and is open to anyone. TownSq will offer free coworking from our spaces for anyone who signs up and other hubs are encouraged to do the same.
I love this idea of creating an opportunity for businesses and individuals to make international connections, learn best practice and explore trade opportunities.
💓 Why coworking spaces are the beating heart of your local economy #
May 10: For European Coworking Day, we want to celebrate how coworking spaces add to the communities they are in, not just as a hub but economically, socially and culturally. We’ll be streaming this event live with the help of technologywithin and Lenta Space Spitalfields, and have invited three people with a deep and diverse understanding of what “local” and “coworking” means. Karen West-Whylie from Barking Enterprise Centre, Vibushan Thirukumar from Oru Space and Dale Thomson from The Granville, South Kilburn Trust. The event will be hosted by the awesome Caterina Maiolini.
🤗 Convo: Creating a space of belonging #
May 27: How do you foster a culture of belonging in your space? Let’s chat about it.
🏙 GWA’s Immersive 2023: Changing models for changing times #
May 23-24: The GWA Board of Directors is excited to host the 2023 Immersive event in Houston, Texas about adapting to the hybrid world of work. Attendees will get a behind-the-scenes opportunity to experience and engage with key players offering best-in-class hospitality in the flex space industry.