Week 18, 2022

This week we explore subtext to Airbnb's announcement, airline miles from workspace bookings, a billion-dollar takeover, 5 million steps for charity, a mega franchise merger and growth in flex demand and supply across US, Canada and the UK.

This Week is sponsored by…Syncaroo 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.

👉 Read this.

🇺🇦 A message from Ukraine’s coworking spaces (part 2)

In this episode of Voices from Coworking, the European Coworking Assembly did something different, wanting to start thinking and talking about peace and reconstruction with our friends in Ukraine.

👉 Read this.

📰 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.

👉 Read this.

🗺 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.

👉 Read this.

🤑 $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.

👉 Read this.

💙 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.

👉 Read this.

🙃 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.

👉 Read this.

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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.

👉 Read this.

📲 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.

👉 Read this.

📼 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.

👉 Read this.

📈 Coworking data.

🌎 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).

👉 Read this.

🇬🇧 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.

👉 Read this.

💰 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”.

👉 Read this.

🤝 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.

👉 Read this.

🖐 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.

👉 Read this.

🚀 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.

👉 Read this.

🎙 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.

🎧 Listen to this.

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.

🎧 Listen to this.

📆 Coworking events.

👋 Discuss this newsletter.

May 6: Join other subscribers in discussing this week’s newsletter, and the trends the links represent.

👉 Read this.

🤗 Convo: Creating a space of belonging

May 27: How do you foster a culture of belonging in your space? Let’s chat about it.

👉 Read this.

About This. 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.

Other Summaries.

Week 25, 2022

This week we see why a VP disliked coworking, new stats from India, increased competition with landlords in Australia, an ask for support, and more.

👉 Read this.

Week 24, 2022

A shift in how space is found, a new coworking awards program, the future of space is flex, soft-landing with coworking in Venice, traditional expansions in US and NZ, could platforms be more supportive, and more. 

👉 Read this.

Week 23, 2022

Some topics we see this week: a coworking tragedy, gyms, two hotel + workspace moves, a look into Africa, a huge 4-day week trial, insights behind adapting a 90M sqft portfolio, $500B in value destruction and more.

👉 Read this.

Week 21, 2022

This week we explore a thought experiment, a hiring advantage, believing in community, HR teams doing viewings, acoustics, creators in London, big proptech rounds, M&A in Hong Kong, pouring millions into a hyperlocal economy, and more.

👉 Read this.

Week 20, 2022

This week we saw a grocer + coworking partnership, AI-driven dynamic pricing, airport lounges added to a booking platform, a P3 hub launch, data on average hotdesk pricing, more cross-Atlantic market moves, and more.

👉 Read this.

Week 19, 2022

This week we explore writing down ideas, see coworking stories from London, Canada, Madrid and insights from Australia, as well as look into mail management, state of flex data syncing, e-scooters, what’s happening with those 800 closed locations and more.

👉 Read this.

Week 17, 2022

This week we explore 2 coworking opportunities in appliances & hygiene products, a 300% increase in demand, more M&A, tips for coworking tours, and flex arbitrage.

👉 Read this.

Week 16, 2022

An 8.7% dip in local footprint, a US franchise spin out their software, a new academic study, explore ad spend arbitrage and a space partnership aiming for 500 locations.

👉 Read this.

Week 15, 2022

This week we explore if buildings can have souls, the office sector’s cataclysmic change, if architects suck at designing coworking spaces, see WeWork + Yardi partner up, see US flex demand soar up by 58%, a strategic investment tying up SaksWorks + Convene, a $30M investment into coworking in Tier II cities in India, and a prop dev in London doubling down on flex. And more. 

👉 Read this.

Week 14, 2022

This week we explored small-town coworking in Canada, crowdfunding to expand, a £1.4B drop in UK flex space, 2 more platform acquisitions, underdog city expansions and more.

👉 Read this.