ThisWeekIn Coworking

Laptop squatters, rural coworking in South Africa, expanding into co-living, a sample SOP, a WIRED article on hyperlocal coworking, more fractional office moves, what's Microsoft doing, and 18ish other things you may have missed This Week In Coworking.

Syncaroo is officially introducing a new, powerful, time-saving data sync between OfficeRnD Flex and essensys Platform.

Why are some operators using both systems at the same time? What does our integration do? Why did a leading nationwide operator’s Head of IT bring us in to help?

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πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦ What will it take to activate workspaces in SA’s rural areas? #

Antonette Benting from Workshop17 raises a fantastic point about hybrid work policies and strategies in places like South Africa, where great/any work-near-home solutions often times do not exist in rural areas or townships.

To quote them "only once the spatial and digital divide has been considered, can one say that all staff needs are being attended to". Yes, Antonette. Yes!

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β˜•οΈ European cafes fed up with “laptop squatters” #

Euronews reports that cafes across the continent are fed up with "space-hogging digital nomads", noting that while some have outright banned laptops or disabled WiFi – others have shifted to charging hourly rates for using laptops.

We’ve known, since the very begging, that one of the biggest competitors of coworking spaces was coffee shops – where for the price of 1 coffee, people could work and lounge almost all day. Well shop owners are done.

In some ways this opens up an opportunity for local coworking spaces (or fast moving booking platforms) to strike partnerships to redirect those laptop-wielding patrons. In others, the fact that spaces are charging (far less than day pass rates) for use of the space and WiFi could make selling coworking a little harder.

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πŸ“„ Sample SOP for keeping your coworking space clean #

Deskie shared a free guide Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for coworking spaces around maintaining a clean, hygienic and welcoming environment.

Are you creating SOPs for all your repetitive tasks and processes? You probably should be.

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πŸ”Ž WIRED zooms into the success of local coworking spaces #

Amanda Hoover penned a piece in WIRED about how hyperlocal coworking spaces are cropping up in disused churches, schools and motorcycle garages to offer remote workers a place nearby to work from.

It explores how Michael Hartofilis bought and refitted a formed church that was set to be leveled into Main Space. It features commentary from Jonathan Wasserstrum (from Unwritten Capital who invested in Switchyards) that "coworking is a great product". It looks at Work Heights expansion to 7 hubs in Brooklyn, and how even WeWork had repurposed old buildings, a historic theatre and at some point a century-old ballroom.

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πŸ›Œ Ever thought about expanding into co-living? #

If so, the team at Spacebring share a pretty thorough guide as to what it may take to add co-living offerings to your coworking business.

It’s an interesting concept, and I personally know a number of flex workspace operators exploring this kind of expansion for medium-term lodging – even if the model is different in a number of important ways.

– Shared by Spacebring

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β˜•οΈ 10 years, and a couple of introductions later… #

Jocelyn Shook (at EXPANSIVE) reminds us how even in the small world of coworking, introductions open up big opportunities – both for members and operating teams.

Ps. The fact that many of the best coworking roles are filled through introductions, is why I’ve added Jobs to TWIC emails and on our website.

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🀳 Coworking for content creators and social media influencers #

Liz Elam from GCUC shares how Billion Dollar Boy’s foray into memberships and office space provides 6 great examples. From utilizing excess office space, to cutting a coworking niche for creators, to testing markets.

It’s an interesting move for sure, and one we’re already seeing seed-stage VCs and angel investors exploring.

I’m also betting that we’ll start seeing some of the largest ad and media agencies opening up coworking spaces in their offices – which for me would be full circle, since turning suddenly-empty ad agencies into shared workspaces back in 2013 is how I got pulled into this amazing coworking world.

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πŸ™ƒ Yardi (finally) comments on their plan to support WeWork #

With almost every theory as to why Yardi was taking such a large stake of WeWork now exhausted, the firm has shared their own commentary as to why they’re supporting this emergence from bankruptcy.

Spoiler: The plain aims to reinforce "support for the co-working (sic) sector" and WeWork’s future as a successful company. An interesting way to position the move for sure.

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πŸ“‘ Whitepaper released for CRE firms exploring coworking #

David Walker from CoworkingConsulting.com published a 21 page guide for office asset owners and managers to explore how to leverage coworking as a strategic solution for activating vacant spaces.

Why am I sharing this with you? It’s always good to see how asset managers are learning about and exploring coworking. There’s (still) untold opportunities for coworking operators in activating vacant space for/with asset owners and managers.

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πŸ‘¨β€πŸ« A fun look at what school teachers thought of TOG co-founder #

Tiger-Lily Beck and Demi Smith share a fun interview with Olly Olsen, co-founder of The Office Group, for the newly launched Flex and The City.

They starting with what his teachers thought about him (the term "by far the worst student I have had in my career" was used). They also look into the dynamic of the cofounder relationship with Charlie Green, first clients, touring King Charles around the space, brand-building, rebranding, and feelings around the Blackstone deal.

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πŸ₯‚ Over a decade of celebrating coworking and community #

Nexudus celebrated this year’s European Coworking Day (May 22nd) with a piece that reflects their journey into coworking, and what it means to them.

– Shared by Shariq

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

🀺 Microsoft slides into hybrid team scheduling with Places #

Neowin reports on Microsoft Places, their new Teams app that helps employees coordinate where to work from based on who else will be in/around. This lines Microsoft up to compete with some of the hybrid work platforms (like Gable, Desana, Deskpass, OfficeRnD Hybrid, Kadence, LiquidSpace and CafΓ©) – some of which may already built integrations with Teams to support enterprise customers.

Although Places was initially hinted at 2 years ago, I did note how this could impact coworking spaces here. In short: it may only be a matter of time before Places is extended to offer 3rd-party or third space bookings, access and visibility too.

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🦾 New integration keeps OfficeRnD and essensys Platform in sync #

Syncaroo share why a some operators are using both OfficeRnD and essensys Platform to drive more revenue from their spaces through connectivity services. By solving one of the biggest blockers of using both systems simultaneously (keeping both systems manually in sync) we could see a growing number of operators adding either into their operating and tech stacks.

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πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Platform updates events, invoice triggers, and payment methods #

The team at Cobot shared what was upgraded in April. These included better in-app promotion of member events, improvements to meeting room displays, bulk updating, separating payment methods by product and avoiding the indexing of public-facing hosted pages.

Personally, I find it really interesting to see what each platform is focussing dev resources on. If you’d also like to see more tech updates from different platforms in this section, please do let me know.

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πŸ’³ Booking platform adds price-match guarantee #

Harry Wilson Halberg from FlowSpace share a recent price change that’s pretty interesting. They’re promising their app users to match the direct price of any space on their platform, plus a discount for purchases made with credits or through their subscription.

This is an interesting move as more and more booking/aggregation platforms shift their focus securing from supply to locking down demand.

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πŸ“² Booking platform (also) expands into office-shares #

Grant Philipp shares that Office Hub is dipping its toes into letting companies list their underutilized space on their booking platform. From my understanding these options will sit alongside more ‘traditional’ flex options on their interfaces.

This follows the undercurrent trend we’re following around Fractional Offices.

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πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

πŸ€” “Other” brands only make up 11% of bookings on this platform. #

Clark Jacobs shares a data drop from 12 months of booking trends across the FlexDesk platform.

Unsurprisingly, 70% of bookings are on middle-three days, with Friday seeing half as many bookings as Tuesday. But what’s interesting is that WeWork received 3 out of every 4 bookings on the site, where Regus (at 10x the location count) sees 13% of bookings. Everyone else shares 11% – my question to you is.. is this an opportunity for "other" brands to pick up more bookings here, or would time/effort be invested elsewhere?

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🀝 Coworking market moves.

πŸ€” Instant wins deal to manage Brookfield space #

In what can rightfully be seen as confusing, if not conflicting, press release – The Instant Group have shared that they’ve been appointed by Brookfield Properties to deliver (read: manage) 11k sqft of managed office s at 100 Bishopsgate in the City of London.

What’s confusing folks? Well, the potential conflict of interests with Instant/Worka acquiring a whole bunch of platforms, rolling out data solutions, and managing spaces. I mean they have delivered 5.5M+ sqft of spaces over 20ish years, but still… some folks are understandably raising eyebrows.

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πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Incubator adding 25-office coworking space in downtown Atlanta #

Jon Birdsong and Aly Merritt share that Atlanta Tech Village are expanding, adding another coworking space in downtown Atalanta. The space is expected offer 25 private offices for 1- to 10-people.

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πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Huckletree officially opens more floors at their 10th location #

Huckletree Liverpool St officially opens the rest of its floors June 3rd, becoming the 10th Huckletree location.

The 35k sqft hub near Spitalfields Market and Liverpool Station, contains a members-only cafe, podcast studio, town hall board room that seats 32, 11 additional meeting rooms, and coworking and private offices.

– Shared by Claudia

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πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Sam Rosen chats with Max Branstetter on the Wild Business Growth podcast about his journey from rollerblading-delivery-service founder to making coworking spaces everywhere easier to reserve at Deskpass.

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I (Hector Kolonas) join Amy Polvado on the US Proptech Council’s podcast to chat all about coworking, trends, technology and what we’re building at Syncaroo.

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Kane Willmott joins Jamie Russo and Giovanni Palavicini on the Flex Uncensored podcast about his journey from aspiring accounts to leading iQ Offices, the largest Canadian-owned coworking operator.

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Emily Breder hosts Alex Young from Projects to chat about the significance of accessibility in shared workspaces, as well as some practical advice on advocating for accessibility needs on the Coworking Values podcast.

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Felicia Rubinstein and Kerrie McDevitt join Jamie Russo on the Everything Coworking podcast to chat about HAYVN, supporting local women and becoming B-Corp certified.

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πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ London Coworking Assembly Forum & Bar Camp #

The London Coworking Assembly is hosting a day full of coffees, an interactive session with Ashley Proctor, space visits, walk and talks, lunch with UrbanMBA, masterminds with Bernie Mitchell, Cowork Plus with Stephen Carrick-Davies, and a live podcast recording with Caleb Parker – all alongside great local community builders.

– Shared by Bernie

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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.

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Other Summaries.

Week 24, 2024

This week we meet WeWork’s new leadership, the impact of coworking scholarships, the first Undercurrents trend, a coworking secret, hyper-targeted content, survey data from Spain, revenue numbers from Romania and more.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 23, 2024

This week we explore Chicago’s $10M bet on coworking, Workbox’s big raise, going from CM to CEO, a dogs-eye tour, tennis, placemaking, who is making 70% of their profit from VOs, data from German and Spanish markets, summer promos and more.

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Week 22, 2024

This week we explore if 95% flex occupancy is too high, the operator who saw 86% revenue growth. brokerage red flags, a superb drone tour, 3 warnings for operators, micro gyms, some local SEO tips, 5 market moves and more.

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Week 20, 2024

Another busy week, as we explore the competitive advantage of indie spaces, brand-led hospitality, new taxonomies, ten market moves you may have missed, two new AI-driven workspace tools, and so much more.

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