ThisWeekIn Coworking

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.

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πŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡Ύ New shared workspace launches in Cyprus #

Mario Vassiliades introduced NATIVE a shared workspace in Larnaca, Cyprus that’s set to open in July.

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πŸŽ‚ ProjectY turned 6! #

Congrats!

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✊ Coworking impact.

✊ Creating support systems for men in coworking spaces. #

Jeannine van der Linden, from the European Coworking Assembly (and a whole bunch of important coworking projects) shares why mens’ wellbeing is an important issue to consider for coworking operators, and shares 6 ways coworking spaces can take action to support these members.

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πŸ—‘ Local non-profit space wins zero waste champion of the year award. #

Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division and the Environmental Sustainability Board announced the winners of the Los Alamos County 2022 Zero Waste Champion of the Year awards. Christina McCormick from projectY Cowork Space won the award for the non-profit category.

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πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ June Coworking IDEA Challenge: Allyship to Pride Communities #

In a particularly moving conversation, Daniyah Shamsi expertly weaves through so many of the core issues our LGBTQIA2S+ family and friends are facing day-to-day, and invites you to take part in this month’s IDEA challenge.

– Shared by Ashley

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πŸ…±οΈ Huckletree becomes Certified B Corp. #

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πŸ…±οΈ Spacemade becomes certified B Corp #

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πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

😒 When tragedy strikes within a coworking space. #

Unfortunately this is a paywalled piece, but in it writer Kwame Anthony Appiah dives into the ethics of writing about a tragedy they witnessed. So why is this in TWIC? Well, the tragedy in this case, was the brutal murder of the office manager at a coworking space who was trying to evict a member who’d been living in their private office.

Please look after yourselves, your team and take as many precautions and deescalation steps as possible when dealing with tough situations. Especially if times are going to get tougher for a lot of folks.

– Shared by Marcy Michaud

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πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ Comparing London’s flex workspaces… by their gyms. #

SHB share a glimpse into 4 flex workspaces’ gym setups. Onsite gyms aren’t extremely popular, but with the shift to hybrid strategies, it’s understandable that more and more members could factor such amenities into their workspace decisions.

Alex Latham from The Ministry notes that their gym was definitely not an afterthought. Other providers features are Ocubis, The Office Group (TOG) and LABS.

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🌍 The FT takes a look into coworking in Africa #

David Pilling digs into coworking has found a good fit in African cities for the FT, citing shorter leases, bundled utilities/amenities, and being able to support pan-African teams as drivers for the increasing adoption.

Notable mentions since coworking proliferated the continent in 2010 include AfricaWorks (in 9 cities with an aim to reach 100 offices in 25 locations in 4 years), Cape Town Office (founded in 2011), 7AY Co-working (Rabat, Morocco), Nairobi Garage (4 locations in the Kenyan capital).

Interestingly, AfricaWorks are also rolling out a “One Africa Pass” for businesses looking for coworking access across the continent.

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πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ 70 UK companies start 4-day work week trial. #

Thousands of employees are taking part in a trial that is paying them 100% of their wages for 80% of the usual work hours.

The experiment has been organised by a group campaigning for a shorter working week, but for no loss in wages. Academics from Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well experts at Boston College in the US, will manage the experiment in partnership with the think tank Autonomy.

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πŸš€ Are we “on the verge of becoming another pandemic success story”? #

Tony Lystra shares the story of how Peter Chee and the Thinkspace team watched their competitors disappear around them at the height of the pandemic, how they survived, and are now sitting with both locations at 100% and 92% occupancy. The piece also looks into how Don Morrison and the TractionSpace team offered huge discounts during lockdowns, but now nearly all their spaces are full or workers, and considering expansions. Robin Cardoso from WeWork also notes that “There has never been a stronger moment for flex office space”.

Agreed. And excited to see how these (and your) brands continue on this trajectory.

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🦍 800-pound-gorilla’s CEO shares insights into their flex & proptech bets. #

TheRealDeal shares a candid conversation with Rob Speyer, CEO at Tishman Speyer, which manages a 90M sqft property portfolio.

It’s a fascinating look into the fifth-generation family firm, how they diversified their porfolio, have invested in (or SPACed) proptech co’s over the last 5 years, and how their own coworking brand (Studio) unlocked a 265k sqft lease with HSBC.

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πŸ’Ž Coworking CEO shares how a low-tech $30 device helps him focus #

Jamie Hodari shares how a $30 digital typewriter helps him focus without distractions when writing memos or anything that requires deep thinking.

Incase you’re wondering, this newsletter is definitely not curated on such a device. But are you finding ways for you to focus on your writing and deep work amongst the distractions of your devices, members and.. everything else?

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πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Quick summary of the first COWORK conference in 2 years. #

Sam Bender from Cobot shares a summary of takeaways from the German Coworking Federation’s (returning) annual conference.

They touched on the beautiful venue and barcamp sessions on coworking platforms (and API connections), coworkations and tech & tools. Other sessions included explaining coworking to those unfamiliar with the movement, and brining community back after lockdowns.

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🍾 Could cork LEGO-like blocks be coming to coworking? #

Menno Lammers shares an interesting invention of modular building bricks made from cork. The eco-friendly, sturdy, heat-resistant, and soundproof blocks can be assembled and disassembled easily, without the need for tools, screws, or glue.

Given how many operators are offering modular spaces, could Corkbrick be a new option worth exploring?

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πŸ’³ Are you leaving margins on the table by only taking cards? #

andcards shares how operators are able to cut transaction costs by accepting direct debits (or automated bank transfers). The topic of how best to charge direct customers on a recurring basis has come up in multiple calls, including the community-led discussions of these newsletters over on Clubhouse.

Those 2-3 percentage points on transactions add up, and offering secure payment processing for bank-to-bank transfers (direct debit in the UK, ACH in the US, etc) nets operators higher yields per seat, office, membership or floor. Have you explored alternatives for recurring billing/payments?

– Shared by Helga

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πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ A look into coworking, and digital nomadery, in Bulgaria #

Matthias Zeitler shares insights from building coworking spaces, ecosystems, and Bankso Nomad Fest within Bulgaria.

– Shared by Helga

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🏬 Introducing commercial revitalization tax incentive program in Manhattan #

Melissa RomΓ‘n Burch introduces M-CORE, the Manhattan Commercial Revitalization tax incentive program announced by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The program, limited to 10M sqft, aims to catalyze investment to modernize aging office buildings, decrease vacancy, and attract world-class tenants.

M-CORE applications open June 8th. Excited to see where coworking and flex operators and products can fit into these plans.

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🏒 More coworking within residential buildings in Brooklyn #

An undercurrent trend I’ve been watching from back in Week 3, 2022 seems to be making a strong comeback as apartment developers explore adding coworking into their placemaking strategies.

Interesting to see firms like Lisa Management using coworking “to keep tenants in the buildings as long as possible”.

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🩹 Ripping off the bandaid on office building losses #

Suzannah Cavanaugh shares in TheRealDeal that banks “that long delayed writing down distressed property debt, favoring an extend-and-pretend approach in the hopes of a turnaround by the struggling asset, are abandoning that strategy, preferring to rip off the Band-Aid instead.”

Keep an eye on the changes behind who owns buildings, or at least the debt tied to them.

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πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Day Pass or Membership? #

Ian Minor asked if folks prefer day passes or memberships for accessing (and possibly offering/running) workspaces. An interesting array of answers followed.

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

🀯 New API can quickly scan and create 3D scans of rooms #

At the recent WWDC22 event, Apple introduced a whole new developer SDK for iOS apps to quickly add in functionality to create near-instantaneous floor plans from just scanning a phone around the room.

Expect to see this in iOS apps from all the best management systems and furniture-as-a-service co’s.

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πŸ“² Booking app pushes major data-syncing upgrade including rapid signups. #

Upflex pushed a major upgrade to their data-syncing integration with Syncaroo.

Not only have they improved the efficiency of their live-availability and booking syncing with andcards, Cobot, Nexudus, OfficeRnD and Satellite Deskworks – but they also became the first platform to implement rapid registrations with auto-populating listings via Sign Up with Syncaroo buttons.

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πŸ“… Management system adds tour-booking feature #

Michael Everts shares that OfficeRnD have launched a new “Tours” feature to help operators create branded, embeddable tour booking forms so folks can easily schedule coworking tours directly from workspaces’ websites.

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🍊 Operator readies to launch interactive workspace flooplan manager #

Ali Parnan shares that the team behind Orangery spaces are releasing OrangeryOS to help make setting up virtual versions of workspaces simpler.

Watch till the end, I like the look of the actual interactive floor plans.

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πŸŒ₯️ Another booking platform changes hands #

Brian Sutherland shares that Yardi have acquired CloudVO to expand their listing service network (which already includes CommericalCafe, CommercialSearch, CoworkingCafe and 42Floors) which is said to drive 20,000+ leads per month to operators.

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πŸš€ TeX & Building OS firm raises funding from Blackstone and Kastle #

In a press release, Adam Segal from cove announced the closing of a funding round for their tenant experience and building operating system platform from investors including Blackstone Innovations Investments and Kastle Systems.

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πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

β˜„οΈ Chains are spending up to 95x more on Google Ads #

Craig Baute and the DenSwap team took a look at how 3 large coworking chains upped their Google Ad spend in 2023 from 2022.

Some takeaways: A lot of ad spend shifting towards meeting room keywords, which are more transactional so more spend-driven. The rise in spend can also be seen as a reaction to fill suddenly vacant space.

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πŸ’₯ The $500B value destruction across the US office sector #

John Preece shares Nick Bloom‘s summary of a new paper on the pandemic’s effect on office values.

On average the pandemic cut office values by 30%, affecting lower quality spaces more than more premium options. “We find a 32% decline in office values in 2020 and 28% in the longer-run, the latter representing a $500 billion value destruction.”

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πŸ–οΈ Demand for flex in LA county still recovering #

In a new data-set shared by The Instant Group. demand for flex space in LA County is up 6% in Q1/23 from the previous quarter, following a 9% drop in year of 2022 vs 2021.

Also noted was a dip in achieved workstation rate (cost-per-desk-per-month) dipped 9% since last quarter, after an annual increase of 7% in 2022. 85% of reported demand was for space for under 9 desks, with the remainder of inquiries were for up to 25 desks. Supply was also up 1%.

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πŸ§žβ€β™‚οΈ When was the last time you asked hot deskers what they needed? #

Craig Baute reminds us that a hot desking members are choosing where to work, so knowing what they need and what’s secondary (but also important) makes good business sense.

In short they need: great vibes, coffee, booths, monitors and a good location. What else is important is: good hours, pricing, design, local food options and parking. Have you asked your hot desking members what they need and want?

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🀝 Coworking market moves.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Council’s coworking space picks up funding for growth #

Node Cowork (run by Town Sqare Spaces on behalf of Devon County Council) announced a Β£2.1m extension to the building that was funded through investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

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πŸ’‘ Global furniture brand launches coworking space in Stockholm. #

Thomas Proctor shares some snaps from the new Hej!Workshop space in Stockholm, which is a partnership between IKEA Business and Ingka Centers.

An interesting move from the furniture retailer, and something we have seen coming from other (often more premium brands) like Herman Miller and Vari.

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🏟 Coworking space with stadium views launches to support local ecosystem #

We get a first look at the new Spark Arlington, which is set to open this winter. The space, which does feature views of both the Choctaw Stadium’s playing field and the new home of the Texas Rangers, is a part of the Baltimore-based Spark Coworking brand, who’s remit and mission is to support and elevate local entrepreneurship and businesses.

The location, the brand’s 4th in the US, is part of nearly $1B in new development in the Arlington Entertainment District.

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🎨 Property developer unveils new flex brand. #

Andrew Dunn, of Brookfield Properties, introduced SPACE+, a new brand to meet office tenant’s “evolving needs”.

The brand provides designed and furnished spaces which include tech, on flexible terms with an array of additional services available.

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βœ‚οΈ Quest grand opening in Palm Beach #

Laura Kozelouzek shares that Quest Workspaces’ grand opening event for their Northbridge Center in downtown West Palm Beach today.

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πŸ“– Online coworking magazine acquired #

Ben Lerner of M&A frim Lerner Associates, shared that Yardi Systems have acquired CoWorkingMag.

This one’s definitely interesting and not one I predicted. Even though, it’s not unprecedented if you look back at IWG/Instant‘s move in acquiring Coworker, and in-turn the online publication CoworkingInsights.

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πŸ†• Brand’s Mesa location finally opens! #

Jenny Poon shared that after 5 long years of planning, a pandemic and ups-and-downs, CO+HOOTS had their soft landing for their Mesa location.

This 11k sqft location is the brand’s second location and will also house their Institute for Entrepreneurship in partnership with a local university.

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🏨 Another brand steps into coworking in hotels. #

Industrious have announced that they’d be launching a 266-seat coworking space within Charles Hotel in partnership with it’s owner Carpenter & Co.

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🌍 Coworking in hotels brand expands into sub-Saharan Africa #

WOJO have announced that Kasada hotels have signed a franchise agreement for opening coworking spaces in their locations across sub-Saharan Africa.

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πŸ—½ IWG expands in NY #

Wayne Berger shares that IWG continues expansion in NY through a HQ-branded space in Hamburg partnership agreement with a building owner.

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πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί Brand launches 6th Melbourne location #

Brad Krauskopf announced Hub Australia‘s, 6th location in Melbourne.

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πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Tina Roth-Eisenberg chats with Guy Raz about coworking, creativity and community on the How I Built This podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Miro Miroslavov, CEO at OfficeRnD, shares his experience with building a hybrid workplace company and his insights on the future of work on the brand’s new FlexWorld podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Jamie Russo dives into how coworking spaces are shifting from avoiding day passes (and custom plans) to embracing them on her Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Sarah Travers chats with Melanie Jones about Workbar’s regional expansion, collaborating with landlords and transforming vacant spaces on the CORT Workplace Talks.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Dan Hyde chats with Caleb Parker about NOMA, future-proofing Manchester, growing demand for flex and leaning into space-as-a-service on the #WorkBold podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Jeanette Rodriguez chats with Jamie Russo about being a female space owner who has created a coworking space specifically for women on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Nick Bratton chats with Giovanni and Jamie about forging landlord-operator management agreements on the Flex Uncensored podcast.

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πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ₯‚ London Book Launch – “Around The World in 250 Coworking Spaces” #

June 20: Londoners, come and celebrate coworking and its many shapes x+why Whitechapel for the release of “Around The World in 250 Coworking Spaces” – a coffee table book on coworking, community, and interiors.

– Shared by Pauline

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πŸ—½ GWA Immersive 2022 #

June 28-29: The GWA Board of Directors are hosting their first annual IMMERSIVE event digging into hospitality in the flex space industry.

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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 47, 2023

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πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 40, 2023

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πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 38, 2023

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πŸ‘‰ Read this.