ThisWeekIn Coworking

Neighborhood coworking, future of offices in Africa, home-sharing, office-sharing, and a look at flex markets in London and Hong Kong.

This week is sponsored by… Flow.

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To make this work for you, busy workspace operators, we needed to make sharing real-time availability with us effortless. This is how we’re doing just that via Syncaroo.

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πŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

🍰 HomeWork Workspace (in Southfields) turned 1. #

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­ Swiss software co touts coworking access as employee benefit #

Ubique Innovation AG are promoting access to 70 workspaces across the country (through flesk) as part of their employee benefits.

Looking forward to seeing more employers promoting workspace access as a big remote-work benefit.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🏑 Who should be doubling down on neighborhood coworking? #

Craig Baute pens a compelling argument why smaller coworking spaces that serve their immediate (15-min travel radius) neighborhoods are great bets for balancing risk and reward.

As Craig is both an operator of 3 such spaces through Creative Density, and a partner at DenSwap, I’d definitely dig your teeth into this piece if you’re looking to get started with coworking investing, or expand your coworking brand’s footprint.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“š Going deeper down the coworking-in-libraries rabbit hole #

Tobias Kremkau follows on a thread I started in last week’s newsletter on whether libraries shifting towards workspaces a good or bad thing for local coworking operators.

Having followed this trend since 2016, Tobias digs into how they can be an opportunity (more awareness of coworking principles) and rarely a threat (free space during the day vs paid memberships or day passes).

It’s an awesome post full of insights, check it out.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🌍 Distributed offices may be the future of work in Africa #

Gregoire Schwebig shared in a panel that due to existing infrastructural problems in Africa, the future of work on the continent could be distributed offices (a company having multiple offices around cities) vs going fully-remote.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ Browsing coworking websites must be mind-numbing #

Bernie Mitchell reminds us that many (many many many) coworking space websites say the same things, instead of focussing on what makes your community and space unique to specific businesses or individuals.

Do you really need to tell people you offer free WiFi in 2023?

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’ͺ During tough months, celebrate your team #

Marta Moska from O4 Coworking gives a masterclass on calling out and celebrating their team after a hectic month.

These posts are great for team morale, promotion of your space, connecting of your community and humanizing your brand. Post yours, often.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’¬ Q&A with marketing director at coworking franchise #

Helga Moreno quizzed Rubin Beckner about Venture X, their origin, their model, their challenges and their growth.

I love taking a look behind the curtain to see what fast-growing concepts/platforms and brands are doing from a marketing perspective.

– Shared by Helga

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ₯³ What can we learn from a decade of flex experience? #

Kayley DiCicco shares 4 valuable lessons picked up from being EXPANSIVE’s employee #1 and spending 10 years at the same operator. Not many folks have a decade of experience in flex, so I def took each lesson to heart.

In short they were to work hard, but stay humble; often the grass isn’t always greener; not to take things personally; and the power of planting seeds and cultivating relationships.

Thanks for sharing Kayley, and congrats on the milestone!

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“œ 16 lessons about building community #

Cat Johnson shares 16 life-changing lessons about community learned from almost 4 years of leading The Lab (a virtual community for indie coworking space operators).

Having been part of The Lab from day one, and seen the expressions of generosity, courage, business savvy, resilience, humanness, vision, service, kindness, strength, humor, creativity and intelligence first-hand – I’d def recommend noting down some of these lessons for building a community within your spaces or around your businesses.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’° How a landlord opened a coworking space for <$10 p/sqft. #

Mike Kriel shares how Launch Workplaces worked with a landlord to convert a suddenly-vacant floor into a coworking space, for just $8 per square foot. By assessing what was already in place, and what needed to be done (paint, carpet, tech, small appliances, etc), they turned a vacant 25k sqft floor into a ready-to-go shared workspace business.

Once again, as experienced operators, you’re primed for opportunities in helping landlords activate their suddenly empty floors. Excited to keep following your, Mike’s and Launch’s progress in activating more spaces as office supply skyrockets.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί ABC news features how Aussies are seeking out coworking #

Zoe Keenan shares how more and more Australians are seeking out coworking spaces and communities to avoid working from home (which has become a chore) and to find community and connection as solo workers.

Note: Keep reminding remote workers in your neighborhoods that it isn’t just WFH or ‘the office, and that you’re there to provide something different (read: better).

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ”Ž Marketing’s job in crowded markets. #

April Dunford, one of the world’s go-to professionals around positioning for B2B cos, shares her answer to a frequent question they get: “How do you position a completely undifferentiated product that operates in a very crowded market?”

If we’re very honest, this could be asked by any coworking practitioner, and be a good question. As with any good question, the answer is usually also a question. In this case April asks “why are current customers choosing you?”

In short, if you’re winning deals in a crowded market, marketing’s job is to understand why and then amplify that.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’Έ Booking app makes the economic pitch to UK employers #

Chelliah Nakeeran makes the economical argument as to why coworking could help employers support their teams who are feeling the pinch from inflation.

It’s a good positioning. Lower capital expenditure on real estate commitments frees cash flow to reinvest into employees, who also benefit from lower commuting costs (and the higher prices of eating out or grabbing coffee in big city centers).

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“… Have you restarted introducing your events? #

Hanbury Hall Coworking shares a post about their Deep Work Club, how it helps and what people focussed on last week.

This made me think, that with the surge in first-time coworkers, have you begun introducing your events like lunch-and-learns, pitch karaoke, and deep work sessions? Remote workers may not have heard of them, or had the opportunity to participate, before.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

😢 10s of thousands of visitors’ details leaked from check-in app #

Techcrunch reports on the security flaw on WeWork India‘s web-based check-in app, that left tens of thousands of visitors’ details exposed to anyone on the internet (who knew where to look).

Given how critical proptech is becoming for operating and access flex workspaces, this is a stark reminder that data security should be priority 1, 2 and 3 when planning, implementing and maintaining your flex space’s Operating Stack.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

😳 Hybrid-office marketplace touts 1100 shared offices in London #

Startacus shares the lowdown on Space32, the platform founded by Jon Dweck, Keith Lomas and Richard Fine that classifies themselves as “the first ‘hybrid-office’ marketplace’.

The platform differs from most booking platforms and aggregators in that businesses who have implemented hybird policies like having everyone come in for 3 days a week, can list their offices as bookable to others who want their team to come in for 2 days a week.

This 3-2 split is probably where the 32 in their name comes from. An interesting take on subleasing or sharing of office space. I wonder how/where coworking spaces and other flex products fit into this offering, if at all.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Large UK flex provider turns on on-demand access. #

Landmark Space have brought in Upflex‘s tech to manage their on-demand offerings, and will enable their 14k users to make real-time bookings of desks and meeting rooms across 44 locations in 8 UK cities.

_In a LinkedIn post about this news Christophe Garnier mentions that existing and new customers will be able to book through the platform, which makes me wonder if the app is only for Landmark customers/tenants or will allow users of other Upflex-powered apps to make on-demand bookings at these 44 locations._

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ€– The diff between winners and losers in AI? Data. #

Andrew Ng, a deep learning pioneer, says that companies should become ‘data-centric’ and focus on “better data, not bigger data” to be successful with AI.

The piece gets into some nitty gritty details about the curating the right data, training algorithms and the continuous nature of both. What has this got to do with coworking? Well, expect to see “AI” plastered even more across the industry, so take a sec (pref. a bit longer) to think about where AI can really help, and what data would make it an unfair competitive advantage for you and your business.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ€“ An example of generative AI for iterative build-outs #

Jesper Wallgren shares a sneak peak into how generative AI can be leveraged with regards to fitting out real estate.

Whilst Finch is built for architects, it’s not hard to see how technology similar to this could be used to help operators and large members plan out their spaces based on data and specific goals (eg ESG, cost, delight, etc).

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“± Family-owned property company rolls out TeX app #

Bruntwood have rolled out a tenant experience (TeX) app across their portfolio. I believe the app is powered by HqO and tenants events, F&B ordering, perks/discounts and a news feed.

Landlords across the globe are investing heavily in their experience layers, focussing hard on tying hospitality, amenities and flexibility to increase their competitiveness.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

😲 Aggregator shares that landlord generated £100k in rev. #

Ofixu (a discovery platform for flex space) shares how they helped a landlord fill their unused office space and generate over Β£100k (~$127k) in rental income.

Whilst this could be seen as purely a marketing post by the aggregator, I share it to remind you that there are more and more platforms out there working hard on driving different subsets of ‘demand’ to the ‘supply’ they have listed with them.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ” On-demand app adds recurring bookings #

Tally Market share a new feature making it super easy for the same workspace to be booked every weekday or the same day every week.

I love this shift into making on-demand bookings more repetitive and useful for folks who found their ideal third space work schedule.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» Operator begins offering their software to other businesses #

Graham Wong shares that LAUFT have begin piloting their in-house software as a solution for other businesses to manage their own offices, and be able to book remote workspaces at LAUFT locations, in a singular app.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ London flex report for Q2 shows expansion and median rates #

Rubberdesk have shared another report, this time focussing on operator moves and median rates across Central, East, West, North, South and the City of London.

They look at 5,403,200 sqm ( 58,159,560 sqft) of flex space and share the median office rate per person and coworking desk rates across the areas.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ™οΈ Manhattan hits 70M sqft of avail office space #

Gabe Marans shares that available office space in Manhattan has now surpassed the total availability of both Austin and Nashville, combined.

Whilst this is troubling for office building owners, it could present a raft of opportunities for creative flex space operators looking to enter or grow across the peninsula.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🎫 An update on 40+ digital nomad visas #

Matt Gale shares the cost, income requirements and duration of stay for 40+ digital nomad visas.

These visas (and their impact on local flex space businesses) are an undercurrent trend I’m tracking, so it’s def interesting to see them compared side-by-side like this.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Hong Kong’s 2022 flex market review #

Alex Mason from The Instant Group shares their Hong Kong flex market review.

In summary: demand for flex in 2021 was up 22% from 2019 levels. Supply of flex space increased by 6% from 2020, and forecast to grow 15% by 2023. There was a drop in desk rates in some regions due to a new wave of Covid-19 cases in late 2021, but The Central Districte and Sheung Wan saw a 1% and 3% increase in rates respectively.

Also, workstation rates in other parts of APAC all saw more dramatic price reductions in 2021, dropping in Singapore by -20%, Tokyo by -15%, Seoul by -12% and Sydney by -11%.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ London prices down 2%, but supply up 26% #

Rubberdesk’s London Flexible Office Space Report for June 2023 is out, looking at supply and pricing across Greater London’s coworking and flex markets.

The data (based on what is listed with them I believe) shows a 16.7% bump in vacant offices, 25.8% increase in vacant sqft and vacant workstations, whilst median office rate dropped 2% to Β£622.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🀝 Coworking market moves.

πŸ“Ή Content-creation house launches new studios in Shoreditch #

Graham Hussey shares his inspiring story of wanting to launch his business in London, to taking on a retail lease during the pandemic, to now launching a whole new building of Dream Factory content-creating studios in Shoreditch.

Fascinating that this has all been funded through customer service, success and dedication. As they aim to open 60 studios around the world, including in Brooklyn, I’m excited to see them grow from strength to strength.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“² Home-office sharing app announces crowdfunding round #

Daniel Hillman has shared that Jarvo is launching a crowdfunding round on Seedrs. Whilst the round is still in pre-registration mode, the platform has an interesting mission to make beautiful workspaces within private homes no more than 15 mins walk or cycle from their members’ doorsteps.

Whilst this can be seen as competitive to suburban coworking offerings, there’s definitely a lot of opportunity for collaboration around the kinds of spaces, amenities and services you may not be able to get from other peoples’ home offices IMHO.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK network lands Bloomsbury location via JV #

Natasha Guerra shares that Runway East’s 9th location will be a 45k sqft space in Bloomsbury through a joint-venture with the landlord.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

β˜•οΈ Williamsburg gets a new coworking space via partnership #

Shai Fogel shares that Mindspace have opened a location in Williamsburg through a partnership with Rubenstein Partners (their second between them).

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ UK operator reveals new look and 2 mill. investment #

Andrew Butler shares that Figflex are investing Β£2M to accelerate growth to 14 locations, alongside a rebrand.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Giovanni Palavicini and Jamie Russo chat with Melissa Schilo about how JLL Flex is helping owners go flex.

🎧 Listen to this.

Liz Elam chats with Kate Dezarnaulds about Work Life and it’s rural coworking business and secondary income streams on the GCUC Coworking Podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

Jamie Russo explores the end-to-end process of selling a coworking space on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

Jamie and Gio chat with Chris Davies about Uncommon, his commitment to continuous improvement, taking the best to each new location…and creating what he thinks is the best shared workspace in the world in Hoburn on the Flex Uncensored podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Coworking Festival Berlin #

Sept 5-9: Coworking Festival Berlin will be back in September 2022. For one week, spaces in Berlin and Brandenburg will open their doors and invite everyone to experience coworking.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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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