ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 27, 2023

This week's summaries include a Manhattan's 70M sqft opportunity, London's wax & wane, two stories re: AI in flex, marketing's job in crowded markets and more.

πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

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.

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’° 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’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₯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“… 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.

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.

😲 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‘¨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™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‡§ 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‡¬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.

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.

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.

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πŸ‘‰ Read this.