ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 28, 2023

This week's summaries include office-to-farm conversions, fare-free transit, Code Interpreter, 3 flex data-sets, 7 market moves and more.

📰 Coworking news & views.

🌾 Empty offices are being converted… into farms. #

Modern Farmer shares a fascinating insight into how under-utilized office space is being converted into vertical farms in Arlington, VA.

We’ve heard a lot of office-to-resi talk, and looked at how it could impact city centers or CBDs. But what if this idea also kicked in, bringing fresh and hyperlocally-grown fruit and veg into the equation too? Better F&B offerings and more residential space, alongside your coworking spaces ofcourse, could change how some areas feel completely.

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🖐 5 tips for starting a coworking space #

Stephen Wood, who was the first GM of Soho House’s Soho Works in London, shares 5 top tips for using tech and resources they didn’t have at the time to start a coworking space.

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📖 More thoughts on industry terminology & taxonomies #

Matt Watts from LABS ponders, after 18 years in the industry, on what we call what it is ‘we’ do or offer.

"Are we serviced offices? Are we flexible workspace? Are we offices? Are we coworking space providers? Is it a ‘centre’? Are we a business centre? Are we simply a building?"

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🏢 How a historic 30-story building got back to 80% capacity #

Whilst not exaaactly coworking-specific, this piece on how Peter Soens and the team at 123 South Board Street in Philadelphia went from losing 320k sqft of tenants back to 80% filled. In summary, they shifted from large tenants with more office space, to smaller tenants and more amenities.

As the market tightens for office landlords, expect more creativity and exploration of partnerships that can help them offer and manage more flexible and hospitality-driven offerings.

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🚌 Some cities are ending fares on transit #

CNN reports on how Kansas City; Raleigh; Richmond; Olympia; Tucson; Alexandria, Virginia; and other cities including Denver, Boston an NYC are testing dropping fares on their transit systems.

Whilst the piece focuses on the goals of boosting ridership, removing cost burdens and reducing boarding times – I think it opens up the serviceable area and ‘loca’l community for coworking spaces within these cities.

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⏫ A look at how coworking spaces boost local economies #

The Conversation looks into how coworking spaces can boost local economies, and how compared to other countries and initiatives "there seems to be a lack of strategic thinking from the national government on the funding and location of co-working (sic) spaces" in the UK.

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🗽 What 3 NYC startups got from sharing an office #

Wells Douraghy shares how their startup July pay less for rent, but get so much more value and support, from their shared office.

Now Wells does note call a WeWork membership "disruptive", and instead of joining any local coworking space 3 businesses decided to share a lease. But, if you look at the benefits the team got, there’s something in there for operators looking to support businesses like these.

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💻 Coworking technology.

🕸 Some notes for your coworking website #

Helga shares 7 steps to creating a high-performing coworking website. They are: understanding your target audience, defining your brand identity, designing an engaging UX, showcasing your space and community, optimizing for SEO, incorporating lead-gen, and thinking about ongoing maintenance.

Ofcourse there are alternatives to doing this all in-house, from using off-the-shelf functionality from your management system, to integrating something like WordPress/Ghost/etc into your technical stack – your website shouldn’t be an afterthought, it is where the best leads converted to members in 2022.

– Shared by andcards

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💭 Why CloudVO sold to Yardi #

Laurent Dhollande shares a summary of the notes they shared with CloudVO partners regarding their recent sale to Yardi.

In summary (of the summary): Yardi already owns a growing set of coworking-focussed web properties, driving a large number of enquiries to operators, and developing an integrated stack is difficult.

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🤖 What is Code Interpreter and how its like a toolbox #

Ethan Mollick shares what ChatGPTs Code Interpreter is, how it improves output from ‘pure’ GPT-4 by being able to write code, and some examples of how the combo can become anybody’s very own data analyst.

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🇪🇸 Booking app hits 100 space milestone #

Rafa Castilla shares that TribuApp hit the milestone of 100 offices listed in Spain.

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📈 Coworking data.

🇨🇦 What 4.5M sqft of available space means for coworking spaces #

Charlotte Kirby shares a fascinating look at the impact of record high sublet space availability is having in The Village Hive’s local markets across the Greater Toronto Area.

In short: day pass & dedicated desk demand is up in Markham; North York is seeing growing demand for team spaces on 2-6 month terms and meeting rooms; and in midtown Toronto daily booking demand for team offices and meeting rooms is surging past private office rentals.

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😲 What that 1B sqft of US empty office space looks like #

Visual Capitalist shares a jaw dropping infographic to visualize what the United States’ (almost) 1 billion square feet of empty office space looks like.

The 48,125 floors of space dwarfs Mount Everest’s height of 29,032ft at an astounding 529,375ft. If just 10% of those "floors" were converted into flex spaces, that’s 4,812 new spaces spanning 96,240,000 sqft.

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🌏 Volume of APAC flex space grows 6% to 87M sqft #

CBRE’s latest H1 2023 APAC report digs into the stable growth of flex office market. Delhi NCR and Bangalore saw 3.1M sqft of new space whilst Melbourne saw a drop in stock due to a potential insolvency.

Flex penetration of overall office market held steady at 4%, whilst also seeing a growing proportion of spaces being inside ‘Grade A’ office buildings.

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🤝 Coworking market moves.

🎸 Franchise raises new flag in Nashville with 33k sqft hub #

John Arenas shares that Serendipity Labs just opened a 33,000 sqft location, their third, in Nashville.

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🇮🇳 500 location coworking-in-restaurants startup closes shop #

Yogesh Thore shares that that Friyey, which charged remote workers and entrepreneurs $1.20 a day to work from nightclubs has ceased operations.

This isn’t the first startup we’ve seen launch that offered club, restaurant or other space during off-hours as drop-in workspaces. It isn’t even the first we’ve seen to close, but that’s not the case for all if you remember that Spacious in NYC was acquired by WeWork.

I am impressed with the numbers, as Friyey did hit 500+ location partners and provided space to 24,000 people in their 4 years of operations. Where are/will this network of people going to work from now?

👉 Read this.
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🏖 Another operator expands into Brighton #

Jon Trigg shares that Freedom Works Ltd will also be expanding into Brighton. This will be their 10th space since opening 7 years ago in Worthing.

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🇩🇪 Partnership brings “Office Cubes” to motorway service areas #

SolingenMagazin shares some details behind the pilot partnership between Nooka Space and orangery to offer bookable workspaces at two service areas on the A3. The cubes offer fast WiFi, a quiet environment and a real desk for important calls or a spot of work whilst on the road.

Now this of course isn’t the first time we’ve seen bookable work pods pop up in airports, train stations, and other commuter-focussed areas – but they’re one of the few that seem to be also focussed on the tech behind the cubes and making them easy to book and use.

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🇸🇪 Swedish booking platform acquired #

The Instant Group shares that they’ve acquired yta.se, the Swedish booking platform that has delivered 250M SEK in annual lease value to flex space operators.

Now the release does note that yta would be part of Instant, but I assume they mean that it would be be rolled into the Worka group of booking platforms following the Instant + IWG Digital merger we’ve been tracking.

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⎌ Founder reacquires their acquired brand #

Nicholas Donnelly shares that they’ve purchased back the WorkClub brand from Upflex.

The platform and brand were initially acquired in Week 50, 2021 and the next chapter of the brand may include becoming "a vibrant community that brings people together, mitigates workplace loneliness, and fosters a sense of belonging."

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🧀 National partnership to upgrade food options #

Jamie Hodari shares how, and why, Industrious partnered with Instacart to upgrade their in-space food options.

As someone who founded the global perks and partnership platform for hundreds of coworking spaces, I love this deal, and can’t wait to see how other operators upgrade their in-space offerings through deals and perks.

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🎙 Coworking conversations.

Peter Duncan and Claire Carpenter discuss the social and economic power of coworking on the Talking EDAS podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Shannon and Emiliano Lerda discuss their cowarehousing story with Jamie Russo on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Mike Thakur discusses lessons learned from building coworking spaces for creators like themself with Jamie and Gio on the Flex Uncensored podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.
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Cat Johnson shares a hot take on why no coworking space operator can build a community from the outside (or above) on the Coworking Out Loud podcast.

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Suzanne Murdock discusses the evolution of coworking and the future of remote work after a decade in the coworking industry on the Coworking Values podcast.

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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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