ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 29, 2023

This week we explore how weak office markets are squeezing flex spaces, how to re-warm leads, pros/cons of coworking from 2017, that viral AI-salesperson video, a furniture-rental acquisition, and more.

πŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

πŸŽ‚ The Lab turned 3! #

Cat Johnson’s online community for coworking-leaders celebrates 3 years of connecting, sharing and fine-tuning each others marketing, messaging and mental health.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

πŸ‡­πŸ‡° Weak property market squeezing HK operators #

Nikkei Asia reported that the weak commercial property market in Hong Kong was actually squeezing out coworking operators as firms who’d traditionally use flex space could get better deals on leases for traditional office space.

With notes around The Great Room closing a flagship and The Executive Center no planning any new locations in HK – it’s worth noting that troubled office markets in other cities could see similar shifts away from flex to cheaper long-term office space.

– Shared by Liz @ GCUC

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ”₯ 4 steps to warm up not-ready-yet workspace leads #

Taylor Mason shares 4 steps that flex space operators should implement to convert leads that don’t immediately convert into members. They are: 1. Segment, 2. Preliminary email, 3. Follow-up series, and 4. Good triggers.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

βš–οΈ The pros/cons of coworking membership for freelancers #

Christy Alexander shares a piece by Nicole Spector on NBC News’ Better from 2017 (no, that’s not a typo) that looks into the pros and cons of switching from WFH to a coworking space, as a full-time freelancer.

I always enjoy seeing the thoughts of members (and those taking coworking trials) about things we often forget or don’t even think about. From the toilet situation to ‘stressing’ about phone calls, it’s a good reminder of what prospective or current members may STILL be thinking about.

Oh and the verdict? “In my experience the pros of the co-working space heavily outweigh the cons, and finally I understand why people dish out so much money for these spaces.” I do wonder if they ever did end up joining a space since then.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ€” What uncomfortable decision have you been avoiding? #

Bernie Mitchell shares some thoughts around uncomfortable decisions that coworking businesses avoid making, but that could change everything for them.

Two examples he shares are a space in 2013 drastically shifting from open plan to offices and operators deciding to learn and implement coworking software.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🍾 When your members succeed, so do you. #

A local online publication shares the story of a high school project that became a global business. Why should you care? They’ve based the business within a coworking space. They took their smiling photo for the piece in front of the Pursuit Coworking’s logo.

This kind of earned media exposure is huge for local flex brands. I’d even go as far as to suggest partnering or bundling PR services into memberships for your members.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

😲 Are you still being asked if you’re “like WeWork”? #

Michael Abrams shares some thoughts around why flex space supply seems to have stalled at around 3% of total office inventory, and notes that way too many office landlords and brokers are still asking “Are you like WeWork?” with negative connotations.

From what I’m seeing theres more appetite from both brokers and landlords across the global CRE industry for flex, but if you’re still being thrust under the cloud of certain Apple+ series just point them to where I make an active effort to highlight just how wide, diverse and often-times more sustainable the industry has truly become.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🐣 How a new life was born through coworking #

Andrew Stevens shares the impact that coworking had on his life, business and lifestyle. It’s a fascinating (and short) story that goes from hearing about this ‘coworking thing’ happening in Europe whilst being based in Melbourne, to visiting betahaus, building an anti-corporate agency, working from coworking spaces in across Europe and more.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’‘ Content idea: Ask members to describe their first thoughts #

A post on Livit Hub’s blog by Julia Winterflood digs into their thoughts about joining the coworking community in Bali.

As you may have noted, I do love reading observations and thoughts from members across the global coworking industry, but this post is also a great idea for content-generation for spaces who are looking to tell their story through the experiences of their community.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

πŸ“² New AI sales call video demo goes viral #

Eric Vyacheslav is one of the many who shared this video demo from Air AI. In it, an AI system simulates a human salesperson from Tesla, quantifying a lead and qualifying their leads. This post alone has been reshared 2,500 times and seen almost 19k reactions.

The comments bring up some great questions around how ethical this is, but the advancement is one worth noting. Not only for how tools for our industry could evolve, but also what if this tech lands up in the hands of scammers, auto-dialers and other phone-call related nuisances? Do we then need AI call answering to distinguish between AI callers and real ones?!

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ” We’ll just get some smart locks… #

Lee Odess shares their latest Access Control map, showing how a decision around a solution for locking and unlocking doors can span across 430+ companies.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

πŸ“Š Revenue & duration beat 2019 benchmark, but volume still below. #

Miro Miroslavov shares a summary of OfficeRnD’s latest FlexIndex report.

To summarize the summary: Utilization up 5pts, Static Desk Occupancy in June is up 6.2% from 2019 but not higher than March 2023. Revenue per Available Workspace stabilized, closing June at 4.9% above 2019 mark. Meeting room booking duration and revenue up after Easter and a smidge above the benchmark. Volume of bookings went up in March, but still sits 22.3% below 2019’s numbers.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🀝 Coworking market moves.

🚚 Furniture rental co is acquired #

Jay Reno shares two interesting pieces of data. Most relevant to flex spaces is that Feather, the furniture rental co (that partnered up with WeWork across 35 back in w41/21)) has been acquired. The co had gone through the Y Combinator program and had gathered quite some momentum. Deal terms have yet to be shared.

In one of the Clubhouse calls (remember those?) I had made a call that there’d be consolidation in the coworking-adjacent furniture/equipment rental market, but I got it wrong that CORT would be the one doing the buying.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ London getting new inclusive private members clubs #

The Evening Standard shares information around The Dally, a ‘neighbourhood’ private members club, ahead of their first location launch in Islington, London. Membership runs just Β£65 p/month and gives access to a restaurant, lounge, bar and a program of events.

This is an interesting one, and I’ve been following Caroline Baldwin and Claire ilardi-Crow’s work on this for a little bit, as the line between coworking community and members club get ever-more blurred.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🏜 Utah-based brand expands to Grand Canyon state #

Brighton Youd shared that Kiln are expanding to the greater-Phoenix area, with a new location opening in Dec 2023.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ₯§ Group adds 340k sqft of flex suites #

Brendan McGee shares that worCPlaces (by CP Group) are expanding to add an additional 340,000 sqft of flex office suites. This follows the brands launch and strong results since late 2021.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ’Ό Flex operator expands into advisory practice #

Tobi Skovron shares that CreativeCubes have hired Dr Ben Hame as their Chief Futurist and to establish their Future of Work Advisory Practice.

As the world of work shifts towards leveraging spaces of all kinds more flexibly, I do believe we’ll see more expansions into advisory and consultancy services.

Jerome Chang from BLANKSPACES was early on this trend in our TWIC calls highlighting how community-managers-as-a-service could be a huge opportunity for corporates who need help running new kinds of offices.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Jillian Kilby chats with Liz Elam about the importance of economic development, having passion for the cause, and putting everything into perspective on the GCUC Podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

Caleb Parker & Zoe Ellis-Moore chat with Rishi Chowdhury about some of the biggest industry shifts happining right now in Flex and the future of the industry on the Future of Buildings 2040 podcast.

– Shared by Rishi

🎧 Listen to this.

On the Everything Coworking podcast, Jamie Russo looks into why coworking operators should prepare to sell landlords on their business model.

🎧 Listen to this.

Mike Kriel chats with Gio and Jamie about his approach to building 10 coworking spaces through creative (lease-less) partnership deals on the Flex Uncensored podcasst

🎧 Listen to this.

πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ™Œ Convo: Boost member engagement #

July 28: You’ve put in the work to create an intentional space and bring in members, but things are still feeling…stagnant. How do you change that around and get people interested and engaged? ​Let’s chat about it.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

♻️ Webinar: Can coworking spaces be sustainable? #

August 2: Coworks CEO DeShawn Brown will talk to the CEO of GreenPlaces, a new all in one sustainability platform to explore how coworking spaces can make smart changes now, find deep savings across utilities, and even pass benefits on to members.

– Shared by Lauren

πŸ‘‰ Read 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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