This week is brought to you by Syncaroo
AI-powered tools are coming to flex spaces around the world. But there’s a lot of new words being thrown around, in this document we explain 5 popular AI terms, using every-day flex space examples.
We hope it helps introduce these concepts in a more approachable way.
🎉 Coworking celebrations.
📖 Once upon a time… #
Marta Moksa shares a reminder that long before the pandemic, hybrid and the newfound understanding of remote work well.. working.. there was a group of people who started something new.
"Suddenly something new, strange and weird, became obvious, easy and helpful." Yeap!
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✊ Coworking impact.
💡 August ’23 IDEA challenge: Disrupting domestic violence #
Bernie Mitchell shares this month’s IDEA Challenge, which is facilitated by Melody Gross. This month’s challenge (the 31st IDEA challenge btw) is asking you to disrupt domestic violence and make a difference to the voice you give it in your coworking space.
Coworking news & views.
🤦♂️ What was supposed to be this week’s intro paragraph #
For the introduction of this week’s email I dug into the buzz about WeWork, IWG and International Coworking Day and how they’re interconnected in an interesting way. The email got wayyy too long. So I turned it into a post and am sharing it here with you instead.
🎼 An ode to 6 years… and 6 lessons learned #
I looove reading people’s "coworking stories" (for the uninitiated, that’s how they landed up working in/at a coworking space), and Jessica Samson’s does not disappoint. From not knowing how to pronounce the space’s name, to 6 things learned and loved about coworking.
In summary they are: the power of collaboration, how community doesn’t just happen, making your net-work, the important basics, The Sims, and expanding impact beyond the 4 outer walls.
📸 What a great coworking day (or any day) collab idea #
Kelli Freshman shared how they’re taking "environmental headshots" (I had to look it up, they’re more relaxed, but still professional, headshots) for members for free as part of the The Shop Workspace’s celebrations for Coworking Day.
I absolutely love spaces partnering up with talented local creatives to provide value-adds that members can get excited about.
📨 Dear coworking newcomers… #
Cat Johnson penned (can we still say that these days?) an inspiring open letter to newcomers to the coworking industry. Whether you’re a landlord, investor, operator, manager, marketer, helper, or even member have a read.
"The most important point I want to make is that you’re part of something amazing. You’re part of something transformative. You’re part of something visionary and grounded; something deeply human and future-forward. All at the same time." Hear hear.
✅ A guide for starting a successful coworking space #
Helga Moreno shares another deep resource from andcards, this time focussing on how someone can go from an idea for a coworking space, through planning, partnerships, deal-making, funding, technology, ops, community building.. and more. It’s thorough!
😍 Opportunity as businesses decouple rent from revenue #
Dror Poleg shares an interesting note about how thanks to AI and remote work, how businesses run and where-from is undergoing a seismic shift. Traditional office rents are facing a reckoning thanks to people picking where to work, and AI-assistance allowing fewer employees to do more units of work.
To paraphrase, as businesses employ ‘fewer people per unit of revenue’, they’ll also be willing to spend more per employee. This is where an opportunity exists for operators who are already experimenting and perfecting other revenue opportunities from services, tools, tech and data.
🌱 Vertical farm salads that started in coworking hits store shelves #
I love seeing success stories from businesses that started in coworking spaces, especially when it’s from businesses outside the ‘normal’ startup niches.
In this post Tony Margiotta shares that GrowUp Farms salads are now stocked in Tesco (a popular UK retailer, and remembers them running a vertical farm in their space in Whitechapel.
🗽 Yahoo finance spends 7 mins digging into impact on NYC real estate market #
When looking at a potential WeWork collapse, Yahoo Finance looks at what impact this could have on NYC’s real estate market.
Interesting to hear from Lea Overby (Barclays Head of CMBS Research) that even though the coworking firm rents 6.8M sqft in Manhattan, which is roughly twice the size of the Empire State Building, it is still just a little bit over 1% of all "outstanding (office) exposure within Manhattan".
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💻 Coworking technology.
🦜 Platform merges flythroughs, virtual tours and 3D models #
Sam Stewart shares an exciting (well, if you’re a flex space tech geek like me) video demo from Inspace which helps CRE firms build interactive digital presentations.
By bringing together maps, models, virtual tours and flythroughs – prospective members (or investors) can get a fuller idea of where your building is, what it looks like, and more. I’m a huge fan of changing how people explore spaces before clicking ‘book’.
🇬🇧 Some parts of London saw 36% increase in office prices #
Jules Robertson summarized the changes in desk rates between Q2 2023 and the quarter before.
Euston and Kings Cross (+36%), East London Prime (+32%), Midtown (+29%) and South West London (+25%) saw the biggest increases where North West London saw the biggest decrease of -37%. West London, West London Prime and East London saw 0% changes.
Coworking market moves.
💰 Startup buys building at 50% discount #
The SF Standard reports on how StartupHQ acquired a building in San Francisco’s SoMa neighbourhood for $6M. What makes this a story is the previous owner paid double that.
What makes it coworking-related? Well the building’s been sitting empty since WeWork left it in the pandemic, and well because the building will once again become a shared workspace for early-stage businesses.
🆕 A new player has entered. Welcome IKEA! #
IKEA have shared that they have partnered with Industrious to build a new 46,470 sqft coworking space in San Francisco.
"Hej! Worksips" is a partnership between the two and Ingka Centers (formerly Ikea Centers) who owns and leases space to 381 IKEA stores. IKEA follows other retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and SUCCESS in adding coworking spaces into their diversification strategies.
🔻 WeWork issues warning and starts 12 month timer #
During the firms company result’s leadership shared that its ability to stay in operation comes down to whether they can improve liquidity and profitability over the next 12 months.
‘WeWork is warning there’s “substantial doubt” about its ability to stay in business over the next year because of its financial losses and its need for cash, among other factors.’ Many have speculated that a possible route through bankruptcy may be on the cards.
🤑 IWG reports record H1 results #
IWG reported a 48% surge in half-year profits of £198M, a growth of 32% in Worka revenue to £153M along with £54M in debt reductions, and a 14% bump in org-wide revenue to £1.7B
🇩🇪 Mindspace opens their 11th location in Germany #
Ela Günes shares that Mindspace Münzstraße, the brand’s sixth space in Berlin and 11th in Germany, has now opened.
🤫 Coworking hub switches to exclusive members club #
Liam Doe shares how (and why) Old Bond Store has shifted to only accept new members via invitation only. They diverted all marketing budget to reward members for introductions, and focussed on building a community existing members want to be a part of.
It’s an interesting shift as we’ve seen members clubs become coworking hubs, coworking spaces charge large fees to be more exclusive and now this. I do hope Liam continues to share learnings and how things go. I for one wonder if this will lead to a less diverse community due to the invitation-only approach.
🇬🇧 New franchise space to open in Cambridge #
John Arenas shares that NewFlex are opening a new Serendipity Labs in Cambridge, UK.
🛫 Asia’s first pay-per-minute coworking center in an airport #
JustCo and Changi Airport Group have announced a partnership to launch an amenity-packed 24/7 coworking center in the airports’ Terminal 3. The space, estimated to open next quarter, will be closer to an airport lounge than a rentable booth, which we’ve seen great pilots of so far. Keep an eye on this trend of coworking in train stations and other travel hubs.
☀️ Quest Workspaces doubles size of Boca Raton location. #
Laura Kozelouzek shares that Quest are adding 86 new private offices in Suite 300, which will become their 12th location, alongside a renovation of the existing location.
🎙 Coworking conversations.
Kevin Whelan chats with Liz Elam all about uncovering and harnessing unique niches for explosive growth on the GCUC Coworking Podcast
Kate Dezarnaulds chats with Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist about discovering community and connection at the same time as building a successful coworking space on the Mumbition podcast.
Michael Everts and Jamie Russo discuss building a better coworking tech stack on the Flex Academy series by officernd and Everything Coworking.
Jamie Russo chats with Marina McCoy about managing Hula coworking where theres a four year waitlist for their private offices on the Everything Coworking podcast.
📆 Coworking events.
📬 Key elements to designing your VO offering #
Aug 23: Discover the essential components to craft a successful virtual office offering. Whether you’re a seasoned coworking space owner, community manager, mail operator, or someone just starting out in the industry, this interactive session will prepare you with the knowledge and strategies to design a thriving virtual mailbox service for your community.