ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 33, 2022

This week we see a new flex space analogy, a plea for day passes, the IDEA handbook, train-station opportunity, a super-group in APAC and 44% of financial service firms expecting to double flex utilization.

As a flex space, are you making music or movies?

Over the last 50 or 60 newsletters, it’s become clear that there’s a defining fork coming up in the road for flex spaces regarding their distribution and discovery strategies. 

In this short (3-min) read, I share a new analogy to help you start discussions around your own strategies for who you want to reach, or be found by.

👉 Read this.

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🎉 Coworking celebrations.

🎂 Hera Hub turns 12! #

Huge congrats to Felena Hanson and the Hera team!

👉 Read this.

🎂 turned 8! #

Here’s to the next 2,558 days!

👉 Read this.

🎂 Workspace turned 8! #

August 7th marked eight years since Justin Moran took over South Shore Business Center and created Workspace. Congrats on expanding from one suite of offices in Hingham, Massachusetts to four locations across the South Shore with over 300 members!

(This was originally meant to show in the W31/23 newsletter, but Hector hit the wrong button. Big congrats again from me, this time in third person!)

– Shared by Lisa

👉 Read this.

🎂 Anytime Mailbox turned 10! #

👉 Read this.

✊ Coworking impact.

📙 Introducing the ECA IDEA handbook. #

Bernie Mitchell shares a big post with loads of great resources for workspaces looking to become more inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible.

In short, the European Coworking Assembly are releasing a handbook to help workspaces implement IDEA strategies and processes in September, Tash Koster-Thomas facilitates the August 2022 Coworking IDEA challenge, and the Aug 31 Coworking IDEA conversation.

👉 Read this.

🌱 How to start a sustainable coworking journey #

Helga Moreno interviews Amy King about thinking sustainability with regards to amenities and design, and then using these decisions to attract and retain members.

– Shared by Helga

👉 Read this.

📰 Coworking news & views.

🧮 Could a tool from the bond market decode flex leasing forecasts? #

Sam Gamble is back with another (uber-geeky, and always interesting) take on using Markov Chains to model monthly occupancy rates, number of new members forecasted to join or leave, using just 3 pieces of information.

“A Markov Chain is a mathematical model that helps us understand transitions between different states over time, and in the bond market, it’s used to predict the movement of bond ratings.”

👉 Read this.

🙋‍♀️ A plea to coworking spaces: day passes please! #

Chris Lock shares why day-by-day or drop-in or on-demand access is a great idea (for potential coworkers).

It hit a note, or two, or 200… with 216 comments pouring in from operators, booking platforms and other business individuals.

👉 Read this.

📖 What the f is “flex space” anyways? #

We often hear discussions around terminology and taxonomies (ie what do words mean and symbolize) within and around coworking space industry. In this short video, Annie Draper, Director of Operations and Corporate Relations at The Square, shares the evolution of “Flex Space” throughout her career and how it’s adapted and evolved to adapt to changing needs of workers.

👉 Read this.

🤔 Does everybody in RE know the model needs to be reinvented? #

Martijn Roordink shares their thoughts on how the RE model must be reinvented. Noting that if owners and operators combined the best of hotel and flex space models they could generate triple their current yields.

I’d love to dig further into this new model, but I do agree with Martijn than integrated ops and tech management will be a huge part of the new model for commercial real estate.

👉 Read this.

🚢 Filling coworking doesn’t have to be so serious #

Paulien Derden shares another fun video from Brain Embassy Antwerp turning the ‘we have aircon’ posts shared across the industry into a meme.

How are you poking-fun at office-y things to get attention in busy busy (doom-filled) social media feeds?

👉 Read this.

👋 Reading this and wondering how to sell to coworking spaces? #

A lot of brands want to sell to coworking spaces. I try tell as many of them as I can that the secret is not selling to, but supporting, coworking spaces.

In this short deck I share how brands can work with me and this very newsletter to grow their businesses through content that busy operators actually want to click on and engage with.

👉 Read this.

🔮 How well did these coworking predictions from 2016 hold up? #

Nexudus share a fun post digging into some of the predictions their CEO Carlos Almansa Ballesteros made about coworking back in 2016, and looked at how those trends hold up today 7 years later. Spot on were remote work being embraced, corporate coworking, community at the heart, nichification, and tech advances driving innovation.

Carlos, any lottery numbers or stock tips?

👉 Read this.

🇬🇧 What are they up to in Islington? #

Anna Chuicharoen, Community Manager at TownSq Islington, shares what is on at the place where magic happens and the way in which they approach the idea of community to impact local people.

– Shared by Talitha

👉 Read this.

🏋️‍♂️ Are gyms the hottest new offices? #

The Wall Street Journal digs into the growing trend of health-focussed and gym-centric shared workspaces, looking primarily at Local Time’s offerings from the eyes of one of their members Jessica DiGiovanna.

Interestingly, the benefits and higher cost outweigh working from home, as she “only goes to her real office for big meetings and other organized events”.

👉 Read this.

😳 Similarities between 2019 WeWork and 1996 AOL. #

Paul Stanton shares a nostalgia-inducing comparison between AOL in 1996 and WeWork in around 2019.

I like Paul’s approach to exploring the puzzle pieces We Co tried to pull together for servicing and powering multi-tenancy and multi-family buildings. Especially if we keep in mind that Adam Neumann is about to give it another go with Flow’s recent backing.

👉 Read this.

📼 What if you could bring your kids to work with you? #

Nestworks shared a video from their recent popup space, from which they proved two important points: 1. There’s demand for childcare + coworking combos. 2. Kids can play happily with caregivers knowing their parents are close by getting sh*t done.

👉 Read this.

☕️ Venture studio explores payable-table concept for coffee shops #

Paul English shares an idea (and landing page) for PaidTable where coffee shops make tables bookable (as oppose to ‘hogging tables all day’ and nursing a single coffee).

Curious to see how this plays out. But in the meantime, I do love how some coworking spaces have instead chosen to partner with frustrated coffee shop owners to exchange day pass cards for member discounts. Win win, but what if cafés start competing with bookable tables?

👉 Read this.

💥 Is this the phoenix moment for coworking? #

Andrea Pirrotti-Dranchak, global enterprise director of NewFlex, which operates flex office spaces on behalf of landlords, shares thoughts she recently shared with reporters investigating the fallout from a potential WeWork bankruptcy on the wider coworking market.

In short: Andrea notes that fully remote for all employees and return-to-office mandates aren’t going to work for everyone, and employees who get this shift wrong may be seeing valued team members walking out. Which I take to meant that coworking isn’t going away, it’s just being re-born for a wider clientbase.

– Shared by andrea pirrotti-dranchak

👉 Read this.

⚖️ What factors go into the valuation of a coworking business? #

Clive Dale shares a number of different ways buyers and sellers may use to set the value of a coworking business when it comes to (increasingly popular) M&A transactions. Namely, they run through discounted cash flow, asset value, comparison methodology and a multiple of EBITDA. With the latter being the most popular or dominant methodology.

👉 Read this.

🚂 Popup coworking spaces in train stations #

Joachim Gripp shares thoughts after popping in to a popup coworking space at the Berlin Central Station.

The pop up offers commuters a quiet workplace for concentrated work and after a two-week campaign, a permanent workspace is made available on the 10th floor. Great way to launch a new workspace in a location with heavy (and busy) footfall.

👉 Read this.

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💻 Coworking technology.

🔑 Access control co suddenly shuts down #

NextKey have suddenly announced they will be ceasing operations at the end of the month, and that they’ve let go all their staff (including support teams).

Not sure how many spaces were using them, or how many doors were controlled through their cloud solution, but its a scary thought for operations who have not put in place contingency or fallback plans for their operating stack.

– Shared by Jerome

👉 Read this.

🛡 Data synchronicity co adds powerful data firewall to all plans. #

All Syncaroo accounts now also get a free, but powerful, data firewall on all data-syncing tiers – even the free level.

This adds a new dimension to integrating platforms through this infrastructure, keeping data secure whilst also keeping listings auto-updated and bookings in-sync.

👉 Read this.

💡 We dont need more UIs or apps #

Caleb Parker shares a reminder that not every proptech (property technology) solution needs to have a user interface or app.

👉 Read this.

🥽 Are FPV drone videos the next big flex? #

Droneologist shows off a first-person-view (FPV) drone video they made recently for Spacemade.

Drone footage isn’t new, but nicely edited tours could be a lovely way to give prospective members a feel for the space, especially if they’re able to capture some of the community going about their day.

👉 Read this.

🚀 How to see who’s winning in booking space race? #

Look at whose customers are sharing about how they use flex spaces, how it’s part of their culture and how damn happy employees are for it.

We previously saw Slack share how they use WeWork All Access to build community internally, today we hear from Dropbox about how they leverage Desana.

👉 Read this.

📱 30 types of meeting room displays for your coworking space #

The andcards team breaks down 30 different types of meeting room displays that coworking spaces may use to help members see which room is available, when and other useful information or actions.

– Shared by andcards

👉 Read this.

📈 Coworking data.

🏦 44% of financial services firms expect to double flex utilization #

Vincent Lottefier shares trend data from CBRE that includes that the projected increase in European flex space is expected to grow faster than in the US.

One number that caught my eye though was that 44% of the financial services firms surveyed expect to double their flex office space utilization by 2024, with the biggest adopters expecting a 5x increase. Also, that IT security issues were the biggest challenge to adopting more flex space, so keep that in mind as you plan your IT infrastructure upgrades.

👉 Read this.

🧾 Lead gen is the biggest challenge for coworking space operators. #

Interest in flex space and coworking is up, but that isn’t leading to an increase in bookings or memberships for many operators. ” According to a coworking survey conducted by Yardi Kube in partnership with GCUC, owners and operators identified lead generation as their biggest challenge, but still, most of them (55%) plan on expanding in the next 12 months.”

Other interesting datapoints from this piece: of the 350 respondents, 45% noted that their websites generated 75% of their leads. At the same time 27% of the spaces noted that lead generation was their biggest challenge (followed by hiring, system complexity, reporting and manual invoicing at 20%, 13%, 8% and 5% respectively).

👉 Read this.

📉 Desk utilization peaks mid-week, but then craters, everywhere. #

Brad Hargreaves shares a data snapshot from Advanced Workplace Associates on attendance and desk usage by weekday across Latin America, UK and North America. The graph shows a peak on Tue and Wed (and closely followed by Thurs) across all regions, but then dips off on Fridays, especially in North America.

I do wonder if this data also reflects coworking utilization, then is a challenge for flex workspace operators, or an opportunity? For example, could new campaigns/events generate new revenue or membership interest during quieter times?

👉 Read this.

⏫ Convene coworking at 80% occupancy #

Natalie Hernandez shares a piece highlighting how Convene is bucking the popular narrative that coworking is on it’s way out noting that the firm has “kept it coworking tenants intact with an 80% occupancy rate at an average lease term of 15 months.”

👉 Read this.

⛵️ Axios notes that the coworking sector is on the upswing #

In another follow on piece from WeWork’s announcement last week, Axios digs into some numbers from other operators (namely Industrious) that highlight strong demand and business models. Quoting Jamie Hodari they note that they’re seeing “more demand for [flex working spaces] right now than at any time in the last decade”, with revenues tripled since 2019 and current rev growth rate sitting between 35-40%.

👉 Read this.

🤝 Coworking market moves.

🇬🇧 Local council seeking coworking space operating partner in Crewe #

The Economic Development team at Cheshire East Council shared an opportunity for a flex workspace operator to partner up and take over a town-center location on a base rent + profit share lease. The council have earmarked 7 figures for refitting and setting up the space (excl. furniture) and are seeking interested parties who would like to partner up to run the space.

👉 Read this.

🆕 Brand announces new NYC location #

Steven Cohen from Nomadworks announces the newest location in Times Square, NYC is due to open on Sept 6th.

👉 Read this.

🗼 Firm closes 7-year-old location in Seattle #

It was announced the Galvanize would close their five-floor 71k sqft location in Pioneer Square, Seattle.

GeekWire notes that Senior Director of Business Operations Lindsey Rohde called the news “sudden, sad, and frustrating to say the least.” 380 members will be displaced and 1 employee will be impacted. This also follows other recent physical closures in the city from Impact Hub, The Riveter, Hing Hay Coworks, Ballard Labs and Office Nomads.

👉 Read this.

🌏 APAC ‘super group’ forms through merger #

Under The Flexi Group, three brands (Common Ground from Malaysia, The Hive from Hong Kong and The Cluster from Australia) will come under one umbrella to boast 45 locations in 12 cities and nine countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The brands will continue to run independently.

– Shared by Liz @ GCUC

👉 Read this.

🇬🇷 One of Athen’s oldest spaces moves to Kolonaki #

The Cube, co-founded by Stavros Messinis and Maria Calafatis who launched the first coworking space in the capital of Greece, has completed a move to the Kolonaki area.

And no, there’s no relation between my surname and the area. I believe.

👉 Read this.

🤠 Common Desk continues expansion with new Irving location #

Peter Greenspan shares news about Common Desks’ new 37.5k sqft space in Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas.

👉 Read this.

🆕 Firm launches and quickly sells out Nashville founding memberships #

McKenna Yoder shares that Switchyards had launched (and quickly sold out of) Nashville Founding Memberships.

👉 Read this.

🇦🇹 Hotel brand launches 3rd coworking space in Vienna #

Coworking Europe notes that Schani Hotels have opened their 3rd coworking location in Vienna. Watch as even more hospitality and hotel brands adapt to offer or partner with flex space options.

👉 Read this.

🍠 Coworking space dives into fractional office offerings #

The Shop Workspace in Salt Lake City have introduced ‘part-time coworking’ a membership that comes with twice-a-week access at a lower rate. Interesting to see operators explore offering fractional or shared memberships in this way.

👉 Read this.

💷 UK coworking brand shifts into new phase #

Scott Dylan shares that incspaces are shifting towards expansion across the UK.

They’re looking for more locations, consultants, storytellers, flexspaces wanting an exit, and office brokers looking to be acquired.

👉 Read this.

🇭🇰 4 new IWG locations set to launch in Hong Kong #

Darren Rogers shares that IWG are opening four new flex workspaces in Hong Kong, bringing their total to 21. One of the spaces was a former Ucommune location.

👉 Read this.

🆕 Quest launches 13th location #

Laura Kozelouzek once again shares that Quest Workspaces are opening a new location. This, their 13th, location will feat. 80 brand new private offices and span 22,522sqft across the entire 10th floor in Coral Gables.

👉 Read this.

🎙 Coworking conversations.

Jamie Russo chats with Dan Wesson and Chelle Pederson about the origin and epic comeback story of The Post Workspaces.

🎧 Listen to this.

Jamie Russo & Giovanni Palavicini chats with Faye Stutts on Vari committing to the coworking industry.

🎧 Listen to this.

Isabel Berwick chats with Laura Beales (Tally Workspace) and Ebbie Wisecarver (WeWork) on the FT podcast about why beer taps are out and phone booths are in and how design of workspaces have matured since the pandemic.

🎧 Listen to this.

Rishi Chowdhury chats with Antony Slumbers and Hattie Walker-Arnott about the rapidly changing AI landscape and how to keep abreast of market trends on the Buildings 2040 podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

Michelle Ottey chats with Jamie Russo about empowering innovation in Philadelphia through 140,000 sqft of workspace, lab space and more on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

📆 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.

👉 Read this.

🗓 Event ideas & strategies #

August 25: ​Coworking was never just about desks and wifi. It’s about community and basking in togetherness. What better way to do that than events? But how many times have you gone through the painstaking effort of planning, buying all of the things, and then..nothing? Maybe a trickle of people show, but definitely not the masses like you had envisioned. ​How do you go approach event planning and execution in a way that keeps your members engaged and wanting more? ​Let’s chat about it.

👉 Read this.

👩‍🏫 Convo: Educating your community about coworking #

August 26: How can you educate your community about coworking? Let’s chat about it.

👉 Read this.

🇨🇦 GCUC Canada in Toronto #

Sept 12-13: GCUC returns to Canada for a 2-day event at The Vault.

👉 Read this.

✊ August IDEA challenge discussion #

August 31: Start a Conversation About Your IDEA Strategy w/ Tash Koster-Thomas

👉 Read this.

🏛 GWA Flex in Washinton, DC #

Sep 19-23: a dynamic event spanning 3.5 days, filled to the brim with high-quality content. Every year, the GWA brings together numerous operators, landlords, occupiers, service providers & more.

👉 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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