ThisWeekIn Coworking

This week we explore the only currency that matters, famous takeovers, terrible terms, corporate positioning, B-corps as secret weapons, a 65% drop in demand, and more.

This Week is sponsored by the GWA.

Join us September 19-22 at MGM National Harbor for the GWA’s 2023 Flex Forward Conference.

We’ve curated 3.5 days of crucial insights from experienced industry leaders, cutting-edge techniques and strategies, and invaluable networking opportunities. 

πŸ‘‰ Grab your ticket today and get ready for an unforgettable experience!

Psst: Use discount code TWIC10 for 10% off

πŸŽ‰ Coworking celebrations.

πŸ‘ Flex space brand recognized as a best place to work #

Laurent Dhollande shares that Pacific Workplaces was recognized by the Chronicle as one of the best places to work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nicely done Pacific team!

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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✊ Coworking impact.

β’· Are B-corps a secret weapon for office landords? #

By carefully picking flex space providers that are B-corp certified, landlords can augment their own environmental, social and governance strategies. Natasha Guerra (from Runway East) and David Rawlence (from Boodle Hatfield) dig into how and why B-corp certifications may be a huge area of opportunity for both landlords and accredited operators.

– Shared by David

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“° Coworking news & views.

πŸ’° The only currency that matters to office occupiers #

Jonny Rosenblatt shares the points he made to journalists who recently asked him “wtf is actually happening in coworking right now??”. All 4 points are, as they say… on point. From WeWork’s struggles being a liquidity issue and not a product-demand one, to the fascinating situation where deal flow is through the roof but deal size is shrinking rapidly. The other points included a sky-high demand for flex offerings from landlords and that building with flex components/offerings drive up their value.

“The market continues to move in one direction and one direction only, and flexibility is the only currency that really matters to today’s office occupier.”

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

😱 Ever had someone famous take over your space? #

Christoph Fahle shares a memory of when Tim Ferriss ‘took over’ betahaus for a day in 2011 after announcing a spontaneous community meet-up whilst in town for a conference. Love how coworking spaces have been spontaneous congregation points for more and more communities since 2011.

I’m certain there are other similarly spontaneous stories from across the coworking world. If you have one, why now post it on your blog or social channel and then share that link with us?

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🀺 Is “space as a service” a terrible term? #

We love giving things interesting names in our industry. One of these newer terms is “space as a service”. Jerome Chang shares why it may be a terrible term (spoiler: nobody has ever referred to a hotel as ‘rooms as a service’) and sparks off an interesting debate, with insights from operators, consultants and friends (some of which have built whole businesses around the term).

I wonder though, what do YOU think of the term? Reply to the email version, or send me an email, and let me know.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ™‰ What if just being a coworking space wasn’t ‘enough’? #

Cat Johnson digs into why, as competition grows everywhere, coworking spaces need to focus on who they want to serve, and how to do that. If your target market is “literally anyone willing to pay” then read this and heed Cat’s response: “No, friend, no”.

Yes, friends, yes.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ™Œ 9 coworking leaders on their best advice for building community #

The Optix team asked nine experienced coworking leaders for their best piece of advice for building community in their space.

The leaders who shared advice were Mark Eaton (The Corner Coworking), Steve Krueger (ECOMsquare), Rebecca Brian Pan (Trellis Coworking), Karen Tait (The Residence Coworking), Tori Taylor & Viarni Bright (Bad Company), Michael Mason (Olio Coworking), Maggie Segrich (Sesh Coworking), and Gerarld Vanderpuye (Impact Brixton). They shared where to put 10x effort, involving the neighborhood, making member connections frictionless, creating a unique vibe, events, experiences, passions and starting before you open.

– Shared by Kelly

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ… Another great example of corporate coworking positioning #

Amanda Lewan shares that another 40 person team chose to shift to coworking, considering using just a 10 person office shared between their team. Linked in the post is also how Bamboo positions the benefits for corporates to move their HQs into flex spaces. Definitely worth checking how they (re)introduce coworking to local larger businesses and employers.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ†• There’s still (huge) opportunity for new flex brands #

Michael Dubicki from flexioffices shares that when asking the “Head of Real Estate for a large UK company” (who happen to use a lot of flex space) to name as many coworking brands as they could, only IWG and WeWork came to mind.

This could be seen as massively frustrating, I believe for most creative flexspace teams this presents a multibillion dollar opportunity. Who can and is building the brands that come next? You are. Right?

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“‰ The 65% drop in office space demand #

Tobi Skovron shares how we’re seeing a 65% reduction in demand for traditional office space, and how it highlights a change in work dynamic and raises questions about how ‘workspace’ is perceived and utilized.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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πŸ’» Coworking technology.

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πŸ“ˆ Coworking data.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ The top US cities with the most balanced coworking distribution #

Researchers at CoworkingCafe analyzed 350+ metros (divided into three population brackets) and ranked them according to the highest share of zip codes that have coworking spaces to determine where remote workers have the best chances of finding a coworking space close to their homes.

They found that Miami was the top large metro with a balanced distribution with a flex space in over 25% of its zip codes (ie 77 zips in Miami have at least 1 coworking space). Raleigh, NC, and Denver, CO, come in the 2nd and 3rd spots with coworking spaces in 23.5% and 22.2% of their zip codes, respectively.

In the mid-sized metros bracket, Durham, NC, is in the lead with 19.5% of zip codes having coworking spaces. Bridgeport, CT, and Charleston, SC, come 2nd and 3rd with a 15.8% and 15.3% share of zip codes with coworking spaces.

Naples, FL, has the highest share of zip codes with coworking spaces in the small population bracket, as well as overall, at 26.9%, with nine coworking spaces spread throughout. Ann Arbor, MI, and Bend, OR, follow with 21% and 20% of their zip codes having coworking spaces.

– Shared by Anca

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“š Italian Librarians Association is running a survey on coworking + libraries #

The Italian Library Association (AIB) and the Group of Study and Work are running an international survey to explore how libraries around the world are offering coworking services. There are 25 questions and your replies will be part of a systematic research conducted by the two organizations.

– Shared by Viviana Vitari

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ›‚ How 10 destinations compare for long-term remote workers. #

Paul Tostevin shares research by Savills into how 10 remote-work destinations compare based on their connectivity, climate, residential rental market and quality of life.

Top of the chart is Dubai, followed closely by Malaga and Miami. I wonder if the team should include coworking or flex space availability and pricing into their next index.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“„ All 64 slides of that recent “The Future Of WFH” presentation #

Simon Davis shares a PDF copy of the keynote that Nick Bloom gave at the Purposeful Intent and CoreNet Global event this week.

I’m gonna need 30 or so weeks to process this one. Enjoy.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

βœ… Future of Flex Survey (closes this week) #

The Instant Group’s “Future of Flex” survey will close this week. Share your thoughts on the current state of the flexible workspace market. From the good to the bad and even the brilliant, your insights are critical. All feedback matters, is anonymous, and will help inform future strategies for the industry’s success.

– Shared by Amanda

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🀝 Coworking market moves.

πŸ› How landlords, big names, and coworking startups are revitalizing retail districts #

Consulting and creative agency Wunderman Thompson looks at how shopping streets will be revitalized by focussing on community. In this interesting post, Marie Stafford explores how innovative approaches are helping to reverse waning footfall in retail districts, where in the UK alone over 17,000 stores shuttered in 2022 (up 50% from 2021).

Examples include LGIM Real Assets supporting budding local traders at Kingland Crescent (in Poole, UK), H&M’s concept store offering bi-weekly themed activations (in NYC), Athlete’s Foot hyperlocal collection (in Midtown Atlanta), and how Patch is helping revitalize high streets (in the UK) with neighborhood shared spaces for work, leisure and community.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ Become an investor and get free Wellness, Spa and/or Coworking memberships. #

Paul Hepworth Nelmes highlights how Oru are combining investor perks and actual equity in their current crowdfunding round.

Adding free Wellness, Spa and Coworking memberships along with the equity (shares) available is an interesting approach to building a funding round. I’m curious to watch this play out (read: cheering along LOUDLY as they pass 92% funded with over 20 days left of their campaign). If they close this round, and they should, at a Β£40.1M valuation – it may set a new playbook for other coworking spaces looking to raise through crowdfunding.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‘©β€βš–οΈ IWG taps FSB for UK member perks & services #

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) announced a new strategic partnership in which IWG small business customers will receive benefits worth thousands of pounds per year. The business support package for SMEs equips business owners with essential tools, resources, support, and expertise for starting, running, and growing a business. Provided by the FSB, it will encompass a wide range of provisions, including access to legal protection, tax investigation protection, PR and crisis management, a legal hub, and various other essential services.

Are member perks and benefits going to be a bigger part of flex space offerings and differentiation, especially as the competition for small and growing business gets even more competitive?

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

🏦 Buy-to-operate brand’s building taken over by their lender. #

Craig Baute breaks down the sad news that EXPANSIVE’s Trinity Building in downtown Denver has been taken over by its lender.

Even though the model (buying buildings and converting them into mostly flex spaces) might be the framework for buildings in the near future, changes in interest rates right now seems to have made their loans unsustainable in the short-to-medium terms.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“‘ Brokers have contingency plans for flex closures #

Gabe Marans shares that when they got the dreaded call that one of their client’s coworking provider would be closing within 30 days – they did not panic, or frantically try deal with the crises. That’s because they’d spent months mapping out contingency plans.

Are you working with your local flex space brokers? Are you keeping them in the loop about availability and pricing? If not, you could miss out on being part of the contingency plans.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ“¦ Logistics and cowarehousing startup announces national roadshow. #

Maxwell Bonnie shares that Saltbox are about to embark on a nationwide roadshow brining their branded container (and their members, the local community, and government leaders) to Saltbox locations and Main Streets across America.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸŽ™ Coworking conversations.

Dror Poleg dives into the transformative shift in how we perceive and design office spaces with Jamie Russo on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

Dr. Ben Hamer unravels the exciting possibilities of the coworking industry, exploring its boundless potential for growth and innovation with Liz Elam on the GCUC coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this.

πŸ“† Coworking events.

πŸ—“ 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.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ GCUC Canada in Toronto #

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

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

πŸ› 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.

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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Other Summaries.

Week 38, 2023

This week we explore coworking ‘elements’ in CRE, offering podcast support, what hotels are missing about flex workspace, a new sustainability index, low-rise conversion, airport workspace competition and more.Β 

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 35, 2023

This week we explore 20 steps to build great communities, an operator’s warning to landlords, an open-letter to WeWork, the US gov’s own coworking network, residential coworking in Germany, the growth of ‘alternative flex’, and more.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 33, 2023

34 things you may have missed including flex space forecasting, how Dropbox leverages coworking, valuation techniques, childcare, phoenix moments, reinventing CRE, and predictions from 2016 and more.

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Week 32, 2023

This week was a rollercoaster with shaky news from WeWork, record results from IWG, a global celebration of coworking, IKEA entering the sector, guides for starting spaces and picking tech, more market moves than you can shake a stick at and more!

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 31, 2023

This week we look at a 15% avg price increase in UK, supporting caregivers, work clubs, marketing mailboxes, new-ish GBP rules, addressing the AI elephant in our boardrooms, JLL’s AI engine and more.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

Week 30, 2023

This week’s summaries include a 10% bump in US coworking supply to 6,000+ locations, Barbie, childcare and coworking, Malaga sitting at 92% capacity and more.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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.

πŸ‘‰ Read this.

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‘‰ Read this.