This week we explore the Common Desk acquisition, WeWork actually being a tech co, JLL moving heavily into on-demand flex, altruism from a booking platform, and more. 

🎉 Coworking celebrations.

🎂 turns 5!

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🎂 Medford Cowork Collective is 2!

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📰 Coworking news & views.

🗺 What if people didn’t have to leave communities in search of opportunities?

David Heyburn shared Ro Khanna‘s piece in The Wall Street Journal about a tech revival for America’s hometowns.

It starts with a strong statement. “Americans should not have to leave their hometowns in order to seek opportunity or build wealth. But our modern, digital economy has concentrated its dynamism in a handful of mostly coastal cities.”

The piece goes on to look into how recent changes are making it possible for tech to revive America’s towns, and avoid or reverse brain-drains and the migration of whole generations in search of prosperity. A topic we’ve explored a few times in recent newsletters.

👉 Read this

🏛 Local government opens free 24/7 coworking space

The Mandaue City government (in the Philippines) has officially opened its free 24/7 coworking space. The space can host 50 members, and is open to all city residents and visitors renting in the city on a first-come first-serve basis.

John Eddu Ibañez, executive secretary of Mayor Jonas Cortes said the city created the working space to help individuals whose homes had not yet been energized and were in need of electricity and internet.

This highlights the trend that coworking (or shared resources) are important for a variety of important reasons in all parts of the world. 

👉 Read this

🚨 Property managers scrambling to emulate flex amenities.

Kurt Patrick shares two quotes from a recent Bisnow piece on the outrageous demand being seen by flex operators.

Namely the extracts point to the resilience and expected continued growth of flex office spaces, and the fact that traditional office providers are scrambling to emulate pricing, flexibility and amenities that tenants are starting to expect.

There will be those who emulate, and those who hire experts to help craft these spaces. Thus the growing popularity of management agreements.

(Note, there’s a email-gate on the actual article).

👉 Read this

💸 Virtual workshop co gives employees paid coworking access.

For weeks (or months now?) we’ve seen how huge multinational businesses and governments are giving their employees access to flex spaces.

But it’s always amazing seeing startups and other fast growing businesses expand paid coworking access to their employees. This week Jakob Knutzen the CEO at Butter just announced that all employees will get reimbursed for coworking expenses, and why.

Nicely done!

👉 Read this

☀️ Why an office worker started a coliving space in Tenerife

In September 2020, when the trend of “workationing” to the winter sun started to take off, Marina Fuentes Corridan spotted not only a business opportunity, but a way to transform tourism in the Canary Islands.

They launched Amarilla which caters to digital nomads who want to live and work as part of a community, with packages starting at €800 p/month.

Interesting that there is a Facebook group for digital nomads in Tenerife that has swollen to 15,000 members. What does the digital nomad scene in/around your area look like?

👉 Read this

🏆 Workspace brand recognizes their top 3 brokerages and agents.

Eduard Schaepman shares Tribes‘ annual recognition for top performing brokerages and individual agents for 2021.

(Incase you were wondering, they were JLL, Flexas and Workthere in brokerages and Bas van ‘t Hoff, Ed Bouterse and Alice Thornton in individual agents).

I love this idea of sharing and thanking the firms and individuals who help filling your workspaces. Have you thought of doing something similar, even on a smaller scale?

👉 Read this

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💻 Coworking technology.

🤯 The ‘not-really-a-tech co’ signs first enterprise tech deal.

WeWork have signed their first enterprise customer (Organon, the women’s healthcare company) for their in-house software called Workplace by WeWork.

The story shares that the software will help the healthcare company make their transition to hybrid working more seamless. Through the tech, Organon can optimize desk sharing programs, improve desk workspace booking experiences, and experiment with layout and design changes in a virtual setting.

So who’s not a tech company now?

👉 Read this

📲 Global CRE brokerage partners with 4 booking platforms.

Jori Messer shares that JLL is launching Workspace OnDemand to help their clients enable hybrid work, allowing employees to book flex spaces by the hour, day, or week.

Having seen various announcements from the tech platforms involved, I can share that I believe there are 4 partner platforms being leveraged to provide options to the firm’s clients.

They are (in alphabetical order): Desana, DeskPass, LiquidSpace and Upflex, and so I believe this could bring the brokerage’s customers’ employees into spaces participating on those platforms.

There’s a huge shift in how CRE brokerages and brokers are leaning into flex. Keep an eye on this space, these folks are following what their clients are asking for,

Side-convo: This move also created an interesting discussion on Christoph Fahle’s LinkedIn profile.

👉 Read this

🙏 Booking platform backs the mental health of 20k employees

The team at NearU have shared that they’ve partnered with Aster Foundation to give back and help improve the mental health of 20,000 employees across the UK by 2030.

How it works: 50% of the fees generated by companies introduced by Aster to their impact program, which aims to improve employee mental health and wellness.

With more and more customers choosing to shop with impact, we may see more tech platforms build altruism into their models. Which is definitely win-win-win.

👉 Read this

📈 Coworking data.

✅ New report about coworking software released.

Coworking Resources just released their 2022 Best Coworking Software Report.

They surveyed the leading coworking solutions to map their offerings in different areas and help users choose the right system for their needs. You can see a summary here, or click the link below to get directly to the report.

👉 Read this

🤝 Coworking market moves.

😯 25 coworking locations just changed hands.

WeWork just announced their first acquisition since their SPAC IPO, and I believe their first of a coworking network. Common Desk‘s 23 locations in Texas and North Carolina will continue to operate as a separate brand (much like Regus, Spaces and etc operate under IWG).

Interestingly 19 of the 23 locations are under management agreements, the asset-light tactic a lot of brands are currently pursuing. The value of the transaction was also not shared publicly.

👉 Read this

🇬🇧 Why a booking platform added 400+ new locations in the UK.

Christophe Garnier shares why Upflex acquired WorkClub (ICYMI: see w50/2022) to expand rapidly within the UK and across Europe.

Spoiler alert: Flex space is booming across the continent.

This tracks with the trends I’m seeing through the newsletter of London poised to be a huge ‘battlefield’ for flex space booking platforms serving corporates, individuals and/or both segments.

👉 Read this

🎙 Coworking conversations.

Jamie Russo and Ilyse Kaplan discuss how Feather helps coworking brands and flex space operators provide tenants with on-demand, financed furniture on the Everything Coworking podcast.

🎧 Listen to this

Bernie Mitchell and Piotr Boulangé discuss how crucial it is to understand the history of coworking, and how it can help predict the future of work on the Coworking Values Podcast.

🎧 Listen to this

Frank Cottle and Larry English discuss why betting on remote-first pays off for companies on the Future Of Work podcast.

🎧 Listen to this

Jerome Chang, James Wahba, Shervonne Cherry, Ashley Proctor, Mike LaRosa and Gina Schreck discuss last week’s newsletter over on Clubhouse.

🎧 Listen to this

📆 Coworking events.

👋 Discuss this newsletter.

Jan 28: Join other readers in discussing this week’s newsletter, the stories I shared and the trends they may represent.

👉 Attend this

🗺 Convo: Google Business Profiles

Jan 28: The next Coworking Convo dives into best practices for Google Business Profiles (fka Google My Business).

👉 Attend this

🍳 Coworking Breakfast in London

Feb 3: The London Coworking Assembly is meeting at Create Works Space for breakfast, connecting and coworking.

👉 Attend this

🌎 The Coworking Alliance Summit

Feb 16: The Coworking Alliance Summit returns to hold space for space operators leading, or looking to start, coworking alliances locally or across the globe.

👉 Attend this

💼 Coworking jobs.

Find or post coworking jobs for free here.

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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