ThisWeekIn Coworking

Week 49, 2022

This week we see parting thoughts from a local operator, a concern around business rates, cash back on flex space, a mega APAC merger, WeWork's bankruptcy risk and more.

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🎉 Coworking celebrations.

🤩 Rural Coworking Project hits 100 spaces. #

Who says that Rural Coworking isn’t cool? The European Coworking Project has hit their first goal of mapping 100 rural coworking locations.

– Shared by Jose

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🎂 Coworking Convos turned 3! #

The free once-a-month geek-out series on coworking marketing topics turned 3. Super excited to keep watching Convos grow!

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✊ Coworking impact.

🇵🇷 Puerto Rico local operator lands in 2022 best in business list #

co.co.haus was listed on Inc. Magazine’s 2022 Best in Business List under the General Excellence category with a highlight on Health Care Access as their area of impact. The list covers 240 businesses the editors admire most for putting purpose before profit. Congrats team co.co!

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🇲🇳 Throwback to first coworking space in Mongolia #

Craig Baute shares some thoughts from helping launch the first coworking space in Mongolia in 2016 (which is still doing well) and how the experience forged coworking as a community-building journey into his life.

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📰 Coworking news & views.

😓 Closing operator shares 10 things they’ve learned. #

The Thrive Network P/L in South Melbourne shared that they had closed their doors for the final time.

In the post Fiona Mayor also shared 10 things they learned operating a coworking space, including that there will never being enough toilet paper, that its unforgivable to leave members without coffee and that meeting room revenue is the best revenue.

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🔮 2023 industry megatrends #

Liz Elam from GCUC shares her Coworking Megatrends for 2023 which include notes on coworking confusion, flexperts, hotels, experiences, re-designs, and the market in general.

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🇬🇧 Business rates change could harm flex spaces #

Zoe Ellis-Moore shares 6 ways the proposed changes to local business rates could irreparably harm 5k+ flex spaces across the country, and the 10s of thousands of small businesses who rely on them.

"Business rates as they relate to offices look set to change. The wrong outcome would be devastating, not only for our flex office industry but also for countless small businesses across the country."

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🤔 Should flex space be a standard in all office buildings? #

Commercial Property Executive looks into whether flex space should be standard in office properties. The post shares insights from Ramon Gonzalez (THRIVE) and Brendan McGee (worCPlaces/CP Group) around the partnering or developing in-house flex space offerings.

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🇦🇺 A look into Hub’s plan to double size over 3 years #

Helga Moreno shares a Q&A with John Preece from Hub Australia. They start with the challenges of pioneering flex space since 2011, how those challenges changed over time, and their views on differentiation, technology and member-retention.

– Shared by Helga

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💻 Coworking technology.

💰 Booking platform offers companies a 2% cash back #

FlowSpace are running a promoting to give businesses 2% back of their spend on a new HQ through their platform.

As mentioned in our recent TWIC discussion calls (now via LinkedIn Audio) there’s going to be a lot of creative moves coming from booking apps and brokerages as they carve out their portions of flex space demand. Watch this space.

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🎶 Is the office industry destined for a Spotify-like future? #

Dave Cairns shares some thoughts around the idea that one day almost every working adult may carry access to unlimited workspaces win their pockets and what could be holding the industry back from this new way of work.

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📈 Coworking data.

✅ “It’s never been clearer that tenants want amenities and experiences.” #

Gabrielle McMillan from Equiem shares their key takeaways around what will bring teams to the office more, from a survey of 1000s of office tenants.

Some high-level stats around what folks want to come to the office more showed a 2,173% increase in "food & retail options" and a 1,767% jump in "events near work" since last year. 40% also noted "health & fitness amenities" and 39% said "discounts on food & retail". So keep those in mind with regarding your partnership & location strategies for 2023 and beyond.

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🔎 The one (well two) pandemic search trend spikes that held firm. #

Christoph Fahle shares some graphs from Google Search Trends to highlight that the innate human desire for autonomy is what drives remote work, not the pandemic.

Also noted is the continued search volume for ‘online chess’ which mirrors the ‘remote jobs’ trend. Coworking space for remote workers who love chess anyone?

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🤝 Coworking market moves.

😲 Fitch drops WeWork rating to ‘CCC’ #

The firm dropped WeWork’s rating from ‘CCC+’ to ‘CCC’. The linked post shares their commentary on what drove the drop in revenue. Some industry press (behind paywalls) have picked up on this as it could signal that WeWork could go bankrupt and that restructure would be more likely than a liquidation in that case.

Whether via restructure or liquidation, the bankruptcy of WeWork would create huge waves of opportunity and concern across the industry.

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🌏 APAC consolidation continues with triple merger #

A new APAC coworking brand Flexi Group announced a merger of The Hive, Common Ground and The Cluster under one umbrella. The combined group has 45 locations across Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines and Japan.

The firm, lead by Chris Edwards, is backed by cash from Singapore-based Catcha Group and Malaysia’s Emissary Capital.

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🇱🇺 Local provider opens 3rd Luxembourg location #

The Office has opened its third coworking space, located in the city centre, interestingly a growing number of members chose the new location due to the gym.

“We’ve already heard from some of the tenants of the private offices–all rented out before the official launch–that a key factor when choosing The Office Suits over other coworking spaces was the gym,” according to Gosia Kramer, founder of The Office.

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💂‍♀️ London-based operator lands funding to triple in size #

Ron Rosenblum shares two key new hires and a £2.5M funding round for Canvas Offices to triple their portfolio (currently at 11 buildings) in London over the next 18 months.

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🇬🇧 M&A activity grows in UK business centers #

The Flexible Space Association reports that UBC has acquired Inigo, bringing the total merged office portfolio to 15 locations across England and Scotland.

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🎙 Coworking conversations.

Richard Smith chats with Suzan Dixon about Standard Chartered Bank about their approach to flex and working with brokers on The Office Freedom Podcast.

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Cat Johnson and Matthew Holman discuss a transition from being incarcerated to being a community builder on the Coworking Out Loud podcast.

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Sari Lash chats with Jamie Russo and Giovanni Palavicini about 25N’s interplay of culture and brand on the Flex Uncensored podcast.

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Gina Schreck shares about using her marketing background and flair for events to attract coworking members on the Everything Coworking podcast.

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📆 Coworking events.

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About This.

ThisWeekInCoworking.com 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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