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Meet This Company That Turns Restaurants Into Coworking Spaces


In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace.

Picture the archetypal gig worker, freelancer, contractor -- or anyone who works remotely from a computer -- and you’ll probably imagine someone sitting in a crowded coffee shop, typing away on their laptop, taking calls through their earbuds and asking the person at the next table to watch their stuff while they’re in the bathroom (speed-washing their hands while praying that the stranger is trustworthy).

It might have been the third coffee shop they tried that day, after they arrived at the first couple of spots to find every seat, or every seat near an outlet, full. 

Related: Here's How WeWork Pinpoints the Perfect Locations for Its Co-Working Spaces in Neighborhoods 

If the worker is lucky, financially speaking, they might be able to graduate to a coworking space. But for those who don’t want to shell out several hundred to upwards of $1,000 per month, there’s a middle ground: restaurants that double as coworking spaces during the day.

KettleSpace co-founder Daniel Rosenzweig used to work on WeWork’s real-estate team, where he saw firsthand the high investment costs the coworking giant incurred in securing space, which it then passed on to its member base. Meanwhile, coffee shops were still full of squatting workers.

One weekday morning in 2015, Rosenzweig had not yet arrived at the office but needed to make a phone call. To escape the noise on the streets of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, he ducked into a restaurant. There were no other patrons in the place, and Rosenzweig stayed there for four hours after his call ended.

“I had this eureka moment,” Rosenzweig says. “The freelance community, individuals who are starting their businesses out of coffee shops or working from home, deserve better.”

He started using his lunch breaks at WeWork to do some research. He’d walk the streets, peeking into coffee shops and restaurants during the peak lunch hours and take a headcount. At coffee shops, he found, an average of 75 percent of people inside were working on a laptop. Meanwhile, he says, most restaurant dining rooms were half full, max. 

Then he started having conversations. “I’d start with the bartender and work my way up to the GM,” Rosenzweig says. 

It was a family friend who eventually introduced him to Nick Iovacchini, the co-owner at Distilled, a bar and restaurant in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Iovacchini became a co-founder, and Distilled became the first location for KettleSpace in spring 2016. Twitter veteran Andrew Levy joined the team in early 2017, and the team expanded to additional spaces later that year. Today, there are six Manhattan locations and one Brooklyn location, with plans to expand beyond New York soon. Members can pick any location for the day with availability information online, and no restrictions on restaurant-hopping.



Here are 50 Coworking Locations That Welcome Dogs-Cobalt Does too!


This story originally appeared on This Dog's Life

Let’s face it: dogs make everything better, including work.

Having a furry friend wander the office can help improve collaboration, increase creativity, boost employee morale, improve employee satisfaction and decrease stress, to name a few of the benefits.

Related: Amazon’s Dog-Friendly Headquarters Is 6,000 Pups Strong

And while some traditional office spaces are jumping on the dog-friendly bandwagon(7 percent, compared to 4 percent in 2014), so are non-traditional office spaces, like coworking environments (also known as shared workspaces for small companies and freelancers).Besides offering amenities like contemporary looking offices, state-of-the-art technology, happy hours and unlimited coffee, many are also making their locations dog-friendly.

Check out 50 dog-friendly coworking spots across the U.S. compiled by real-estate listing platform CommercialCafe.



Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces

It checked out. So we were curious: What makes coworking spaces – defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting – so effective? And are there lessons for more traditional offices?

To find out, we interviewed several coworking space founders and community managers, and surveyed several hundred workers from dozens of coworking spaces around the U.S. A regression analysis following our survey revealed three substantial predictors of thriving:

People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful. Aside from the type of work they’re doing – freelancers choosing projects they care about, for example — the people we surveyed reported finding meaning in the fact that they could bring their whole selves to work. They’re able to do this in a few ways.

First, unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who work for a range of different companies, ventures, and projects. Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in. Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger. Our respondents were given the opportunity to frequently describe what they do, which can make what they do seem more interesting and distinctive.

Second, meaning may also come from working in a culture where it is the norm to help each other out, and there are many opportunities to do so; the variety of workers in the space means that coworkers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members.

Lastly, meaning may also be derived from a more concrete source: The social mission inherent in the Coworking Manifesto, an online document signed by members of more than 1,700 working spaces. It clearly articulates the values that the coworking movement aspires to, including community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. These values get reinforced at the annual Global Coworking UnConference. So in many cases, it’s not simply the case that a person is going to work; they’re also part of a social movement.

They have more job control. Coworking spaces are normally accessible 24/7. People can decide whether to put in a long day when they have a deadline or want to show progress, or can decide to take a long break in the middle of the day to go to the gym. They can choose whether they want to work in a quiet space so they can focus, or in a more collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is encouraged. They can even decide to work from home, without repercussion, if they need to meet a repairperson or deal with a family member need.

And while coworkers value this autonomy, we also learned that they equally value some form of structure in their professional lives. Too much autonomy can actually cripple productivity because people lack routines. Coworkers reported that having a community to work in helps them create structures and discipline that motivates them. Thus, paradoxically, some limited form of structure enables an optimal degree of control for independent workers.

They feel part of a community. Connections with others are a big reason why people pay to work in a communal space, as opposed to working from home for free or renting a nondescript office. Each coworking space has its own vibe, and the managers of each space go to great lengths to cultivate a unique experience that meets the needs of their respective members. Grind, for example, is a growing network of coworking spaces in New York and Chicago. Anthony Marinos, who oversees Grind’s marketing, community management, and member services, shared with us, “When it comes to cultivating our community at Grind, we’re all about the human element. We consider ourselves as much a hospitality company as we do a workspace provider. Our staff knows all of our members by name and profession, and we’re constantly facilitating introductions between Grindists.”

WeWork, which recorded a valuation of $5 billion last December, emphasizes how it “seek[s] to create a place you join as an individual, ‘me’, but where you become part of a greater ‘we.'”

Importantly, however, socializing isn’t compulsory or forced. Members can choose when and how to interact with others. They are more likely to enjoy discussions over coffee in the café because they went to the café for that purpose – and when they want to be left alone elsewhere in the building, they are. And while our research found that some people interact with fellow coworkers much less than others, they still felt a strong sense of identity with the community. We believe this comes from coworkers knowing there is the potential for interactions when they desire or need them.

So what are the implications for traditional companies? Even though the coworking movement has its origins among freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, it’s increasingly relevant for a broader range of people and organizations. In fact, coworking can become part of your company’s strategy, and it can help your people and your business thrive. An increasing number of companies are incorporating coworking into their business strategies in two ways.

Read the rest here:




Women's coworking space The Wing will now offer childcare


The millennial pink coworking space for women, The Wing, announced this week that it will launch an on-site children's space called "The Little Wing" this winter in its Soho and West Hollywood locations.

"As a mom of a 9-month old, I know firsthand that one of the greatest barriers to working as a parent is lack of flexible work schedules and access to child-care," said co-founder and chief operating officer Lauren Kassan in a statement. "We want to contribute to a world where there is no perceived motherhood penalty."

About 20 percent of The Wing's members have children, and more are having children or plan to in the future, Kassan tells CNBC Make It. Additional childcare and parenting support is one of the top requests from members, Kassan says.

Thus, The Little Wing was created to give all parents a safe place to drop their children off while they work. Certified babysitters, or "Wing-sitters" will be on staff to provide supervision and programming that will include art, music, movement classes, open play and monthly events for different age groups.

There will be programming to help parents as well; topics such as effective sleep and toilet training, mindful co-parenting, queer parenting, family planning, sibling relationships, feeding and stress-reduction will be addressed.

The Little Wing is primarily designed for children ages 1 to 6, although there will be programming for children both younger and older. It is not a substitution for full-time childcare, but will allow members to have two to three hours of work time while their children are cared for by certified babysitters.

While The Wing is exclusively for women, The Little Wing is open to all children, parents and caregivers, Kassan says. Events and other programming will be included in The Wing membership, and babysitting will be an added cost. Kassan says that pricing will be competitive with or less expensive than comparable offerings.

"It doesn't have to be this incredibly hard thing, it just has to be a priority," says Kassan.



What are Virtual Coworking Spaces?

It's the 21st century – yes, virtual coworking is now a concept. Virtual coworking spaces provide many of the same benefits as physical coworking spaces but without being in the same place. Those who use a virtual coworking space get the sense of community and more without constant interruptions or having to go to a specific location. Most virtual coworking spaces even have virtual floorplans, so you can feel as if you are truly in the same office and even virtually knock on doors or go to a meeting.

Comparing Virtual and Current Coworking Spaces

In most coworking spaces, you physically go to the space to get work done, then sit at a desk and interact with people throughout the day, enjoying amenities, like coffee and printing. With a virtual coworking space, you work from wherever you are, such as your home, so you do not physically sit in the space or get access to coffee. You do, however, virtually sit at a specific desk in the virtual floorplan, go to virtual locations, like phone booths and meeting rooms, and get to interact with others in a virtual setting.



Would you live in a Haunted House?

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Hard Nopes

JudyG Designs: “I don’t believe in ghosts. That said, no, I would not buy a haunted house, because I would be afraid I was wrong.”

Shaun Ma: “No. Nope. Nuh uh. Not because I believe in ghosts but because of my overactive imagination. Like some others said, once the idea is there, it’s hard to let go of.” 

mcg910: “Hell no. I would skip the perfect house in a heartbeat if anyone thought it was haunted.”



Coworking Industry Provides Greater Opportunity in Small Towns


Interesting read from our good friend Craig Baute! Check out his blog below:

Small towns across America yield the highest growth segment in the coworking industry. Owners in some of the smallest towns are choosing to join in their local coworking space. Anticipating it will provide themselves or their staff with a higher sense of community and productivity.

There are over 14,000 coworking locations in the US. The progressing coworking industry is dispersing from large dense cities into smaller rural communities. Members joining in on the movement in these small towns are experiencing better efficiency. With the growing numbers of coworking spaces allowing members to participate in small towns, 22% of owners in small towns believe there is an opportunity for more, while only 7% think there are enough coworking spaces.

The demand for coworking spaces shows a 66% expansion rate this year alone. Many of the larger brands and big spaces owned by coworking companies consume the headlines, yet over 55% of spaces have less than 40 members. In small towns spaces which range from 2,000 to 5,000 square feet are perfect for cultivating the coworking industry.

Many small towns have existing structures which hold great potential for coworking. Spaces incorporated into old downtown buildings, retail locations, strip malls, lofts, or traditional office buildings are very adaptable for the coworking business and its members. It is reported that 58% of workers transitioning into coworking come from a home office. Providing these members with a hub which brings the community together and out of isolation brightens spirits and enhances their business.

Reported Member Benefits 

  • 75% feel more productive

  • 96% have stronger social connections

  • 80% leverage business network

  • 77% of people express knowledge sharing as an important and critical benefit

Working within your community and getting out of your home office is proven to provide higher productivity. Small towns are no exception and owners are flooding the coworking industry to reap the benefits.





This past year I’ve been traveling, working, and writing out of over 80 different shared workspace and coworking spaces in 50+ cities around the world. It wasn’t until this past week that I had the opportunity, for the first time, to get together with people from across all sectors of the industry. 

I am talking about GCUC UK. 

From the moment the event started on the rooftop of a building overlooking the Thames River to the closing remarks, I was meeting owners, operators, builders, 3rd party suppliers, brokers, investors, managers, and many others who were each shedding a new light on the industry. 

Each new connection further expanded my understanding of where we were as an industry, but it also sparked ideas that I could share in the future. After all, knowledge, connections, and growing together is why we decided to come together for a conference in the first place.

Day one covered a number of topics including a discussion from The Office Group founders to a look at wellness in the industry. Day 2 was focused more on corporates, mastermind groups, as well as the unconference portion of the event, where attendees get to create their own content and vote on which topics to discuss.

Day 3 involved a group of coworking tours. As a digital nomad traveling and writing about coworking spaces around the world, this was the day I was most looking forward to. I have to admit, I was curious about the dynamic of touring spaces together with space owners, operators, industry professionals, and future entrants. 

It was quite the experience, as I got to hear and share in on perspectives I wouldn’t have typically thought of.

Read the rest here:





Coworking is the new normal and it has revolutionized the commercial real estate industry. The flexible workspace industry has set a new standard on how commercial space is used, experienced, and leased. The past couple of years have seen an increase both in demand and also supply of flexible workspace. WeWork has become the largest office tenant in Manhattan and London, JLL predicts that 30% of corporate office space will be flexible, and private investment continues to pour into the industry. 

The growth of flexible workspaces caught the eyes of large companies, giving rise to corporate coworking. More recently, it has caught the eyes of property owners and real estate companies, which has changed the relationship between landlords and flexible workspace operators. Some large real estate companies and owners have opted to eliminate the middleman and launch their own brand of coworking or flexible workspace. Others have instead opted to enter into profit-sharing agreements with operators or to acquire existing brands, which many believe is the future of the industry

Examples of the former include Dexus, the GPT Group, WKO Inc., and British Land, among others. Examples of the latter include Blackstone, which acquired The Office Group; Grosvenor, which partnered with Central Working; Washington Prime Group, which partnered with COhatch; and CapitaLand, which acquired a 50% stake in The Work Project; among others. 

Allwork.Space spoke with George Vogelei, Executive Vice President at Transwestern, to understand the opportunities and risks that coworking presents to property owners that are looking into operating their own flexible workspace brand and whether landlords pose a threat or an opportunity for operators

Allwork.Space: What are some of the key trends you believe are currently shaping the flexible workspace industry?

George Vogelei: I think that the number one trend at the moment is strength of scale; we are seeing large flexible workspace providers become more aggressive to fill their workspaces. Additionally, there’s also increased consolidation activity; larger groups and private investors are buying smaller providers and grouping them together. 

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In terms of scale, we are also experiencing the importance of having a robust network; operators are increasingly expanding their footprint beyond key cities like New York and London. Flexible workspace brands that want to survive in the future and compete for larger accounts need to offer a strong network of locations across the globe. This is one of the main reasons why regional operators are going national, and national ones are going international. 

We’re seeing property owners and landlords become increasingly interested in the world of coworking. Some have entered into management agreements and others have launched their own flexible workspace brands. What’s your take on both of these strategies?

I think profit sharing is a really smart strategy, both for coworking operators and landlords. It mitigates the risk for both of them. I think the profit sharing model will reach a point where it’ll be quite similar to the hotel model, where the owner of the building gets a share of the profits and the hotel brand runs the space. It’s a smart strategy as it allows each player to focus on their core business and expertise.

Launching an owned flexible workspace brand will provide property owners with more profit, however it involves more risk. This step makes sense for property owners that have a vast real estate portfolio. If we look at what’s driving coworking today, it’s the potential of scale, so property owners that meet the above criteria already take care of the scaling part, especially as it will help them create a strong workspace network. 

Yet, launching an owned coworking brand is still a significant undertaking, and property owners should think about it carefully, as it would mean they will get into an auxiliary line of business and it will take away funds, time, and human resource from their core business. Not only is this strategy capital intensive, but it also would mean shifting operations into a more consumer-oriented business. Which is why for local and regional property owners, it makes more sense to go into profit sharing agreements. 

Do you see any additional opportunities for established coworking operators now that landlords are more interested in coworking?

There is an opportunity for experienced coworking operators to do consulting with building owners. If owners want to get into the business of coworking, they need to understand what it will take to be successful before they make any investment; having an experienced operator that knows and has overcome the challenges is an important asset. 

Anything else you’d like to add?

The industry has gone through phenomenal growth; it’s now a crowded market where consumers are having a hard time understanding the differentiation between one brand and another. This, plus the fact that since the last economic downturn this type of arbitrage hasn’t been present makes it an interesting and fascinating time to watch the industry and see what happens.



One Big Potential Beneficiary Of The Coworking Space Trend: Brick-And-Mortar Retailers

The drumbeat of retail store closings and struggles has dominated news headlines, led by Toys “R” Us’ recent closing of its entire U.S. store fleet. While the closings of underperforming retailers are far from over, the brick-and-mortar retail sector can take some comfort in the fact that it still holds plenty of appeal: Just look at the crop of coworking spaces, housing retailers’ coveted millennial customers, that are eager to move in.

Coworking space in malls, street fronts and other retail properties will grow at an annual rate of 25% through 2023 to reach about 3.4 million square feet, commercial real estate research and services firm JLL JLL +0.03% wrote in a study published Thursday. How significant is that? The average annual growth rate in occupied retail square footage between 2010 and 2017 was just 0.9%, JLL said.

“Coworking presents a viable solution for vacant retail space by decreasing vacancy and driving additional foot traffic with a guaranteed daytime population,” the research firm said in its first-ever study looking at 75 U.S. coworking retail spaces, totaling one million square feet. “Added foot traffic may also help revitalize the center and attract new retail tenants.”



What Coworking Tells Us About The Future of Commercial Real Estate


What’s often forgotten amongst all the focus on coworking, are the much larger, more complex and far more interesting global trends at hand.

With a valuation of more than $16 billion, WeWork’s incredible growth, alongside the emergence of at least 100 other growing coworking brands, proves just how popular shared and flexible office spaces have become. But as valuations climb and the headlines keep coming, we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg for an incredible wave of change coming to the commercial real estate industry.

What’s often forgotten amongst all the focus on coworking, are the much larger, more complex and far more interesting global trends at hand. As growing companies compete in rapidly changing markets, leases have been getting shorter and shorter for years. And landlords, who constantly compete for the best and brightest tenants, continue to load their buildings with amenities and “lifestyle” services.

For example, take into account the transformation of residential tract development to more inclusive community-construction. From baby boomers to millennials, people are increasingly choosing compact, mixed-use communities with reliable, convenient transit systems.The sea change at hand lies within these service layers, as coworking and its implications send ripples into the biggest commercial real estate (CRE) players. In New York, this is already being seen as 180 Maiden Lane undergoes a $28 million renovation to include a 250-seat cafeteria, 150-seat luxury conference room, and brand new fitness facility.




Denver has some popping events lined up this weekend that you do not want to miss. Kick off your weekend by seeing an action-packed film at the Action Figure Film Festival and end it by getting cultured with food at The Art of Brunch. Whatever you have planned, make sure to take a look at this roundup of events happening in Denver.



Perfect-For-Fall Day Hikes Near Denver

aspenleaves 2.jpg

A waning Colorado summer brings cooler nights, earlier sunsets and an onset of radiant hues throughout the Front Range. See the best of fall in the Centennial State with these six accessible hikes—all less than 90 minutes from Denver. 


Raccoon Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

By Terri Cook

Peaks to Plains Trail

By Terri Cook

Left Hand Trail Near Boulder

By Natasha Gardner

North Twin Cone Peak

By Logan AbbottTerri Cook

Kenosha Pass

By Natasha Gardner

Elk Falls at Staunton State Park

By Katie Hearsum

Meyer Ranch Park Loop

By Terri Cook

Caribou Ranch Loop

By Terri Cook



Major Trends in Coworking

8 Major Trends in the Coworking Industry

We at CoworkingResources have been recently invited by a large national coworking chain to talk about major trends in the coworking industry at their annual retreat.

While that was great, we wanted to make the list with the main points we’ve talked about available to everyone. Some of them might be controversial but we’d be happy to get your comments and discuss them.

1 - Real estate is becoming an on-demand experience

A lot of companies we work with move every 18 or 24 months. What sense do 10 year leases still make? Companies look for fast solutions and there is no bigger trend visible than real estate adapting to the needs of companies and trying to become an on-demand product.

2 - Coworking is not a hippie camp, it’s modern facility management

Coworking has often been laughed at as a lifestyle choice. Truth is: large coworking space operators build out prime locations in cities and snag these spots away from interested corporate companies. To make the point: This is modern facility management, not a hippie camp.

3 - Technology can create a 5* experience

You can’t and actually don’t want to have a 20 people management team per location. Smart use of the right technologies can avoid problems and create a superior experience. More and more coworking spaces offer companies and small teams  a high technology enabled environment without having to plan and cover those fixed costs themselves.

4 - Corporates are not only using but adopting coworking

We’ve seen outposts of large corporate companies camping in small coworking spaces. But if you think about it – when those companies plan new facilities, they are incorporating coworking as part of their concept.

5 - Large coworking spaces can’t use coworking tools

Coworking tools have been built for spaces between 20 and 200 members. What happens if you have 10 spaces with 400 members each? Would managing your members in Salesforce make more sense? You can’t keep the Apple Airport Express you used with a 50 member space forever, at some point you will have Cisco routers.

6 - Coworking spaces fight for the same goal

Working with many coworking spaces in one city makes it clear to us: they don’t compete for “the best space in the city” anymore, there is enough supply in coworking members for everyone. Maybe one space is more real in their intentions than others, but the only question remains: how fast can we make the city a coworking city?

7 - Technology decides on how fast you can scale

If you are hiring a large operations team to help with every little problem, chances are you have trouble scaling that model. The more of your on-and off boarding you have automated while keeping the member experience high defines how fast you’ll be able to scale – without much team additions.

8 - Your team will have more engineers

Someone has to connect all the API’s, set up the IT infrastructure, make sure the space is secured with cameras and access control as well as keep your own data safe. Chances are you are hiring an office automation engineer this year.


With venture capital funds pouring more and more money into the industry in 2018 (see the massive investments for Knotel in the U.S. and Woo Space in China), independent business owners entering the market, and more and more technology tools serving shared workspaces, this really appears to be just the beginning for this vibrant sector!

We are committed to staying on top of new trends and always draw an up-to-date picture of the state of coworking.

Hope it was fun to read and got your thoughts going. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to get in touch! If you liked what you read, share it with your friends via email, LinkedIn, Facebook or meet in VR!


By Alberto Di Risio with Coworking Resources



4 Benefits That Explain Why Large Companies Are Increasingly Turning to Coworking


Check out this article from


If you picture "coworking" as a group of tech-startup millennials sitting around on second-hand furniture in a common space, think again. Today’s professional coworking sites attract a diverse array of companies and individuals as members. Most also provide chic environments with such amenities as 24/7 access, custom coffees and teas, honor bars and cafes, high-tech security, private offices, workout facilities, high-end furnishings, social and networking events, learning opportunities and much more.

Related: How Coworking Impacts Innovation for Startups and Small Businesses in the U.K.

"Coworking" is typically defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting. As these alternative work settings have matured, they've begun to attract large enterprise clients who see these spaces as a solution to some of the tough challenges they face.


Check out the rest of the article here:



Is the Coworking Bubble set to burst?


It seems that the world is abuzz with thoughts of creating the next big tech startups, with the prospects of such innovations touted on both individual and societal levels.

For instance, a soon to be published paper from Rotman academic Laura Doering highlights the entrepreneurial potential of poor communities in Panama. Such communities have just as much potential as richer communities, they say, but they struggle to sustain those businesses into profitability compared to their richer peers.

“Poorer entrepreneurs often don’t get the chance to profit from the creativity that they’re bringing to market,” the authors say. “It helps us understand why entrepreneurship generally doesn’t serve as an avenue for economic mobility for the poor.”


The start-up bubble


The study was pertinent because this week I attended the launch of a new co-working facility in the London borough of Croydon. The facility, called TMRW, is part of a multi-billion pound effort to regenerate a part of London that is perhaps typified by the 2011 images of rioting and looting in the area.

Read the rest here:



The new offices are getting walls!

We are very excited to share the most recent construction photos of our new space at Cobalt Workspaces! Opening October 1st, we have 3-10 person offices, along with coworking and dedicated desk space. Please come by for a tour! Email us to schedule:






The Future of Coworking


This article originally published in the inaugural edition of the Business of Furniture on January 6, 2016 and can be found at this link. If you enjoy this story, you will love the first issue of Workplaces Magazine, a sister publication of the Bellow Press that will launch February 1, 2016. The first issue will explore the world of coworking.

“The word coworking won’t be a word in the future, it will probably just be the way we work.” -Rahul Prakash, partner at Hatch Today.

Twenty years ago, the goal was to get the job, then work your way up “Madmen” style to the office on the 30th floor. Now people on average — not just millennials — stay at their jobs only 4.4years. As workers redefine the goal line from the corner office to autonomy and work-life balance, you can bet the landscape of the office will drastically change. We are already seeing it with the rapid emergence of coworking offices everywhere. However, it’s not just coworking, it’s the motivation behind coworking -autonomy, independence, choice and meaning- that is changing the face of the workplace overall.


That said, coworking can’t completely take over the workplace just yet. One of the challenges of coworking is the vulnerability of the revenue model. Since most operators typically stumble into coworking space ownership from other, unrelated industries, it can be a steep learning curve. Rebecca Brian Pan of Covo Coworking says, “Coworking is a vulnerable business model in and of itself. It is not a high margin endeavor. Having all of your revenue come from membership dues, especially when you don’t own the property - and most don’t - there is a lot of risk.” She goes on to explain that lease negotiations are very dependent on market swings. When the lease expires, some landlords push rent up as much as 300%. Suddenly, what was a perfectly viable, profitable business is now working really hard just to exist.

A lot of coworking spaces, upon recognizing the vulnerability of the model, try to buy property or add additional revenue streams. In other countries, like Canada, it is possible to crowd source funding for buildings (i.e. each coworking member pays a portion and becomes an “owner”). Pan explains, “In Canada there is something like an equity bond where any individual can invest in anything they want. A friend owns The Foundry in Toronto. Members can purchase a minimum $1K bond certificate (or more if desired). By this, they were able to crowd source funding to buy the building that they originally had a lease on. We can’t do that in the US.” She went on to explain that in the US, due to laws, in order to invest every one of those people would have to be an “accredited investor.” This means they would have to have at least one million dollars in assets to qualify to invest. Laws have changed, but are not yet executable because regulations aren’t yet in place through the SEC. When this movement fully realizes, it will be a huge coup for coworking spaces.



Digging Deeper: What Coworking Tells Us About The Future of Commercial Real Estate

Authors: Amol Sarva and Jayson White

With a valuation of more than $16 billion, WeWork’s incredible growth, alongside the emergence of at least 100 other growing coworking brands, proves just how popular shared and flexible office spaces have become. But as valuations climb and the headlines keep coming, we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg for an incredible wave of change coming to the commercial real estate industry.

What’s often forgotten amongst all the focus on coworking, are the much larger, more complex and far more interesting global trends at hand. As growing companies compete in rapidly changing markets, leases have been getting shorter and shorter for years. And landlords, who constantly compete for the best and brightest tenants, continue to load their buildings with amenities and “lifestyle” services.

Read the rest here: