Sharing Disruption

Coworking isn’t new, but its recent growth and prominence in the U.S. office market space is. A new special report from Yardi Matrix, titled “Shared Space: Disrupting the Traditional Office,” outlines the dramatic increase in shared spaces over the past year, driven by a growing “gig economy” and employers’ desire to deploy more workers remotely, attract talent and gain more flexibility for their space. In researching 20 metros, Yardi Matrix found that 43.5 million square feet of office space was being rented as of the fourth quarter of 2018. This represented a 62% increase in shared space over the previous year and 1.7% of the total inventory. The business model for shared space is evolving to match the practice’s growth, with landlords and brokerage firms offering more amenities and flexible lease arrangements. Coworking has gained footholds in both urban markets (2.2% of stock) and suburban submarkets (1.2%). The practice is “growing as a percentage of office stock in all areas, but it is a more natural fit in urban settings due to the proximity to a greater number of workers, easier commute to urban locations and greater availability of small rental spaces in suburban areas,” the report says. “The sector is in a nascent phase, so the pace of growth is likely to pick up in coming years.” Manhattan, N.Y., ranked first in both overall amount of shared space with 13.7 million square feet, with Los Angeles second with 4.7 million square feet. The borough also had the most shared space as a percentage of total stock, 3%, with Portland, Ore., Miami, San Francisco and Austin, Texas, totaling 2.5%, 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively. Read the full Yardi Matrix special...

Coworking Revolution

Increasingly, companies don’t have a five-or 10-year vision based around a particular space with a particular staff mix. They want short-term arrangements where they can flex their head count and floorspace up or down depending on need. This applies to businesses both large and small. While coworking once meant an office for four to six people, today deals are being signed for spaces that will accommodate 25, 50 or even 100 staff. Coworking also helps firms to retain the best employees by providing them with a stimulating and collaborative working environment. Sitting behind all of this is new technology which means that operating or using a coworking space is more streamlined than ever before. But with so many coworking spaces springing up, competition is getting ever more intense. So what can operators do to make their schemes are a success? Businesses today are looking for more than just a desk, a telephone and an internet connection – they want a level of service on a par with what you would expect in a high-end hotel. Years ago, we used to call the people sitting in the entrance ‘receptionists’, but today we refer to them as ‘front-of-house.’ In a successful coworking space they should engage with members, know them by name and be on hand to manage all aspects of the customer experience. Technology is a big part of this. A fast, reliable internet connection is crucial to most businesses and Yardi’s software means access to spaces is seamless, so when a member enters a coworking space they are instantly recognised and connected to the wifi. This can even work across multiple coworking locations. Unlike more traditional companies where most staff leave the building between 5pm and 6pm, some companies operating out of coworking spaces...

5 Tips for Client Retention

Today’s entrepreneurs and remote employees have several workspace options, often including the comfort of their own homes. To attract and maintain clients, transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. Offer Top-Notch Security Clients want their shared workspace to feel safer than their local coffee shop or home office. 7 Tips for Improved Security can help you establish a place where clients, their possessions, and their data are secure. Ensure that your security software is accompanied by human backup. For example, post a phone number that clients can contact if the door access control is ever on the fritz. Such measures will help clients feel supported in an increasingly automated world. Continuing Education Experience-driven spaces are the latest in office design. Continuing education events offer new experiences for clients. The classes also double as a value-added service. You may want to: Host how-to workshops for popular software programs Invite experts to facilitate theme-based seminars, such as marketing and project planning Create member forums where clients can network Seminars on work-life balance techniques and relaxation methods Create Thoughtful Ambiance Thoughtful design pays off. Your design can inspire your clients, enhance the atmosphere, and promote client wellbeing. Each feature defines your space as a desirable and valuable destination. Add indoor plants to help cleanse the air while combatting the sterile office vibe Opt for sustainable office supplies, which are popular with young professionals Mix up your seating with a combination of conference-style tables as well as private nooks Create different work environments with varied lighting in different rooms or regions of the workspace Consider placing white noise machines in conference rooms for privacy   Build Community through Experiences Many clients will opt for a shared workspace because of the potential for social interaction. Fulfill their expectations with community-building tools and activities. Consider: Games, both digital and real-world Indoor rock climbing Yoga classes Live music Mini massages and acupuncture Sports tournaments The right activities for your community depend on how your space is divided. Use your best judgement to establish an engaging yet professional atmosphere. For new workspaces, it may be difficult to gauge your clients’ interests. Consider polling members on what activities they’d like to have on site. Satisfy Bellies In addition to coffee, get creative with your treats! Some clients use snacks as a way to take a break. Others will snack when they can’t take a break for a real meal. Save the day by offering a combination of fun, quick, and nourishing treats. Hot cocoa bars with a variety of toppings Cupcake stations add cheer (and a sugar rush) to any slow afternoon Build-your-own trail mix bars are a simple and healthy way to jazz up the snack scene Quick, customizable lunches (think hotdogs and burgers) are an inexpensive and easy way to show client appreciatio Built-in Marketing These suggestions can transform your coworking space into a unique destination with a welcoming community. They come with an additional bonus: free marketing. Fun features create opportunities for clients to post photos on social media. Be sure to have your social media handles posted throughout the office so that they can tag your...

UK Think Tank

The evolution of the flexible office sector has shaken up the real estate industry and has arguably changed it for the better. Yardi recently brought together a panel of experts in the UK to discuss the many segments of flexible offices and what lies in store for the sector. Mary Finnigan, head of transactions, real estate, WeWork Chris Pieroni, operations director, Workspace Group Adrian Goldney, co-founder, Flexible Office Space John Williams, head of marketing, Instant Group Joff Sharpe, head of operations, British Land Tony Freeth, director coworking, Yardi Europe Liz Hamson, editor, Property Week – chair   LH: With all the different definitions out there, what should we be calling the sector? Should there be a standard definition or does it really matter? CP: All the definitions out there are very different – hybrid, coworking, flexible, service – and then you’ve got all sorts of issues around whether they are an operator or a landlord and then you’ve got all sorts of issues about what sort of services are offered; whether they are exclusive or not. And it’s really complicated to pull all the data together and try to get an understanding. I’ve got my own view on where we stand in the flexible office market and we didn’t fit into any of the definitions. We’ve decided to just look at the flexible market.   LH: So what do you define flexible as? CP: So we had three different categories – something under three months, and then we stopped at over 12 months. But actually, I think now as larger corporates want flexibility, you might be saying flexibility for them is three years. So I don’t know, but we stopped at over 12 months. JS: I don’t think the starting point is flexibility; it’s...

Coworking Security

As the manager of a coworking space, you walk a fine line. Your site must offer security while helping members and guests feel welcome. The following seven tips promote digital and physical security without interrupting ease-of-use. Create a Warm, Automated Welcome Automated attendance trackers deliver convenient yet controlled access to your shared workspace. Combine Kisi and KUBE door access systems to manage member and visitor logs as well as billing details. There is no need to have users register and pay for common use areas in advance. Users pay as they go, minimizing cancellations and billing disputes. As an added convenience, any user with a mobile device can begin working automatically. With access and billing aside, your reception staff can focus on welcoming clients, answering questions, and placemaking. Offer Private Wi-Fi As an alternative to shared wi-fi networks, private networks provide excellent digital security. Each user receives a unique code that doesn’t overlap with fellow users’ access. Consider linking access with membership. A single code issued to all members and guests does not provide the protection you need. Link access codes to users’ unique membership level as an additional layer of security. Have that code expire with the membership or expire after a certain duration of time for guests. Switch Up Guest Access If individualized wi-fi credentials for guests seems tedious, consider a simple guest wi-fi network and password. For added security, update log-ins at least every quarter, if not every month. Encourage Privacy with Filters Install an IP filtering system that can minimize undesirable data sharing and burdensome traffic loads. Not all data theft occurs digitally. Applying privacy screen filters on your in-house computer monitors limits the access of wandering eyes. Benefit from Member Education Education is key to risk mitigation. During new...

New Coworking Trends Jul24

New Coworking Trends

When it comes to shared workspaces, we know technology is a major driving force. Today we look at some of the most important workspace technology trends shaping the coworking industry. The Internet of Things What is the IoT? Basically it is the connected amenities we use daily to send and receive data. The IoT includes physical devices such as virtual assistants, vehicles, appliances, smartphones, and just about anything else you can think of. Like this Forbes article suggested nearly 4 years ago, anything that can be connected, will be connected. What do we want in a coworking space? Smart connections. Building community. Enhancing relationships. The IoT improves the atmosphere and the benefits of a shared workspace. IoT powers meeting spaces, runs automated coffee machines, controls keyless access systems, promotes energy saving and much more. The uses of IoT are endless and only growing. By 2020, the number of connected ‘things’ is expected to reach 50 billion, and an estimated 99% of those ‘things’ can be further optimized. 94% of offices that chose to implement the IoT have already seen a return on investment. The future is only going to bring wider implementation of the IoT in shared workspaces. Mobilization Just about anything can be done via a mobile device today. And in the very near future, that ‘just about anything’ will become ‘literally everything’. Mobilization of our world is happening faster than any other aspect of our business lives. You can successfully run your coworking space from anywhere in the world via mobile phone, laptops, tablets, and more. This is allowing operators to work on expansion, design concepts, marketing, and many other aspects of running a workspace while the day to day running of the space basically runs itself. There’s so many coworking-relevant apps that it can be hard...

Pet-Friendly Work

Much ink has been spilled on the topic of Millennials and their influence on the modern workplace. This tech-savvy generation is willing to change tracks towards a more satisfying career path, and able to ride the rough waves of the gig economy. Millennials’ demand for a lively urban life is driving the revival of downtowns across the nation, and the development and expansion of a new office design plan: the coworking office. To go with this new office concept, employers are further trying to entice workers with a series of office perks that address the preferences and values of this generation. Office listings platform COMMERCIALCafé looked at one of the most recent additions to the growing range of work benefits―the option of bringing your pet to work―and compiled a list of the 50+ most pet-friendly coworking hubs in the U.S. Peruse the list below and read on for more details about the pros and cons of bringing pets to the office. The list is by no means comprehensive and remains open to suggestions. Among the venues that caught our attention is the whimsically named CO+HOOTS in Phoenix―recently acclaimed one of the most innovative coworking spaces in the U.S.―which invites visitors to meet the office dogs. Strongbox West in Atlanta―the city’s oldest coworking space―is not only a self-declared dog-friendly office, but a veritable ‘doggy daycare operation.’ The Box Jelly in Honolulu holds different events for owners and their pets, and they don’t shy away from welcoming unconventional companions. If you’re considering adopting a pet-friendly policy in your office, it’s good to weigh both pros and cons. There are several benefits of spending your workday with your beloved furry friend. For one, you can stop worrying about its safety and hurrying out the door as soon...

Coworking in Europe

Europe is a vibrant, culture-rich continent that combines world-class cities with future-focused professionals who are growing the coworking industry. As of 2016, there were over 2,500 coworking spaces throughout Europe, comparable to, if not exceeding, the amount in North America. Let’s take a look at 6 amazing coworking spaces in Europe, some in major tourist hubs, and some on roads less traveled. Volumes – Paris, France Paris needs no introduction. It is one of the cultural, historical, economical and tourist capitals of the world. In the center of the city you’ll find Volumes. What’s most unique about Volumes is that it combines coworking, a makers space, and a food lab. Makers Space is an onsite workshop fully equipped with a laser cutter, milling machine and a 3D printer (check out their website for details on this, it’s fantastic). The food lab is ideal for restaurant startups, amateur chefs, and anyone who wants to break into the culinary field. It is as unique a set-up as any coworking space Europe offers and in an amazing location as well. Remix – Paris, France Another top spot coworking spot in Paris is Remix. Remix boasts 5 locations throughout the city, all with ample space, huge conference rooms, multiple smaller meeting rooms, and kitchens. Their membership prices are posted directly on their site and they all provide 24/7 availability, which is huge. Work.Life – London, UK A major tourist destination, as well as a booming entrepreneur hub, London is home to some of the most unique coworking spaces on Earth. Check out Work.Life which has 6 locations in the city. Work.Life specializes in shorter term memberships and more intimate spaces, with hotdesk plans available even by the hour. For as little as £4 per hour, you can grab a...

Coworking Trends

Yardi Matrix has completed the first report that quantifies the amount of office space dedicated to coworking in office buildings with 50,000 square feet or more in 20 large U.S. markets. “Coworking represents a small yet growing segment of the office market,” the report says, noting that that 20 markets contain more than 1,100 coworking space encompassing almost 27 million square feet of space.  This total represents 1.2% of the total office space in those markets. Shared workspace originated in the 1990s to provide space for self-employed workers and employees traveling or working remotely. The practice expanded after the Great Recession, driven by a growing gig economy, cost-cutting strategies and other factors. Today, the report says, “coworking represents a small yet growing segment of the office market” that helps companies accommodate remote employees, attract talent, promote work satisfaction and reduce leasing costs. Eleven of the 20 metros in the Yardi Matrix study have more than 1 million square feet of coworking space for lease, led by Manhattan, N.Y., with 7.65 million square feet in 245 spaces and Los Angeles with 3.7 million square feet in 158 locations. Nine other metros have at least 1 million square feet dedicated to coworking. Miami has the most coworking space as a percentage of total stock, at 2.7%. “Demand is high in markets with concentrations of knowledge workers—especially IT but also new media or industries such as biotechnology and telecommunications—that are friendly to startups [and] in metros where space is at a premium,” the report says, and lower in metros such as Dallas and Houston that have low barriers to construction and high vacancy rates.  The practice is more prevalent in urban settings due to the concentration of workers there and the tendency of startups to proliferate in...

Coworking Trends

The year 2017 marked the largest growth in coworking, and produced all-time highs in number of spaces as well as number of members. As the industry grows and evolves, what are some of the major Coworking trends to look for in the next year? Here are five trends that will shape the continued expansion of coworking in 2018. Increasing Demand It’s estimated that 50% of the population will be working independently by 2020. If this comes to fruition, the demand for shared space will continue to rise at a fast pace in the next year. According to some estimates, there could be up to 37,000 Coworking spaces worldwide by the end of 2018. Those interested in joining the movement see that Coworking has become a symbol of community, connectivity, efficiency, and networking. Not to mention it’s a cheaper alternative than leasing in a traditional office space. The demand will only continue to increase in 2018. Health Another trend we could see in the coming year is the value placed on health, both mental and physical. Sure, we’ll continue to see the added benefits of some Coworking locations such as workout spaces and yoga classes. But mental health has been brought to the forefront and working from home, or even in some traditional offices, can create isolation, among other negative factors. Today’s society is searching more and more for the positivity of community, a huge benefit of coworking. Larger companies Coworking spaces tend to gear toward small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. However larger companies have started to pick up on the trend and realized the added value of working in cross-functional teams instead of in more traditional set ups.  Not only does working within a coworking space offer corporations a more cost-effective alternative to test new...

Acquisition News

Yardi announced today the acquisition of WUN Systems, an award-winning and fast-growing leader in the coworking and shared space market. WUN Systems is a provider of a workspace management platform delivering all the tools needed to manage a smart and connected workspace. WUN’s mission is to provide the blueprint for growth and efficiency in their members’ workspace. “We are excited to be part of such a dynamic and growing market segment,” said Gordon Morrell, executive vice president of Yardi. “With shared workspace on the rise, this gives commercial and residential real estate companies the flexibility to explore new revenue streams and customer retention strategies.” WUN Systems’ intelligent workspace management platform delivers the software, hardware, and support services required to open new shared workspaces, improve existing spaces, or monetize vacant or underutilized real estate with the goal to increase revenue, maximize productivity and build community for its members. WUN Systems now serves more than 80,000 members in 700 locations globally. The company’s team of over 90 engineers, programmers, service specialists, project managers and specialists will continue to operate from its offices in the United States, Canada, Mexico and India. “Yardi’s commitment to its clients and wanting to continually improve, innovate and grow is inline with our mission to fuel the space-as-a-service evolution. The synergy between the real estate market and the coworking and shared workspace market makes this relationship a natural fit and strengthens both of our offerings,” said Dale Hersowitz, CEO at WUN...

Embracing Coworking

In 2016, major cities such as Hong Kong have seen a significant 45% increase in the amount of coworking office spaces being offered. Similarly, the past two years have resulted in more than 100 operators providing coworking environments in China’s top cities and more than 20 in Singapore according to JLL reports. Although numbers still lag behind those in the West, the proliferation of coworking spaces in Australia, Singapore, China, and other metropolitan areas in the Asia Pacific region show a growing inclination for flexibility and non-traditional offices for both employees and corporations alike. A trendy alternative Coworking is a style of work that involves sharing a space with others not employed by the same company. Occupiers of a coworking space generally have access to a number of resources including wifi, private offices, conference rooms, cafes, work desks, and communal space on a shared floor. Coworking spaces also provide a low risk, agile solution for companies and individuals that do not want to invest in the high fixed costs and long leases required of a traditional office. Yet far more than the resources, the greatest value in coworking comes from the relationships, knowledge sharing, and collaboration fostered by accommodating people of various industries, backgrounds, and levels of experience into one single workspace. Nowadays coworking spaces can take on a variety of forms from ones that are catered to freelancers and startups to those for a single business. Corporate interest in coworking, especially, is growing. More and more businesses see the value in sending their employees into a community in closer contact, as JLL Singapore research analyst Jiemei Tan describes, “with startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers, [that] allows for an unhampered exchange of ideas with these stalwarts of innovation.” In the Asia Pacific region too, the...

Do Not Disturb

Creating an optimal work environment can prove daunting. It’s often impractical – and prohibitively expensive – to provide each employee with their own private domain. On the other hand, the surprisingly popular open office strategy has been shown to negatively impact productivity and morale. So what’s the solution for distracted staff and budget-conscious employers? In a 2014 dispatch for The New Yorker, Maria Konnikova laid out all the negatives of the wall-less workspace in “The Open-Office Trap.” Konnikova begins with a brief history of the open office, which originated in 1950s Germany and has spread to over 70% of offices worldwide. This wide-scale adoption runs counter to mounting evidence open office space increases stress, reduces productivity and leaves personnel feeling resentful and dissatisfied. Much of the adverse effects of an open office can be traced back to the psychological need for privacy and control. In fact, a 2005 study revealed, “the ability to control environment had a significant effect on team cohesion and satisfaction.” Additionally, in a 2011 survey by organizational psychologist Matthew Davis, open offices were found uncontrolled interactions with coworkers created “higher levels of stress, and lower levels of concentration and motivation.” Noise, of course, is yet another drawback of the open office plan. Overhearing phone calls and being subjected to unsolicited comments are just some of the challenges presented by the barrier-free workstation. Konnikova cites several studies indicating noise can result in both physical and psychological symptoms. For example, unwelcome sound adversely influences cognitive function and mental recall, and can even trigger the “fight-or-flight” response. So what’s the solution? Over at Slate, associate editor L.V. Anderson proposes a few simple ways to reign in the chatter and clamor rumbling unabated across desks and workstations. Anderson advises employers take advantage of instant messaging apps...