Life beyond WeWork: coworking giants to watch in 2020
The recent failed IPO attempt of WeWork has raised some concerns within the coworking industry, amongst investors and operators. With all the media talking about WeWork CEO Adam Neumann and questioning not only his role in all these stories but also the WeWork business model too.
Although media is always craving for highlights and drama, we might not forget that not only is the coworking industry healthy, but according to Coworking Resources, there are over 35,000 coworking spaces in the entire world. Whereas, WeWork’s 528 offices locations, only represent less than 2% of the 35,000 coworking spaces.
We’ll see that “there’s life beyond WeWork”. Coworking networks with several locations are popping up all over the world, especially in big cities and competing directly with WeWork. Some of them are niche-focused, some others more generic.
‘We build communities for impact at scale.’
Founded in central London in 2005, and headquartered in Austria, Impact Hub is a significant player in the industry. With over 100 locations in cities like Costa Rica, Texas, California, Spain, Portugal, Italy and many more. Impact Hub is one of the biggest coworking networks, with more than 16,000 members worldwide.
Impact Hub is home to entrepreneurs, innovators and problem solvers. Delivering over 200 programs annually, they are one of the world’s largest multi-stakeholder communities.
An Impact Hub space consists of three distinct elements. First, it is a vibrant community of passionate and entrepreneurial people. They share an underlying intention to bring about positive changes and act as peers to cross-fertilise and develop their ventures.
Second, it is a source of inspiration that provides meaningful content through thought-provoking events, innovation labs, learning spaces, programs and facilitated conversations that support positive impact.
Third, Impact Hub is a physical space that offers a flexible and highly functional infrastructure to work, learn, meet and connect.
‘Our professional spaces and concierge service increase productivity and encourage collaborations.’A design-led, premium workspace, founded in Old Street, London in 2014. With locations across Reading and London. Fora cater to innovators and entrepreneurs, by providing its members with high-end perks like state-of-the-art-technology, concierge services, hotel-inspired benefits and meeting rooms credit. With the addition of inspiring events to create stimulating environments for learning and well-being programs.
‘We believe that well-being at work is crucial to success.’
Uncommon, founded in Highbury & Islington, in 2017. With locations in Liverpool Street, Islington, Borough and Fulham. Uncommon, serves startups, creatives and traditional businesses. They offer a workspace where every detail has been fine-tuned to improve productivity and the well-being of their community.
They work with sense experts to select the music to match coworkers moods, with tranquil sounds in the quiet rooms and motivational music in the creative corners. Each room and office are adorned with ergonomic furniture, to increase comfort and improve the working experience of their members. Uncommon offers services and amenities like coffee lounges, bike storage, showers, and phone boots. Including wellbeing events, such as boxing classes, yoga, running club and many more.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium. Regus currently works with around 3000 coworking spaces, spanning around 900 cities across 120 countries. Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, with customers including some of the most successful entrepreneurs, individuals and multi-billion dollar corporations. Their service includes fully customised offices, meeting rooms, business lounges, virtual offices and a workplace recovery, which offers everything their members would need to recover from a disaster in over 3000 locations worldwide.
The coworking industry is healthy and well- established, with multiple networks starting in 2020 or planning to scale up their current locations. In order to scale up, it is critical for coworking operators to know their communities so they can provide them with real added value. Automating processes and operations is crucial to free you from repetitive tasks so that you can dedicate that time to your community!
Although the benefits are numerous, our collective experience has also given visibility to the problems of telecommuting. Under lockdown, many of us are having to juggle work with childcare and homeschooling. Even under normal circumstances, maintaining any semblance of work-life balance can be a challenge. Of course, when looking at the pros and cons of working from home it’s important to remember that the experience is different for everyone, and it only really works if the employer has a comprehensive remote working policy in place. Is there a middle ground?
The GCUC team shared brilliant, relevant content and kept participation high with breakout sessions; ensuring that there were still chances to network and spark interesting discussions with one another.
A post-COVID-19 society could require workspaces to go the extra mile to ensure that they provide quality ventilation and tighten up their hygiene practices. Here are ideas to improve hygiene and air quality in your coworking and flexible office space.
In the era of digital excellence, Qaunain Meghjee, from Level39 in London, talks to us about Level39; and how they did overcome the digitalisation, centralisation and smartening up of their processes thanks to Nexudus.
Coworking spaces have always had to find innovative ways to drive revenue while ensuring the success of their members. Our industry is known for being versatile, dynamic and creative. In other words: with the right approach and support, we will get through this!
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