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!
Wired Sussex is a not-for-profit membership organisation based in Brighton. It provides support to businesses operating in the digital, tech and the media sectors through networking events, meetups, industry speakers, job postings and FuseBox. Chris admits that when he first started exploring the Nexudus platform, "he kept finding features for things I didn’t even know we needed as a coworking space, such as signing residents and guests in. It was my first time working in an innovation space and Nexudus essentially taught me everything I needed to know about managing a space!"
Ministry of New is a design-led coworking space in Fort Mumbai, India. It’s a local hub for independent professionals who are looking to tap into an international business community and can accommodate teams of up to 10. The space also hosts a range of insightful events, from “adopting a zero-waste lifestyle” to “productivity hacks in times of quarantine”.
Coworking listing sites are becoming increasingly popular. They’re free to use and save those looking for an office a lot of time. There are lots of benefits for coworking operators too. Although brokers typically receive 10% commission on rent when they place a tenant with you, it’s usually free to list your space on their website.
Michigan-based coworking space Cahoots was created by tech founders, for tech founders. It’s currently home to 46 companies and counting, from one-person startups to venture-backed teams of 100+. Members can choose from a variety of flexible membership plans and gain access to leading industry events, a Health Club and a number of other amenities – as well as a dedicated and collaborative workspace. As a leading tech hub, Cahoots was in need of a high functioning coworking management platform that would align with their brand. To find out more about why Cahoots chose Nexudus and the features and integrations they find most beneficial, we caught up with Alison Todak. Alison is Cahoots’ Managing Director with a background in coaching startups and helping them launch, so her members are at the heart of her decision-making.
The impact of COVID-19 and the social distancing measures that are being implemented until a vaccine or cure is discovered are having an impact on many businesses from two angles. On one hand, many are experiencing a lack of income due to closure and on the other, they are having to adjust their business models to adapt to the new transitional phase that is already happening in many countries.
With big cities becoming increasingly expensive and technology enabling people to work remotely with ease, many people see small and medium cities and towns as the solution to the work/life balance conundrum. It’s likely that, in the next decade, we’ll witness a migration of skilled professionals from big cities to medium-size one. Will Covid-19 accelerate this trend?