With the multi-billion dollar coworking brand WeWork now pushing its investment feelers into the co-living sector, it begs the question: where do the worlds of living and working collide?
WeLive, the accommodation arm of WeWork, is set to open its doors in Washington D.C. and New York later this year, but it’s certainly not the first flexible workspace brand to step into the accommodation business.
We’ve seen how Stockholm’s City Office offers a complementary en-suite room to travelling clients; Marriott has held a long-term workspace link-up with LiquidSpace; Spaces — Regus’ new brand — offers dry cleaning and shoe polishing services, as well as discounts on CitizenM hotels; and coworking holidays are becoming big business, too. The list goes on and appears to keep growing.
Is there an exciting opportunity knocking on the office door?
Emmanuel Guisset thinks so. Guisset, a former Surf Office worker decided to create his own brand when he realized that, “the main target group weren’t surfers or people wanting to surf. Most of our guests are interested in getting away from the city and work in a different environment, whether it’s the beach, the mountains, or even the countryside.”
Today, Emmanuel officially opened the doors of Outsite – a new coworking, co-living venture that embraces the worlds of workspace, accommodation, and travel. “Outsite is a new concept for entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers and teams who want to stay, work and play from beautiful locations outside of traditional urban centers. Think WeWork on steroids in fun locations,” he told OT.
Currently operating in San Diego and Santa Cruz, Emmanuel believes Outsite is not just about working in a fun shared office with a good view; he believes it’s about generating a sense of community—by organizing retreats, events, and trips.
Does this suggest that the workspace evolution is really a lifestyle evolution?
Like any business model, success mushrooms wherever there is an appropriate match of demand and supply. In this case, Outsite occupies popular tourist locations that equally carry business benefits – and as such, its development is largely driven by the intentions of its guests: to work, to surf, to beach, or simply to retreat.
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Originally from Belgium, Emmanuel followed his job to the U.S. and worked remotely from Santa Cruz, enjoying an enviable lifestyle by the ocean. However, he admits to feeling isolated, and eventually moved to San Francisco where he discovered the coworking and co-living movement.
“That’s where I decided to create a space in Santa Cruz where professionals could stay, work and do fun outdoors activities.”
Emmanuel explained that he always looks for a location with a “solid local economy” and a thriving business or startup community, because companies in these locations typically have an abundance of business travellers.
“They prefer to stay at our spaces rather than hotels or Airbnb style accommodation,” he added. “Our big vision is to provide this experience across the U.S for all major cities and beautiful places, and eventually across the globe.”
“Coworking will keep growing as the number of entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers continues to increase. There are also still plenty of people working from home or coffee shops that need to take the step to coworking spaces.”
“I think this is only the beginning. Considering that 40% of the US workforce will work remotely by 2020, we believe that working in the Outsite way is the new frontier.”
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