In the Loop: IBM Cuts Homeworking, Staples Pins Hopes on Workbar, and Coworking Growth in India

Workbar at Staples, Brighton MA

IBM Calls Thousands of Remote Employees Back to the Office

Just a couple of weeks ago, tech giant IBM was reportedly considering a base at WeWork in NYC. Now, it looks like such decisions could be a thing of the past.

IBM is calling thousands of distributed marketing employees back to 6 central office locations. According to Quartz, IBM — a long-term advocate of remote working practices — is angering its flexible workforce with its decision to work “shoulder-to-shoulder” in “really creative and inspiring locations”. Despite the short-term disadvantage for those workspace operators housing IBM employees, that’s certainly something our industry can relate to.

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Staples Cuts into the Coworking Market

Last year, office supplies giant Staples announced a partnership with Workbar. In a bid to charm Millennials and up-and-coming entrepreneurs, the company announced its intention to launch three coworking spaces in Boston — one of which is inside Staples’s very first store, launched 30 years ago.

The announcement is back in the news this week as Staples goes full-PR on its coworking move. Indeed, the spaces look good: they’ve got the funky coffee machine, easy chairs, art, even a putting green and happy hour beer. Is it enough? As we know, the difference between a soulless workspace and a vibrant hub of engaged members lies in community; for that, Staples is pinning its hopes on a partnership with Workbar. (Pictured top: Workbar at Staples, Brighton MA)

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Colliers Predicts Coworking Growth in India

Research by Colliers International India suggests that the amount of coworking space in India could grow to 8 to 9 million sq ft by 2020, specifically in Bengaluru (Bangalore), Mumbai, and Gurugram.

Surabhi Arora, Senior Associate Director Research at Colliers International India says, “We are likely to see more and more strategic alliances between property owners and operators … India offers a great opportunity for coworking space operators to profit from rising demand for flexible, innovative and collaborative workspace designs.”

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(Pictured top: Workbar at Staples, Brighton MA)