Coworking Is Getting In Shape

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A coworking company goes into the fitness business and a fitness company goes into the coworking business. Coincidence? We think not.

Coworking is dynamic. In less than 10 years the coworking industry has re-imagined itself several times as a response to ever-shifting market needs and demands. This year is no different, and coworking is starting to re-imagine itself. This year, coworking is getting in shape (literally)!

Just a few weeks ago WeWork announced the launching of Rise by We, “a wellness club and superspa”, in order to help members and non-members achieve work-life integration. Shortly after, Life Time Fitness announced its entrance into the coworking world.

Bisnow reported that “the 25-year-old company based in the Minneapolis area has changed its name from Life Time Fitness Inc. to Life Time Inc. on all legal documents.(…)The move is one the company characterizes as a logical progression from years of offering an expanded set of wellness amenities from its competitors.”

In an unexpected twist of events, a coworking company goes into the fitness business and a fitness company goes into the coworking business. Coincidence? We think not.

Both Life Time and WeWork are one step ahead of the game. Single-use spaces have become obsolete, and people in cities across the world prefer mix-used spaces that can cater to their every need.

Consider this: how many times have you skipped the gym because it was too far out or there was too much traffic? If I’m honest, that’s probably among the top 3 excuses I use whenever I skip a workout.

When the time to commute or get to the gym exceeds the time that you will actually spend working out, then motivation drops; especially if people feel that they can’t break away from the office or work for too long.

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Fitness and coworking have blended before, with some workspace operators offering treadmill and biking desks, showers and cycle parking. Others have partnered up with local gyms to offer discounted memberships to their workspace users.

Therefore what WeWork and Life Time are doing makes complete sense: bring the office closer to the gym and bring the gym closer to the office. The result will be more people working out, which means more endorphins being released, which means happier (and less stressed) individuals out there.

And while we’re all in for a better, happier world, the takeaway here is the potential to truly and fully blend hospitality, office, and fitness, into one. Coworking is getting in shape by providing the right platform and space for integrating work with working out, on an entirely new level.

Both Life Time and WeWork are offering access to workspace and gyms, but also access to other amenities like cafes and spas. In terms of WeWork, they’re not the first ones to approach this in the industry, although they are definitely the ones taking it to the next level. Life Time, on the other hand, is setting quite a precedent.

“Our CEO, Bahram Akradi, has a vision to deliver in one healthy-way-of-life complex, all the social, medical, retail, work and residential phases that make up your daily life,” Jason Thunstrom, Life Time VP of Corporate Communications, told Bisnow.

The coworking model works. And as the industry continues to grow we are sure to see that companies from other sectors will seek ways in which to incorporate their coworking aspect into their existing business models. Life Time’s entrance into coworking is just an early sign of this. The possibilities and opportunities are endless.