Chris Kelly, co-founder of flexible office firm Convene, admitted that the coworking industry is experiencing a major shakeup after WeWork’s fall from grace.
At this year’s CoreNet Global Summit in Anaheim, California, Kelly said that real estate has become increasingly complicated for both operators and building owners. He added that the best thing for the future of offices is to offer a “full-service hotel building where the sleeping rooms have been switched out for offices and desks.”
Convene operates 30 flexible offices and nearly the same amount of meeting and event spaces. It is often described as a hospitality firm as the majority of its revenue comes from conferencing.
According to Kelly, the ideal “flex-enabled building” would feature concierge-style reception areas instead of traditional office lobbies, as well as ground-floor retail and food and beverage amenities.
A meeting and conference center would also be available to the public, but offered on preferred terms to tenants. Above that would be shared workspaces and traditionally leased offices, and the entire building would have access to catering and coffee services.
“From a technology mindset, the operator is thinking about tenants as audience, where you can start to serve them things and do it more conveniently and more cost-effectively because you’re on-premise,” said Kelly.