In The Loop: A Slowdown In Expansion, WeWork Bets On Private Schools, And Other Industry News

WeWork is betting on New York City’s private schools to fill up its coworking spaces.

Coworking Space Operators Hit the Pause Button on Expansion

The Financial Express reported this week that a few coworking space operators have hit the pause button on expansion plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Smartworks, which had raised $25 million in funding in November, originally planned to use the funds to add 5.5 million square feet to its workspace portfolio by the end of this year. However, the company has now revised its plans to add only between 4 to 4.5 million square feet of space by December. Similarly, ABL Workspaces, which planned to add 15,000 seats to its network of workspaces by March 2021 has now announced it has delayed its expansion plan by a year. Awfis, for its part, has stated that it has no fresh expansion plans at the moment. 

Flexible Workspace Network Launches Safe Spaces

Upflex Inc., a global network of flexible workspaces, has launched Safe Spaces. Safe Spaces is a workplace re-entry program to help businesses safely ramp up operations as restrictions are lifted. The program will allow companies to access approved workspaces that comply with strict health and safety guidelines to reduce risk of exposure and transmission. Flexible workspace brands that are part of the program include Knotel, WeWork, Breather, Servcorp, Novel Coworking, Serendipity Labs, Venture X, CommonGrounds, Premier Workspaces, Mindspace, IOS Offices, Ucommune, among others. 

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WeWork Bets on Schools to Fill up Its Coworking Spaces

WeWork’s CEO, Sandeep Mathrani, said during a recent CNBC interview that the coworking operator is “in talks with New York City private schools to turn some offices into classrooms”. According to Mathrani, the goal is to help schools reduce density while allowing for in-person classes to take place in a safe manner. WeWork’s CEO believes that this is one of the various ways in which “WeWork’s product would find utility in this new normal”. This isn’t the first time the former coworking giant tries to enter into the education field. Under Adam Neumann’s leadership, the company launched WeGrow, a kindergarten. 

To read more flexible workspace news, visit our Daily Digest section.

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