Coworking companies have gone from being a darling of the commercial real estate world, to an industry investors willingly avoided.
Now, the industry’s most notable companies are making big changes to their infrastructure in order to position themselves as a reliable business model once again.
For instance, WeWork has walked away from low-performing spaces, while Knotel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is on the cusp of being acquired.
Industry experts are optimistic about the future, though. For Joe Brady, CEO of The Instant Group Americas, coworking 2.0 will be a wiser and sturdier version of the usual concept.
One of the biggest changes Brady is anticipating is the shift towards more private workspaces, rather than shoulder-to-shoulder open areas that coworking used to be synonymous with.
Additionally, workers have expressed wanting flexible workspace in the suburbs to serve as satellite offices, allowing them to continue avoiding long commutes into the city.
The Instant Group itself varies from traditional coworking models in that it meets with corporate clients, then builds out an agile, flexible workspace for them based on the client’s unique needs.
“What the pandemic has done is absolutely disrupt the inertia of commercial real estate, of the office market,” said Brady. “Corporate real estate was not keeping up with the speed of business.”
Brady added that one of the most significant changes to occur in the workplace will be optionality for employees. Whether that be through a hub-and-spoke model or a hybrid work arrangement, people want choice when and how they work.