Daily Digest News – May 24, 2021


Hand selected flexible workspace news from the most reliable sources to keep you ahead of the pack. We find all the latest news, so you don’t have to. Morning and afternoon updates. Stay in the know.

Here’s what you need to know today:

IWG Rolls Out Spaces OpenDesk Concept

IWG has revealed new plans to roll out four new locations of its Spaces OpenDesk concept this year in Australia.

Spaces OpenDesk aims to appeal to franchise investors, as they typically run smaller than the traditional multi-office model. Taking up around 300 to 500 square meters, these spaces are ideal to fit into retail or mixed-use developments.

Each site costs around 40% less than traditional offices. Franchisees will seek out investors for long-term commitment to develop between three and seven locations.

The new locations will be located in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, and offer a more flexible office solution for companies.

“Enquiries are from big business with hybrid workers, most ASX companies are embracing the new model. The head office is now reduced, you still need it, but not for the same functions,” said Mark Bhardwaj, head of partnership growth at IWG Australia/New Zealand. “Offices are still available to lease but the inventory is less compared to our main offering.”

Credit: IWG

Why Shorter Leases Are Worrying Landlords

Prior to the pandemic, tenants began shortening their leases in big cities as they shifted to more flexible operations. Over the past year, this trend has only been accelerated.

Because of this, some analysts believe that tenants who continue to opt for short-term leases will aid in driving down office valuations.

“When somebody goes in there to determine the value of the property, there’s going to be a risk each time a tenant leaves,” said Lisa Knee, co-leader of EisnerAmper’s national real estate practice. “Whether it’s a short-term lease or you terminate a lease early, the appraisers or the banks are going to look at that because that’s going to create risks.”

Moving forward, landlords must decide how much of a say tenants will have in lease terms with shorter commitments, and may need to pull back on certain amenities because of how exposed they are due to this model.

One of the biggest factors that could expose landlords are high-in-demand tenant improvements. Since landlords do not have much time to write off these enhancements, their offerings may not be seen as favorable to tenants, especially due to rent increases.

However, incorporating some sort of flexible workspace could be a solution for these building owners. Partnering with a coworking operator allows landlords to easily reconfigure their space, provide the flexibility that tenants are desiring and still get higher rent.

Credit: Canva

Coworking And Cowarehousing Firm To Open New Location

Coworking and cowarehousing operator Cubework will open a new location in Vernon, just outside of Downtown Los Angeles.

This is part of the provider’s plan to add 100,000 square feet per month to existing facilities. The new location on East 50th Street features five dock doors and one drive-in bay.

Cubework is in the midst of renovating the property into a flexible workspace and reconfiguring common areas to incorporate more creative spaces. It aims to be ready by next month.

Cubework was founded in 2018 in City of Industry, California. Since then, the operator has expanded across 30 cities with over 10 million square feet of industrial space.

Credit: Bigstock

The Disconnect Between Managers And Workers

Now that vaccines are being distributed across the world, managers are eager to bring their employees back into the office. However, the sentiment may not be shared across the workforce.

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For instance, an op-ed written by the CEO of a Washington D.C. magazine stated that workers could lose benefits like healthcare if they insisted on working from home. Despite apologizing, she along with other higher ups do not seem to be on the same page as their employees. 

Recent analysis has even found that many employees have not received true communication about their company’s post-pandemic strategies. 

In July of 2020, professors Kimberly Merriman and Tamara Montag-Smit, as well as doctoral candidate David Greenway at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, explored how workers adjusted to remote working arrangements.

Of the 3,000 responses they received, 1,361 people stated they planned to relocate over the next six months or had recently done so. 

According to the analysis, the segment of workers that moved largely required full-time remote work arrangements based on the distance moved from their office.  Another portion would have to face a longer commute. 

Additionally, the data found that the majority of respondents who had moved or had plans to move do so based on the assumption or promise that they would be able to continue working remotely for a period of time after the pandemic.

Now that the post-pandemic world is becoming a reality, the disconnect between employers and employees is more evident than ever before.

Credit: Bigstock

Smart Workplace Solutions Firm To Launch Collaboration Pack

Smart workplace solutions provider Jooxter has announced that it will be expanding its operations into the UK and Ireland.

Jooxter aims to provide businesses with advanced solutions that help with managing their digital workplaces, including helping with building occupancy, workplace management and collaboration.

Through web and mobile apps, as well as QR codes and IoT networks, companies are able to easily optimize their space and keep employees safe as they reenter the physical workplace.

Real estate leaders have access to occupancy and other data analytics to see how the space is being used. Then, they can make the appropriate changes based on the needs of occupants.

Additionally, the company is gearing up to launch its Essential Collaboration Pack that will allow companies to easily bring their employees together by allowing them to see in real-time who is in the office and adjust their schedules accordingly.

Using Jooxter’s app, users can book a desk or space for a meeting, and easily check-in or check-out by using a QR code once they are in the desk or room they booked.

“There’s no doubt companies are keen to provide a sustainable working environment for their employees so they can get people back to collaborating face to face,” said Fabien Girerd, CEO of Jooxter. “In the UK, the pandemic has accelerated the importance of flexible working models and the role of smart technology to facilitate it.”

Credit: Bigstock

Venture X Adds New Denver Location

The former Modworks location in Upper Downtown Denver’s Petroleum Building will become a Venture X coworking space.

“Talking to a lot of people, I see that a lot of companies aren’t coming back to the office, or if they do it’s a few times a week,” said Paul Sheperd, owner of the new space. “I think a lot of people will be left working at home, and they’ll be looking for a way to be social again.”

John Borst, who owned the Modworks location, said the company was still planning on moving forward with operations despite the challenges the company faced during the pandemic.

“For me it came down to being in the flex workspace industry about seven years, and I was teetering on the edge of wanting to continue in it and rebuild or look for an exit,” said Borst. “This worked out.”

Venture X operates on a franchise model, with this being Sheperd’s first location. However, this is the company’s third space in Denver.

At the moment, Shepherd is working on renovations for the 25,000 square foot space that houses around 45 tenants. But the space already featured some unique aspects, with the 13th floor formerly being a ballroom for the Petroleum Club and the 14th floor having a 360-degree balcony.

Credit: Venture X
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