Daily Digest News – June 21, 2021

Daily Digest June 21

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:

WeWork Sees Highest Desk Sales Since 2019

WeWork is bouncing back, with the coworking company stating it sold enough desks throughout April and May to outpace its record-high desk sales in September 2019.

During that time in 2019, WeWork’s attempt to go public had just fizzled out and it was forced to cut expenses, lay off thousands of workers and oust its founder and former CEO Adam Neumann.

This news comes as vaccination rates continue to climb across parts of the world, and people become increasingly more comfortable to return to the physical workspace.

WeWork also stated that its occupancy rate, which once sat at over 70%, dropped to 47% last year, then rose to 53% by the end of May. 

There appears to be a similar slow recovery for the coworking industry worldwide as companies turn to hybrid work models and seek flexible alternatives to traditional office space.

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Google To Close London Campus Location

Google will not reopen its startup space Campus located in London after it was forced to close its doors during the pandemic.

Google claimed that it will continue to play its part in supporting startups, but does not need a physical space to do so. It added that the startup community does not need a dedicated workspace, but rather access to resources such as mentors and business-building programs.

Campus London is one of many Campus locations worldwide, and was opened in 2012 by Google employee Eze Vidra.

The space was located in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London and was seen as the heart of London’s Tech City. It featured a coworking space, a cafe, an event space and was used by numerous startups.

“When I first set foot in Campus London in 2012, it felt like magic,” said Marta Krupinska, head of Google for Start-ups U.K. “It’s played a pivotal role in making London such a successful start-up ecosystem and after almost 10 years, a new chapter opens. So much to celebrate, and still so much work to do.”

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London Businesses Expect To WFH Up To Five Days A Week

A poll from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has revealed that nearly half of London companies expect employees who are able to work from home to do so up to five days a week in the future.

“Many businesses have already made decisions regarding their premises and ways of working once restrictions are lifted,” said Richard Burge, CEO of the LCCI. “It’s about what business has judged best for the bottom line or productivity of their company.”

The survey of 520 business leaders revealed that the main reason for employees being concerned about returning to the office is the possibility of contracting Covid-19 during their commute.

Research from LinkedIn has also revealed that over two-third of UK employees said their employer expects them to come back to the office. However, nearly half said they would prefer to work both from home and in the office.

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Large Cities Recover From the Pandemic At A Varying Pace

States that were significantly impacted by the pandemic are not seeing a mass exodus, but recovery will look different across various large cities.

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    For instance, analysts from Placer.ai call the respective 2.5% and 2% population dip that New York and California experienced from May 2019 to May 2021 “a limited loss.”

    However, major cities like New York City and San Francisco have seen month-over-month decreases over the past year. San Francisco in particular could see noteworthy outcomes.

    “While these are not massive population shifts, even small changes in a highly competitive professional market like San Francisco can be hugely significant,” Ethan Chernofsky, VP of Marketing at Placer.ai, wrote in an analysis from last month. “The spread of potentially high-skilled professionals who are in ever increasing demand may create opportunities for businesses centered in these other cities or add further fuel to a growing ‘work from anywhere’ trend.”

    On the other hand, the future is looking more promising for New York. Data from Placer.ai finds that a dip in rental prices is bringing those living in outer boroughs into the heart of the city.

    According to Chernofsky, this can “have major implications for retail, and actually deepen a city like New York’s role as a ‘center of orbit.”

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    As it becomes increasingly clear that remote and hybrid arrangements are here to stay for much of the workforce, new digital nomad trends have begun to emerge.

    In an effort to capitalize on this shift in the workforce, proptech firm Blueground has launched its program Blueground Nomads, offering 4,000 fully furnished apartments across 15 cities globally.

    The company aims to help traveling professionals explore new parts of the world, while easily providing safe living arrangements.

    “Flexibility, exploration and the freedom to choose how and where you spend your time is the essence of Blueground,” said Alex Chatzieleftheriou, cofounder and CEO of Blueground. “We’re not only providing max flexibility, but we’re encouraging our team members to choose the best work environment for them.”

    Additionally, some countries have started offering their own work visas geared towards digital nomads to boost tourism. Places like Georgia and Estonia have launched their own programs to bring overseas professionals into their countries to work, pay taxes and contribute to the economy.

    Another interesting digital nomad trend to have emerged recently is the growing number of people traveling across the U.S. in RVs.

    The Escapees RV Club has over 60,000 members, thousands of volunteers and nearly 100 employees. Some members live in their RV year round, while others work either part-time or full-time from the road.

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    How HR Tech Companies Can Adapt To The Future Of Work

    The relationship between the workplace, employees and leaders have completely evolved in the past year, and that means that the role of HR has been revamped.

    More specifically, there are three trends HR leaders should focus on when it comes to addressing the needs of the modern workforce: wellness, social issues and employee buy-in.

    The past year had a society-altering impact on how we view both physical and mental health. While the basic definition of wellness in HR tech terms revolves around physical health, it needs to adapt to mental health issues as well.

    For instance, adopting tools that can identify burnout, PTSD and other forms of mental health-related ailments can allow businesses to better support their employees and cater to their needs.

    Additionally, the focus on various social issues has led 70% of employees wanting companies to take more social responsibility. Not only that, but consumers are more inclined to support companies who are making an effort to push progressive changes, whether that be environmentally-conscious decisions or taking stances on political issues.

    HR tech can help with this by using employee sentiment surveys to better understand which issues are most important to workers, and then learn how to integrate charitable donations into their internal systems.

    No matter which changes are on the horizon for a company, one of the most important steps to take is allowing employees to have direct involvement in any changes. Using HR tech, leaders can receive impactful feedback from their employees, get authentic buy-in from employees and make alterations that will advance how the workplace operates.

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