Daily Digest News – July 19, 2021

DAILY DIGEST

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:


Companies Are “doing more with less” To Accommodate Hybrid Models

Around 50% of people are already back in their Dallas offices, research suggests, and that figure is expected to hit 85% come the New Year.

But will it be back to normal? Not everyone thinks so. In fact, some believe Covid-19 has changed things, for good.

At Bisnow’s The Evolution of DFW Office event this week, HqO Senior Account Executive Clay Curlee said: “I don’t think we’ll ever get back, quite frankly, to what we saw pre-pandemic,” adding that tenants of commercial office buildings “are doing more with less”.

Lauren Ladowski, ARCO/Murray Vice President, has seen two extremes of the ‘back to work’ spectrum.

One large fintech client is operating “as if Covid never happened,” filling its 50K-plus square foot facility with workers in cramped 150 SF cubicles. At the other extreme, another client is downsizing to a new, smaller workplace and embracing a flexible office hoteling environment with collaborative space.

In the end, it boils down to the employer and how flexible they’re willing to be. It also depends on how far they intend to go to optimize their space.

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New Book Claims Neumann’s WeWork Wealth Was Bigger Than Previously Known

A new book published about Adam Neumann’s tumultuous time at WeWork has revealed that the wealth he extracted from the company is much more than previously known.

According to ‘The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann and the Great Startup Delusion’, a book set to be released Tuesday by Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell, Neumann extracted more than $2.1 billion from the company since its founding.

This extraordinary sum reportedly came from stock sales, cash settlement payments and WeWork shares, and came despite the company burning through billions of dollars and laying off thousands of staff.

The new publication is set to lay bare new details of Neumann’s life at WeWork, including his extravagant rise, swift fall and golden goodbye.

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It’s Not Just The Workplace That’s Changing: Jobs Are, Too

“Our HR colleagues talk about a staff-turnover tsunami.”

That’s according to Neil Murray, CEO of JLL’s Work Dynamics group, who gave fascinating insights into the fast-moving changes they’re seeing as a result of the pandemic.

Murray refers to “pent-up” movement, as people evaluate this profound and unprecedented point in time, and question their life choices.

“There’s been a lot of soul-searching over the last 12 months, and as a result, I think companies have to work harder to attract and retain talent.”

The workplace plays a huge role in that regard, and while many people are being called back to their offices, others are fighting back.

As a result, executives are making changes. “Every chief executive in the world has a view on real estate. They didn’t 18 months ago.”

Murray notes that offices are being reconfigured and re-imagined to be more fluid, more collaborative, and more welcoming.

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    Looking ahead, Murray notes that companies are recognizing that the workplace “is a manifestation of brand and culture”, a place that brings to life a company’s beliefs and purpose.

    “This is an age of workers having choices, and it’s a point of differentiation.”

    He concluded: “Human beings need other human beings. We need to be around each other, and that’s why we feel good about the future of the office.”

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    IWG To Take Over Former WeWork Locations In NYC And London

    IWG announced this week that it is set to open eight new flexible workspace locations. Five out of those eight locations were previously operated by WeWork; two in Kensington, London, and Park Avenue South, New York. Additional locations will be opened in Jakarta, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City. 

    IWG has experienced increased demand for flexible workspace, claiming that demand is up 14% from pre-COVID levels. The flexible workspace conglomerate has added over 100 new locations in the first half of 2021, including franchise locations. 

    IWG attributes the increased demand for flexible workspace to the pandemic. Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG said that, “The pandemic has accelerated the shift to the hybrid model by 10 years … There has been a rapid change.”

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    Remote Workers May Need To Reevaluate Their 2021 Taxes

    Remote workers may need to reevaluate their tax situation, as the reprieve that resulted in no tax filing obligation for remote workers applied only for last year (2020). 

    “As emergency orders are lifted, the guidance is changing,” said Eileen Sherr, director for tax policy and advocacy with the American Institute of CPAs. “Some states are lifting them now.” 

    The situation is further complicated by the fact that many workers moved to a different city or state, and they are not as familiar with their new state’s tax requirements. It’s important for remote workers to be aware that they need to pay taxes to the state where they reside, regardless of where they earned their wages.

    That being said, remote workers may also have tax liabilities in additional states, depending on where their company is located. 

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    Zoom Acquires Five9, Bets On The Future Of Hybrid Work

     Zoom announced that it acquired Five9, a cloud-based call center operator. The acquisition is a clear indicator that Zoom believes the future of work is hybrid and remote. 

    The Five9 deal is Zoom’s biggest takeover to date and, according to Zoom founder Eric Yuan, “is positioning us to accelerate Zoom’s growth and play an even stronger role in driving the digital future, bringin companies and their customers closer together.”

    Five9’s software is used by over 2,000 clients, including Under Armour, Lululemon, and Olympus. The deal will be finalized in early 2022 and it’s a clear indicator that Zoom is prioritizing its cloud-calling and conference-hosting products: Zoom Phone and Zoom Rooms. 

    Zoom has experienced exponential growth since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic; sales during the last three months of 2020 were up 370% compared to the same time period in 2019.

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