Category: Industry

“Teleworking at home is good for one day a week. Teleworkers need coworking once the frequency increases”

The percentage of teleworkers has been gradually increasing over the past 20 years in the US. Modern employees demand home-working options but what about teleworking in coworking spaces? How do coworking and teleworking work hand in hand, nowadays, in Europe? We asked Xavier de Mazenod, one of the most famous teleworking and coworking expert in France.

Hi Xavier. Can you introduce yourself as well as Zevillage?

Xavier de Mazenod

Being a former journalist, I created the company Adverbe in 2004: A consulting and training company regarding new forms of work. Since then, we have been publishing the Zevillage website, a site specialized in the transformation of work, organizations and workspaces. We try to convey to companies all the practices and changes we observe.  

How would you depict the acceptance of teleworking in France, in 2019, and what still keeps companies from embracing it fully?

Teleworking is an old idea in France that goes back to the 90s. But in reality, it has long progressed underground and informally in companies. Few had formalized it and incorporated it into a human resources strategy.

For the last 3-4 years, we have witnessed a rapid change. Teleworking has become part of HR policies for quality of work life balance. Perhaps because companies are realizing that millennials are demanding flexibility in the organization of their work and a greater harmony between their personal time and their time at work. This is important for the image of the company, its “employer brand”. We even have testimonials from young candidates refusing job offers from companies that did not set up teleworking.

The anti-teleworking blockade is still coming from the same cultural cause as 20 years ago: a presidential view of management, a too hierarchical organization and management methods that rely on control and not on trust.

This is not to blame on managers, they do as they can and as they have learned. It’s just a statement.

For what you know, do you see a wide difference between countries in Europe with respect to the teleworking acceptance rate and practices?

Less than ten years ago, in 2009, there were two distinct blocks: Northern Europe (32.4% of the employed population in Finland, 26.8%, 22.3% in the UK) who already had a high rate of teleworkers, and southern countries (France 8.4%, Italy 5%) at the back of the pack. Since then, France has come back quickly. In fact, teleworking works as a indicator of the degree of trust between managers and employees.

The French utility group EDF announced the creation of internal coworking all over their locations spread out across France. Is this a new step in teleworking policies by French companies, would you say?

I will not say that corpoworking (“Corpoworking” is a word used in France in the corporate world to refer to a coworking model designed for a specific corporate audience which has no equivalent anywhere else) is a mutation of teleworking – but rather a complementary offer. An offer that also reassures companies, since their employees remain in a controlled environment.

Until about 5 years ago, in France, teleworking was practiced in 80 or 90% from home. Since then, employees have greater access to “corpoworking” mainly because professional-level offers have appeared with “industrial” players such as Bouygues Immobilier and Accor or the evolution of former business centers like Regus or the emergence of operators like WeWork (although they claim to not be coworking anymore).

These offers have reassured businesses, even if we do not necessarily find the spirit of historic coworking spaces there anymore. On the other hand, we have to understand that when one teleworks only one day a week, he/she will prefer teleworking from home. Once weekly duration increases, the need to leave one’s home or not to be isolated, often manifests.

Can you mention some other examples of companies doing the same or dealing with another approach?

Corpoworking is not a very massive phenomenon. In France, we can mention SNCF or Orange, among the most famous companies to have adopted it. In Switzerland, I would mention examples such as SIG, BrainGym or Swisscom. In Germany, Modul57, TUI, AppHaus or SAP.

It seems companies are still reluctant to let their employees work out of third parties coworking spaces. Is this the case? Why?

That’s true, indeed, for France. Some companies fear that giving their employees space in coworking spaces creates a double cost: one for the office and another for the coworking space. However, the right solution would be to think about the flexibility of the company in a global way by integrating telecommuting, improving office spaces and using coworking spaces. One only has to look at the dramatic transformation of the Belgian social security, for instance, which introduced flex-office and teleworking in order to increase people’s productivity, motivation and quality of life… And it ultimately worked.

Does it start because of a change in companies’ culture or because of the growth of the coworking offering?

I would say both. Without understanding the coworking phenomenon, a company is unlikely to let its employees work outside their offices. But coworking is becoming more and more successful, probably because it gives real estate businesses flexibility. And without sufficient supply of space, no access to coworking is possible.

Do you see the coworking offering in France improving to host companies’ employees, fitting needs in size, locations and amenities?

Nowadays, yes. In bigger cities, at least, all coworking spaces are well attended, and there are also spaces in more rural areas. In France there are 1,800 spaces (all types of third-places included). That’s a very fast progression. And the quality improves. We see that companies are using them more and more. It’s no longer about flexible workstation rentals, only. Coworking also becomes a natural solution to host temporary project teams for example. In that case, the objective is to put them calmly outside the company environment and confront them with diversity. For that reason, you see more and more tools coming up, such as creativity rooms, within coworking spaces.

What is missing?

Time to convert companies to this mode of management.

Speaking about geography, do you notice big differences in terms of behavior between Paris, on the on hand and the rest of France on the other hand?

Image source: Mutinerie Village, Coworking in the French Countryside. Copass SAS

The difference in behavior is more between the city and the countryside than between Paris and other cities in the province. The economic model of the urban spaces is viable because one can reach the minimum size for a correct profitability, around 1500/2000 m2. In rural areas, the smaller size of spaces, linked to a lower population density, makes breaking even difficult.

Who are the drivers of change (players) in France in the new ways of work? What excites you? What disappoints you?

There are many innovators in the new forms of work. One could even say that this innovation is a characteristic of third places. To name a few, I will mention Bureaux à Partager, which is growing strongly in major French cities. Among other things, they have acquired a good know-how to install pop-up coworkings. We can also mention Now coworking who chose a high-end positioning with lots of activities offered – similar to the WeWork model but maintaining a stronger culture of community.

Their ambition is to open at least a dozen places in major French cities, outside Paris, in mythical places. Startway’s strategy is also interesting. It is that their spaces have a strong “entrepreneurship” orientation, with a lot of activities for the members. La Poste has entered into their capital and accelerated their development.

Finally, on the side of the spaces that are more “third-places” than coworking we can say that each large or medium city has one. I will mention Darwin in Bordeaux, the WIP being developed in Caen or The Station in the old station of Saint-Omer (14000 inhabitants).

How far do you see the workforce to be physically distributed in the coming 5 years time?

Difficult to know but if we look at strong trends, in France or elsewhere, it is likely that freelancers will be much more numerous than today. We are talking about 50% of the active population in the United States by 2030. It means a lot of flexibility, freedom in the choice of places to live and a greater need to freely recreate collective work in coworking spaces.

Some international studies claim flexible workplace will represent 30+% of the whole office market. Are we heading toward that direction?

In addition to the rise of freelancers phenomenon, we must add the demand for real estate flexibility from major rental companies. They no longer want the rigidity of conventional leases of 3-6-9 years and negotiate to get about 20% of space in flexibility. And who can better offer that than a coworking space?

“CoWomen is more than just a coworking space: our vision is to support the next generation of female leaders”

Berlin based CoWomen is a community club and a coworking space for “driven women”. The space focuses on women on the rise. CoWomen, explain the founders, supports those “women on the rise” to achieve their goals with a workspace with beautiful atmosphere, experts and masterclasses to develop professional and personal skills and community events to find inspiration for the big goals. Hannah Dahl and Sara-Marie Wiechmann are two of the three co-founders.

Hello Hannah and Sara. Can you introduce the CoWomen project you run?

We aim at offering the perfect membership for women to build their careers and lives they love.

Our mission is to connect rising women to help them unleash their potential. We firmly believe in the positive effect of strengthening women in business and the enormous impact they can have on society and the economy. Everyone profits from more successfully working women! And because building networks is the deciding factor to achieve this, it’s what we focus on at CoWomen.

Hannah’s story is the birth of the CoWomen idea: When my first son was three months old I started to work again as a software and process management consultant. And while standing in the client’s bathroom pumping milk and being on the phone with colleagues, I started to realise that we need new work spaces. Spaces with other functionalities but also other messages and other purpose. A couple of months later I thought about starting a coworking space with child care but I was happy to see that we already have amazing spaces in Berlin that provide this service and childcare was not the only pain we wanted to solve with CoWomen. After networking in female networks for a while, it really hit me. There are so many topics we share and work on as women and being amongst women is so much fun – what an energy! An idea was born. Since then, my idea has grown into a place and space that offers everything a working woman needs.

I was not alone on my journey. When I reached out for more women to join CoWomen, I didn’t have to look too far. Sara has been a colleague and work friend of mine in our former company in software consultancy for a while and she got on board really quickly.

Sara:

I have a passion for digitalisation, for change and modern feminism. I lived these topics all my life and in my studies in Cologne and London. Transitioning into our classic working world – and we were working in public management which is also culturally impacted and not known for fast innovation processes – literally meant a culture shock for me. So, I analysed this new culture I was surrounded by and tried to master it and what I found was that the women in my company were driven and going big. They were all more or less in my age group and career stage. We were heard and promoted and needed to take on responsibility. But, there were no female role models for us.

So I left the company that I liked and started my journeys with Hannah to bring those great women together and understand how we can change the classic working world we experienced.

We were heard and promoted and needed to take on responsibility. But, there were no female role models for us.

Kat is the third woman in our founding team. She is a globetrotter always passionate about amplifying women’s voices. Having gained ample marketing experience in NYC, London, and Berlin, she can create clear and human-friendly messaging and content. That’s why she is developing and executing our marketing strategy to spread the word about the amazing connections happening every day at CoWomen.

We three founders work with a lot of heart and vision to make it possible for the women to achieve what will bring them forward, whether as a community or in their personal and professional development.

Our “Code of CoWomen” makes it clear which values and goals we pursue as a community. The code also encourages you to be yourself in a professional space and to feel comfortable with what you are doing. We live by what we expect from other work environments and employers.

Why did you feel the need for a coworking for “women only” space?

Because it’s so much fun! Really, the energy that is within a women only space is unbelievable. But mainly because we experience the need to create a space that serves a specific purpose. We want to change the working world and coworking spaces are the perfect place to do so. They offer an alternative working atmosphere and the chance to talk to like minded people to make change happen together. In our case this purpose is creating a better working world for women and strengthen them so we all profit from more working women. We were networking for over a year, we see the trend of rising female networks meeting in cafes sporadically. They need a physical space to make a difference.

And in addition, we see and experienced the pain points of women in the business world so we know that these networks are more than necessary. We exchange profoundly, openly and honestly and we meet the same challenges in life. For example, we often deal with topics such as the different ways men and women communicate, leadership styles, further education, work-life integration, the compatibility of work and family, an attentive life and often also finding or creating meaningful work. So what happens in the CoWomen space is not picking on the pain points. It is striving for big dreams and big change. It’s a very special energy when there are only women in the room.

We see and experienced the pain points of women in the business world so we know that these networks are more than necessary. (…) The CoWomen space is not picking on the pain points. It is striving for big dreams and big change.

And even if we don’t call it that, the space is a kind of safe environment where women can leave their comfort zone and try out new things. Both in the role of a participant and of a workshop leader. And you simply feel more comfortable and courageous among women. Some women need the specific exchange, some women find their customers in our community and some are merely happy not to be in the minority for once. Especially women who work in areas that are currently dominated by men, such as in the tech industry or the start-up world. It is a special experience to come together with women who are just as ambitious and determined. That gives new energy for the own everyday life.

Some women need the specific exchange, some women find their customers in our community and some are merely happy not to be in the minority for once.

We are at a time when the society promote diversity and inclusivity. Isn’t there a risk to be perceived as creating a new kind of exclusivity? 

Diversity and inclusivity are a result that desperately needs to be achieved in a lot of spaces in society, yes. Especially in spaces that mean power and designing the lives as we live them. But how do you achieve a good mix in managing and powerful roles? If there is a misbalance the minority needs to get the focus. Or as Tarana Burke (Meetoo movement) would say: “It’s not about exclusion. It’s about managing the inclusion, because otherwise they will not be pulled in the centre.” As CoWomen, we focus on including the demand of the female workforce into the classic working world. And also more females. We understand that the lack of female role models is one dominant factor in some areas and we understand that exchange amongst women on professional topics is not possible in every work environment. Therefore, we focus on women.

Without entering into the discussion about where different behaviours come from, which socialisations predominate or what is biologically predetermined, we find that women often act, prioritise and decide differently than men. Of course, we are all individuals, so – as we have learned in some of our workshops – we should rather say “typically female” action deviates. However, it is guided by values that have long been demanded of a modern working world and modern leadership. Authenticity, flexibility, commitment to one’s own values, inclusion and collaboration, but at the same time independence, empowerment and adaptability. These and many other behaviours are urgently needed in a complex, individualising society and in complex markets, so we are here to push them forward. By the way, Brigitte Zypries is also one of our fans. CoWomen makes women’s lives easier and gives them the network they need to reach the top! CoWomen is more than just a coworking space. Our vision is to connect and support the next generation of female leaders. We connect them with each other as well as mentors and offer them the perfect work environment to realise their dreams. We want to feel comfortable in the rooms we work in, almost like at home.

CoWomen is more than just a coworking space. Our vision is to connect and support the next generation of female leaders.

Is there a mainstream profile of member within your community?

Women with a certain “drive” who don’t always know what they want, but have the energy and the wish to find out and pursue it. Women who want to create value for the economy and above all for society. Women who know the meaning of networks and want to live the values of our code. Our members come from different industries and have all kinds of professional situations.They mirror the typical working woman in Germany, but in regards to the aspects above. They need to want more and develop together. As you can see, we are not strictly depending on women who work with us in the space every day, but we have members who join us for an occasional work day and a lot of events after their work day is done. The majority of women at the moment are freelancers which is also a cultural phenomenon in Germany. We love that they come to our space to develop their business, their projects and themselves.

The US have been among the first to see the emergence of “for women only” coworking space: would you say the situation is similar in Europe? 

We are not sure that we have an answer to comparing the American culture to a European culture regarding female coworking spaces. From what we have seen, the call for feminism and female-only spaces in Europe is not as “loud” as in the US. In Sweden and London, there are “female focused” spaces: Spaces created by women but not only for women. We are the second space that opened for women only in Europe and we are going to open many more. There are amazing spaces for women in the US that we don’t usually read about in Germany or Europe. And they are in parts also our role models: empowering women by bringing them together and catering their needs. Without bashing men. And Kat already visited some on her last trip to the States. So we think we share our goals, but we are living our European culture as well. But most important is: we are always open for cooperation. Together we are stronger.

We are the second space that opened for women only in Europe and we are going to open many more.

Would you say the struggle for more gender balance is similar in Europe than in other places?

Gender balance is highly culturally determined and different in every society. What we are aiming for is a switch of mindset and therefore we have to understand it first. What we know is, there is huge potential in Europe and in Germany to improve leadership and work by including more females. So similar, we don’t know, but there are a lot of numbers, that show us, that balance is missing. It is hard however to compare numbers. We need to ask the right questions first. And this is where coworking can help as it creates the space to get into topics of imbalance more deeply with women who are aspiring to reach the top. So they ask the right questions to themselves already. And we all see the movement of women working together on creating this big momentum and movement towards a great female vision. In addition to that, Coworking spaces themselves are a manifestation of the problem of imbalance in the modern working world. There are women missing in a lot of coworking spaces too. In the German-speaking coworking scene we notice a big shift towards this topic. Coworkers and owners are very aware of the low number of women in their spaces, on diversity topics or are even interested in opening more female spaces.

Our vision is to create an inspiring place where aspiring women can come together to change the world of work, even the world. Together we are stronger. We care a lot about building our shared vision sustainably. In Germany, coworking spaces for women are new, even though almost everyone in Berlin already knows about “coworking”. Nevertheless, for us it is as important to take our knowledge and experiences and support organisations and companies to bring more diversity into their corporate culture. We are all faced with challenges and can master them if we take the needs of our colleagues into account and transform the world of work accordingly.

There are some clichés that a coworking space for women will naturally include a “child care” service. Your project is definitely not about that. 

Hannah:

I usually answer that there aren’t men at the space so who should take care of the kids?! Haha. But yes, this is an ambiguous topic for us. And in a very early stage as described above, we actually thought about a space that includes child care services as this was my initial impulse. But it’s not our focus now. We are learning through our work at CoWomen that family planning is (still) a classic female issue but is very far from being the only one that keeps us from taking on more responsibility in the working world. So there is a 100%-acceptance policy on family topics and the need to bring your child with you sometimes. I take my Babyboy to any (business) meeting that I have. But at the space, we focus on working and changing the working world. Our moms also do. We work on creating a narrative to change the system. It is much more than just creating places that include child care services to ease the pain of not having time to work. It is about showing the world that there are things that need to be done, women or men, with or without kids.

What are Co-Women’s plans for the coming two and five years?

Two years: Become a well-known and fast growing thought leader promoting a great free life with power and responsibility for women all over the world.
Five years: We are building an empire 😀

“The same way Uber didn’t kill the taxis, Coworking fills a void in the existing corporate real estate market”

The Coworking Europe Conference 2019 is heading to Warsaw on November 13-15th for its 10th edition. In order to get to know the local ecosystem, we have interviewed Konrad Szaruga and Natalia Kuliberda, both real estate experts who have shared with us their experience, thoughts and insights about the polish market.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your past and current involvement in the coworking fields?

Konrad Szaruga: “I have 10 years experience in commercial real estate market from Developer followed by 5 years of experience in advisory firm – CBRE representing Tenants and Landlords to coworking which started in managing NewWork Offices in Poland followed by Business Development for Business.Link.

NewWork Offices is Hungarian based coworking network, available in Central Eastern Europe. In 2017, I was responsible for opening Polish branch of the organization, and managing it first coworking site in Poland – NewWork Wilanów in Warsaw with area of 3200 sqm.

After that I’ve joined Business Link in the beginning of 2018 and was responsible for setting up new strategy for the brand and acquiring clients for newest developments of the brand. Business.Link is the largest polish coworking operator who grew up rapidly after joint venture with the real estate company Skanska.”

Natalia Kuliberda: “During over 7 years of experience in real estate industry, I went through the full spectrum of business functions, including but not limited to: strategic planning, sales & operations processes. Thanks to open-minded and agile approach, as well as strong analytical skills, I successfully managed the leasing and asset tasks in 110 000 sqm. Specialize in solving problems and creating new opportunities for business partners. Experienced in coworking & flexible office solutions.”

Poland was not the first country to climb into the coworking train. How do you explain it?

There are few reasons to explain this. Boom in coworking in the world was mainly caused by 2008 crisis – afterward companies were afraid of future and long lease obligations, typical for major markets (London, Paris, NY, LA…). In Poland as one of the few countries in EU, the crisis was barely slow down so we have missed that driver.

The coworking boom started in Poland ca. 3 years ago with introducing By Adgar Brain Embassy who was the first modern style coworking spaces directed to freelancers, small and medium companies as well as corporations. Together with two modern BusinessLink locations in Warsaw. This was an answer for two new needs which was born in our market: project working and competition for talent pool.

Now we see that these two reasons are the main drivers to rapid growth of coworking market in Poland.

Nowadays, Warsaw is the city in Europe with the highest level of investment in corporate real estate. Are property owner keener to embrace the coworking model? 

In our opinion (in high level) situation in the commercial real estate market and recent coworking boom is best to compare to entrance Uber in the passenger transport market. After few years, Uber didn’t displace taxi’s, car sharing nor buses (and please remember that Polish market is not regulating Uber). This is a response to people’s needs and how the commute.

Same with coworking – this is supplement / feeling a void in commercial real estate market.

The competition is becoming fiercer in Warsaw, with big international coworking names opening up big spaces. How do the existing players react? 

This is the question we will know the answer only at the end of this year and next year.

WeWork entered market and opened first premises in December 2018. Three months later Regus and Regus Spaces, Solutions.rent, NewWork and Wework itself opened 6 more locations in the city center of Warsaw itself! The paste of Market growth is unparalleled. WeWork as the one with the biggest appetite. It will for sure change the market. To what extend ? It is hard to tell.

Do you see something specific to the Warsaw coworking scene that you have not seen in other European major cities? 

We think that pipeline for new investment compared with the market itself in 2018-2020 shows biggest dynamic and fastest growth (relative to the market).

The biggest players are Regus (the oldest one), WeWork and NewWork who will cope with very strong local players like CitySpace, Business.Link and Brain Embassy. It’s worth to mention that the local players showing the appetite to become market leaders in Warsaw, Poland or even in the whole EU  are backed-up by major real estate developers (Echo, Skanska and Adgar respectively).

It is worth to mention that the local players showing the appetite to become market leaders  in Warsaw, Poland or even in the whole EU, are backed-up by major real estate developers (Echo, Skanska and Adgar respectively).

Are foreign companies located in Warsaw more open to join a coworking space than Polish organisations?

Yes and this is not only for foreign companies. Polish entities are also looking for new spaces.

For both, the main drivers (mentioned earlier) are project based work and the war for talents. The modern coworking spaces with very low entry threshold compared with high quality office spaces are gaining.

How difficult is it to build a community in a booming city such as Warsaw, with so much things moving around?

Community Management will be the name of the game in 2019/2020. Because of the young market and the shortage of experienced community managers, this is what we expect to see developing rapidly. With that fast pace of growth and huge competition, simple “event calendar overload” is not enough. Each provider has its own approach and we see that other players wants to distinguish itself, like i.e. Nest coworking who is inviting parents with kids. 

Community Management will be the name of the game in 2019/2020. With that fast pace of growth and huge competition, simple “event calendar overload” is not enough.

How important is the community, according to you? 

For every coworking who would like to anchor the clients and hold them there are three main unique selling points: location, price vs quality, community. You can discuss which one is the most important. However, at the end of the day, community is the only selling points which you can shape by yourself and distinguish from the competitors, and tie the client. So looking from this perspective this is about to live or to die for every coworking space.

At the end of the day, community is the only selling points which you can shape by yourself and distinguish from the competitors

How about coworking in the other Polish cities?

Poland it is not only Warsaw and we have few very strong and important local cities like Kraków, Wrocław Poznań, Tri-City, Silesia with fiercely competitive Lublin and Białystok in the east of the country and central located Łódź which was in the shadow of Warsaw for a long time and now getting bigger and bigger attention.

Local markets growth is slightly slower than in Warsaw but the rapid growth is ahead of us and they should boom in next 3 years.

Where do you see the coworking market in Warsaw in 2 years and 5 years time?

We do believe that the future of market is ca. 15-20% of modern office stock serving as coworking space. The question is how fast we will reach that goal. Is it 5 years from now? – we will see. For sure, in the next two years, we will see rapid growth and interesting fight between operators. Nevertheless, as the product is still barely known by the market, there should ultimately be plenty of room for everyone.

“Coworking is more and more about accommodating teams, not solely individual freelancers”

Eric van den Broek, Sophie Ozdzinski, Stefano Borghi and Augustin Riedinger are co-founders of Copass, a marketplace that offers a selection of workspaces around the globe: vibrant or calm, huge or small, classic or atypical, they got everyone covered.

We have interviewed Eric van den Broek to find out more about trends in nomad coworking as well as in new group working patterns.

Can you introduce Copass, the philosophy behind it and how do you compete in such a “coworking platforms” dense environment?

Of course! Copass is a global coworking membership enabling its users to access a network of more than 950 independent coworking spaces around the globe with one single subscription. Basically, it’s like being a member of a thousand spaces at once.

Copass was born 6 years ago, in early 2013 as the brainchild of former coworking space founders. I’ve been involved in the coworking movement since 2011. In 2014, coworking was growing rapidly and what started as a genuine bottom-up movement started to get structured as a market. Big players started to join the movement with big money and were able to open networks of locations. 

As I naturally became friends with many coworking space managers all over the world, we started discussing the possibility of offering a seamless experience for coworkers to work from any coworking space. The idea was the following: we could offer the value of a network to our members while staying independent at the same time. That’s basically how Copass started!

You were not alone on the market, were you?

In terms of competition, we’ve seen a lot of platforms come and go. Most listing platforms did fail as members would simply bypass the platform and deal directly with the space when they found it. Some competitors do work by focusing on meeting rooms and closed office spaces but that’s a very different audience. Copass stayed true to its roots by focusing on offering a seamless experience for coworkers and coworking space managers.

As we are self funded, we also could deal with a slower growth than what a VC funded company might expect. When we started, coworking was still pretty niche so the idea needed a little time to really make sense. Some say we’ve been patient but I would say we’ve been passionate.

You once said coworking leans towards “team consumption” instead of individual subscription. Can you elaborate? 

I often think back about the old times when we had to explain 10 times a day what coworking actually is back in 2011. Nobody had even heard of it! Now if you walk in a random café and ask the question, most of the people know exactly what it is and what is the benefit of using one. Coworking has become mainstream, and as it became mainstream, it went way passed it’s initial target audience that was mostly made of freelancers.

Teams and companies could now have instant access to cool facilities and ecosystems anywhere they want without the burden of a formal lease. This change also reflects on Copass. Companies can create groups, attribute individual memberships to their teammates or share a pool of daypasses, centralizing all their coworking expenses in one place. The value of a network for this new audience is even greater than for individuals so Copass is an excellent fit for them. I would say that today, around 30% of checkins are done by teams.

Shall coworking spaces focus more on “teams” rather than individual freelancers, then? 

It’s hard to answer this question as I think both approaches can be valid. Coworking Spaces focusing on freelancers can understand and answer their needs better. Community for freelancers is way more important than the actual facility as you’re talking to people who suffer from isolation when working from home. This isn’t so much the case for teams and companies. For them, the services and the facilities play a much bigger role. In a way, working with teams and companies is way more “transactional”.

In terms of community, teams usually don’t blend in as much as individuals as the team is “socially self sufficient”. In the early days of coworking, that was super community focused, this was actually a problem as too many teams in a space could affect the overall vibe of spaces and I remember having discussions with other operators on this very topic.

So I think freelancers and teams are actually two very different things. What happens is that, as coworking grew as a market and as the real estate pressure became stronger on space operators, coworking spaces needed to grow in size and to do so, they had to address different needs. Teams offer a more predictable income and working with teams is more “scalable” than working with freelancers as refining a service and a space design is easier done at scale than maintaining a unique community vibe.

I think freelancers and teams are actually two very different things.

The final answer would be: if you’re going into coworking for business and money, you should go big and find a way to accommodate teams within your space. If you’re going for the love of community, you might be able to go smaller and work only with freelancers. But there is no definite answer here.

From your data, it seems coworking users keep being more urban. Does it mean rural coworking remain an exception?

As much as I’d love to say no, I would have to agree on that. Coworking is still an urban phenomenon and there are many reasons for that:

  1. People feel the need for coworking spaces when they lack space at home. When you’ve got a 150sqm house in the countryside with your own office in it,  you don’t feel the urge to get out as much as when you live in a 30swm flat in Paris
  2. To make sense from a financial point of view for a coworking space, you need a certain density of potential members around.
  3. As you’re going away from big cities, the economy is a lot less about services and a lot more about the industry or agriculture. 99% of coworkers are actually service providers.

That being said, in the long run, I could see a future where people move away from the cities and work remotely. I would actually love that as I think centralization causes many problems, but that’s a topic for another day 🙂 

In the beginning, you were more focused on coworking travelers. Now, it seems Copass users tend more to cast their coworking need locally…

I think the so-called digital nomad lifestyle is for people a bit like sex for teenagers: many talk about it but few actually do it. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been considered a Digital Nomad myself and I loved it. It’s just that looking at the media, it appears bigger than it actually is because it’s sexy and tickles people’s curiosity, especially when you’re stuck in a crappy office doing a job you don’t like and daydream everyday about quitting your job to go around the world 🙂 

It’s true that Copass has been perceived a lot like a tool for nomads and I think we suffered from it as many people would think “this product is so cool but it’s not for me as as I don’t travel that much”. At the end, most of our users actually roam within the same city and sometime travel with Copass! For urbans, coworking is the new normal and as they have many options around, it makes a lot of sense for them to not commit to one but to use different spaces based on their needs. If you’ve got a meeting with a client at the other end of the city, it doesn’t make sense to go all the way back to your homespace.

The office, which was a constraint before, has become a tool and you can now use the best tool based on your needs and constraints.

Do you see big differences between countries in the way people interact with coworking? 

I think in the end, what is the most striking are the similarities between spaces rather than the differences. From a sociological perspective, it’s very interesting to see that there is way more in common between a freelancer in a coworking space in New York City and in Indonesia than between this same freelancer and a farmer in minnesota. There is a global culture that emerged beyond countries which is a pretty unique phenomenon. You’ll still see some differences though but not that much.

How do you see the main coworking usage patterns and profiles evolve in the coming 2-5 years?

I see coworking as becoming a feature of almost anything. A lot of big real estate players already include coworking in their projects alongside restaurants and accommodation. Coworking has found a place in the real estate industry.

I’ve got mixed feelings about it and I know a lot of coworking pioneers also do. We came in this space and shaped the movement for the community and the values and not for selling square meters. The real estate part of it was only something we had to deal with. Let’s not fool ourselves: the intentions behind a WeWork or Spaces and an indy space are not the same…

That being said, there is no need to get too mad about it. That is the way things go and in a way, we all knew that was going to happen. Also, keep in mind that those big players address a different market I believe. For them, business comes down to flexibilizing the workspace, which is something companies need and have needed for a long time. When you’re creating a business, it all comes down to the problem you are solving. While pioneers in coworking solved the problem of isolation by creating communities, real estate players solve the problem of flexibility by offering office as a service.

Those two things are going to grow together, the latter being mechanically much bigger in size than the former.

“In Spain, small coworking spaces have less to lose from the rise of big brands than medium size ones”

Manuel Zea is the founder of CoworkingSpain.es and the organizer of the Coworking Spain Conference, one of the first national conference ever organized on coworking. Manuel saw coworking moving from a fragile new born to an industry on it’s way to disrupt the traditional office market. As of today, Spain is still the country with the highest number of individual coworking space per capita. A few days after the Coworking Spain 2018 conference, which took place in Madrid, it was a good time to ask him about the situation of coworking in the country.

Hi Manuel. Can you tell us about the story behind CoworkingSpain?

Manuel Zea

“CoworkingSpain.es” is born in 2010. That year, I was invited to speak at the first European conference on coworking. I had entitled my presentation: “An overview of the coworking in Spain”. Prior to the date,  I reached out to all the existing coworking spaces at that time, in the country. I had collected so much information that I decided to start a blog called CoworkingSpain.es, which listed coworking space operating in Spain. The year after, I took part to the second Coworking Europe conference in Berlin. I said to myself: it’s time to organize a similar conference in Spain. This was 7 years ago.

What is the main learning you get out of such a longevity? 

I think working with passion and love is what makes me work every year at the conference. Its a hard job with a really small team, so doing things with passion and love is key for us. As you mention, the competition is now rising between the 3 biggest international operators, now active in Spain. You can feel how they want to get market share and they are using marketing strategics to get more penetration into the market. Collaboration between spaces is possible but to a certain limit and easier between smaller spaces. Collaboration between big coworking brands is more difficult. Be will work on that, though.

Why, would you say, coworking spaces have an interest to collaborate with one another?

My opinion is that collaboration is a way to grow faster and organized and a way to learn faster. There is a lot of experience in every single person that can solve in a simple way a problem that seems big to you. Collaborartion is the perfect way to accelerate your serendipity.

According to your Spanish coworking survey, Spain counts about 800 coworking spaces, still one of the highest number in Europe…

Utopicus

This is a legacy from the economical crisis. Eight years ago, there was just a bunch of coworking spaces. Their mission was to spread the word about the coworking word and educate the world about what coworking was.  This was a really tough job. We can’t figure out something more complicated than to teach a market about a service one isn’t even aware there might be a demand for. That was our job from the beginning and it has been the mission of the Coworking Spain Conference all those years: Connect all the coworking space managers, support each other in resolving common problems, make noise around  the ‘coworking’ word in Spain.

Can you give us an overview of the growth of the coworking Spanish market, today?

The coworking industry in Spain is now growing by 20% annually. We experience a professionalisation of the sector. The industry is maturing.  Big brands are in Spain. They take a lot of sqm up. The coworking brands are now representing 3% of the total number of coworking operators in Spain. Though, they cover the 30% of the market. They are being very agresive and the penetration into the markets is being big.

The big brands are already in Spain getting a lot of sqm and growing already the 3% of the coworking brands own the 30% of the market.

The average size of coworking spaces in Spain is 200-300m2, which might sound pretty small according to the standards seen in other countries. What should be the strategy for small spaces to survive?

Since the begining of the “coworking era”, a great deal of the spaces in operation in Spain are proportionally small. This explains why Spain had such a high number of individual spaces when compared with other countries. Nowadays, the big names are changing the industry. As far as I see it, the small spaces shouldn’t be too much impacted. The can  focus ont their small communities or transform their spaces into another business. The managers of these small coworking spaces can easily change the model and turn their shared office place, for instance, into a design agency. They have a lot of flexibility, and didn’t invest too much money in their space. It’s another story for medium size spaces. Those will have to transform themselves. Coworking is their main activité. They invested a lot of money. The big international brands are more likely to hurt  them. They need to be ready for change and increase the value proposition to their communities.

The medium size spaces are the one who need to transform or change the most.

Are there still doubts about the rising importance of coworking in Spain?

Not anymore. Last year, coworking was everywhere. Credit to the big players. WeWork opened. Spaces, by Regus, continued its expansion. And the most commented transaction of the year was the acquisition of Utopicus by the Real State company Colonial. So the word coworking had been spreading a lot last year. We made it!!!!

Talent Garden runs 23 coworking-campuses in Europe and re-invents education

 The Italian born Talent Garden counts, nowadays, among the major coworking brands operating in Europe. The Milan based company runs 23 “coworking-campuses” across Italy and the rest of Europe. Talent Garden was one of the first coworking operator to raise VC money in Europe, when coworking still was a tiny trend. Since then, the group has developed a strong education offering, making it quite a unique model in the coworking industry. We checked with Davide Dattoli, co-founder and CEO, what are Talent Garden today’s vision and plans.

Hi Davide. Why does Talent Garden speaks about “campuses” rather than “coworking spaces” when telling about your locations? What is the difference?

Davide Dattoli, CEO Talent Garden

 Talent Garden considers itself as an international innovation platform, who operates facilities where members can meet, work, learn and collaborate. We use the word “campus” rather than “coworking” because Talent Garden was founded with the aim to create ecosystems that would connect, support and grow the best startups within technological and digital arenas. We wanted to contribute to the professional development of future global innovators.

Is this a way for Talent Garden to differentiate from the competition while other international brands are gaining ground?

I wouldn’t say that. In opposition to some international coworking operators who look first at growing a real estate business, at Talent Garden, community is genuinely at the core of what we do. We focus on new ways to transform and connect both flexible work and education environments, as requested by digital entrepreneurs and businesses.

The Innovation School is an important part of your activity. Would you say that Talent Garden is today a training agency as much as it is a coworking spaces operator?

The two businesses coexist, giving value to one another. Education is a fundamental part of our ecosystem. In 2015, Talent Garden became active in the education sector with the launch of our School of innovation – a school that offers training in the fields of digital and innovation, with a focus on coding, data, design, marketing, and business. We really believe that this is an integrating part of our offer.

We believe and invest a lot in the growth our Innovation School, which today accounts for 25% of turnover along with coworking (50%) and events. And it is exponentially growing: in 2017 we trained 500 students, 1,000 children, 2,300 professionals and involved over 70 companies in its programs.

You use to partner up with universities. Why do universities need Talent Garden?

We partner with universities that share our innovative approach. We recently announced the opening of our new campus in Dublin in partnership with Dublin City University (DCU), a new hub for digital innovation. This will be the first collaboration of its kind in Europe. In DCU, we have found a University partner with the same entrepreneurial DNA and ambition as Talent Garden. This made the selection process easy. The existing DCU Alpha community of digital and IoT innovators is the perfect home for us, whereas the University partnership will help us to scale our Innovation School offering globally.

We believe and invest a lot in the growth our Innovation School, which today accounts for 25% of turnover along with coworking (50%) and events.

Does it tell something about the future of education, would you say?

We realize that there is an educational gap between the jobs on offer and the professional training required to fulfill those jobs. We created our Innovation School in this context.  We train young people and professionals. We bring new cultures and skills to businesses and we offer upgrades and updates to those operating in the work environment.

We realize that there is an educational gap between the jobs on offer and the professional training required to fulfill those jobs. In this context, we created our Innovation School

We also believe in lifelong learning and change management within individual companies. Today 70% of corporate learning happens at work thanks to on-the-job learning and relationships between colleagues, 20% through coaching and networking and the remaining 10% through traditional training activities, and yet this is where companies devote 80% of their training budget. For this reason, we offer an innovative training methodology, putting people at the center of the learning process based on cross-pollination and co-creation, to make sure that the expenditure in training gives results in proportion to the investment made.

Today 70% of corporate learning happens at work thanks to on-the-job learning and relationships between colleagues, 20% through coaching and networking and the remaining 10% through traditional training activities

Talent Garden has partnerships with tech companies such as Google or Cisco too. How does it work?

We support corporates by analyzing their business needs and devising ad-hoc projects to help them embrace the opportunities offered by digital technologies to reach their full potential. Moreover, we allow their cross-pollination with our community of innovators and expose their brand to our stakeholders. This year we involved 180 partners (corporates and SMEs), providing them with the right tools to devise new, innovative ways of working. Corporates may have the capital and resources, but often lack the agility, internal culture, and expertise of startups that are essential for driving innovation and success.

Innovation is a key element of corporate growth and requires the right combination of people, processes, and technologies.

The wide majority of your spaces are located in Italy. How is the coworking industry growing in Italy?

Compared to other European markets, Italy is still at an early stage in the fields of startups development and innovation. That is why we are building a European network, to connect countries and leverage each other’s potential while supporting the best tech and digital professionals in their growth.

“Growing a strong community is the best way to differentiate from the competition”

Gargi Shah is the co-founder of one of Mumbai‘s first coworking spaces. When she opened The Playce in November 2012, the coworking concept was practically unheard of in India. Gargi spent many days dreaming up ways to explain what she did to her grandmother, who still believes that her granddaughter rents out offices for a living. The Playce has completed five eventful years – a proud home to creative, entrepreneurial and even outlandish co-workers.

We spent some time talking with her to get her impressions about running a coworking space in one of the biggest, densest and fastest developing city in the world.

We use to claim coworking is all about community. Some players say tenants just appreciate the flexibility and a convenient environment. How do you see it?

Gargi Shah

Coworking is NOT just about the community. Customers come with different goals. Some are looking for a productive office space, some are looking to find like-minded people, others for an affordable setup still, others choose coworking for the unprecedented flexibility it provides. 

Coworking is NOT just about the community. Customers come with different goals.

Having a strong community in a coworking space makes the space attractive, but it is one of the many things that space offers. It can be one of the best ways to retain customers, especially teams.

Is Coworking just a smart Real Estate game?

Coworking is generally much more than simply a Real Estate calculation. There are community, flexibility, affordability and a host of other useful services offered to the customer.

That said, there are many cases where coworking is a way to leverage non-premium properties. In these cases, it starts with a smart Real Estate Game. The premise in question is typically not a premium property for a variety of reasons – location, floor plan, market conditions etc. This makes it tricky to rent out the entire premise to a single lessee.

The owners of such Real Estate premise have come to realise that coworking can give them a quick-fix to their rental requirements. Running a coworking space is a clever idea because the premise generates at least some revenue (even if it is less than market rent) instead of lying vacant. Coworking customers are looking for affordable workspaces even if it means that they have to compromise on certain other parameters. It’s a win-win for both the parties.

Mumbai is one of the biggest and crowdiest metropoles in the world. Coworking is booming. Is community less important in big cities?

The community is just as important in the big cities, perhaps even more so because the coworkers (entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers, etc) are working in a highly competitive market. They need all the support and encouragement they can get. It certainly helps them to know that there are others like them who are sticking their neck out for their idea. The support of the community and kindred souls is invaluable when an entrepreneur is starting out. 

The community is just as important in the big cities, perhaps even more so because the coworkers are working in a highly competitive market.

On the flip side, a coworker has many more options in a big city – cafes and restaurants (long the ‘offices’ of lone warriors), extra unused desks in traditional offices, apartments etc. This makes it harder for coworking spaces to retain customers.

How do we fill in coworking spaces in India?

India is rather diverse and most coworking spaces have their own niche offering. Some offer unbeatable prices, some offer creative interiors, some have simply located themselves in a high-demand location and some have an organic community built over a period of years. In Mumbai, there are diverse demographics who need a coworking space to suit different needs. It is mainly an overwhelming demand for flexible office spaces that drives the coworking market of Mumbai.

Most coworking spaces have their own niche offering. Some offer unbeatable prices, some offer creative interiors, some have simply located themselves in a high-demand location and some have an organic community built over a period of years

Fun, conviviality, learning, networking… Is it only for startups or Gen Y and Z?

Oh no, not at all. In all our workshops and events we have seen incredibly large participation from established freelancers and folks in their forties, fifties and even a few in their sixties. One would expect that startups and Gen Y/Z folks would be a big part of the fun and networking, but more often than not they don’t have the time and inclination to get out of their personal space and explore. They are buried in their startup challenges and personal journeys. It is the 30s and over a crowd that tends to have a more long-term perspective and are an integral part of the fun, learning and networking side of things.

One would expect that startups and Gen Y/Z folks would be a big part of the fun and networking, but more often than not they don’t have the time and inclination to get out of their personal space and explore

 

 

 

Business centers and coworking spaces : now two sides of the same coin ?

Eduardo Salsamendi is involved in the industry of flexible workspace since 1990. That year, he founded his first business center Klammer located in Northern Spain. 

In 2008, Eduardo Salsamendi founded the European Confederation of Business Centers Associations (EUROCBCA ), headquartered in Brussels. while being the president of the Spanish Worskpaces association  ProWorkSpaces.

We talked with Eduardo about how the evolution of the flexible workspace industry, and especially how the coworking culture is now influencing the sector.

Hi Eduardo. Could you offer us an overview of how the flexible workspace industry is doing in Spain, as we speak? 

Eduardo Salsamendi

Spain has a different workspaces ecosystem than the neighbor countries. We have a lot of smaller independents business centers that are representative of their owners’ own way of living. That said, the average size of the spaces kept steadily growing over the last 15 years. With an acceleration in the 24 months. The average size of our spaces in square meters has evolved from 600 to 900 m2 over the last five year. This figure might be misleading, though, due to the break down between the very big and very small spaces. If we have a look at cities, Madrid counts nowadays for more than 1/3 of the total flexible workspaces number in Spain, followed by Barcelona. 

According to you, what are the main challenges traditional business centers are facing now? 

The good news is that we are no more just speaking about money or space, but about the people’s needs. The flexible workspace industry now works on making people feel good while working, supporting them in the making of more efficient work. Technology changes the way we work. Users mentality changes too. 

What kind of distinction would you make, today, between a coworking space and a business center?

To us, the distinction between coworking and business centers is something more and more of the past, as flexible workspace operators today embrace elements of both worlds. At ProWorkSpaces we now define a flexible workspace operator as someone offering a combination of space, services, technology, and community. And the “traditional” kind of paid services are permanent offices, virtual offices, and spaces sold by the hour or by the day (meeting rooms, training rooms, offices, workstations…). Everyone makes his own recipe based on these ingredients.

Coworking has brought more visibility to the flexible workspace industry.

Would you say that the rise of Coworking benefited the traditional flexible workspace industry, so far?

The irruption of coworking made a revolution of the flexible workspace industry possible. Traditionally, real state players were focused on space, business centers were focused on service – Space as a Service- and Coworking operators were focused on community. In the early days, one of coworking’s biggest challenge was profitability. However, coworking quickly pivoted and incorporated elements of the “traditional” business center, usually more profitable.  Coworking has brought more visibility to the flexible workspace industry. It made flexible workspace cooler. We understood that we needed to work on communities of users. In addition, we learned that offering different environments across our spaces was an added value. Many operators include different kind of spaces and ambiances: open common spaces, more informal ones, different types of meeting rooms, workstations in an open space…  

We will continue to work on the SaaE concept (Space as an experience).

Where do you see the industry going in the coming years?

The industry will continue to change and grow very fast in the coming years. We expect different kinds of workspaces looking for their specific customers. The people in the industry love putting labels on what is a business center, what is a coworking space… but users don’t care. They look for a workspace that solves their needs where they feel comfortable. We will continue to work on the SaaE concept (Space as an experience). For me, the best reward is when a lead comes for a tour and says: “Wow, I want to work from here”. On the other hand, corporations build teams for projects. They collaborate with freelancers. The new economy includes uncertainty. The flexible workspace industry is the perfect solution for this, with flexibility and immediacy. You can know what you need today. However, you are never sure about what you will need tomorrow. We have an enormous growth horizon ahead of us as, nowadays, we still only represent a tiny portion of the whole offices market.

The people in the industry love putting labels on what is a business center, what is a coworking space… but users don’t care at all.

Picture source : Spacesworks Madrid

A big yet untapped potential for coworking in small towns and rural areas (survey)

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Coworking is not a ‘city only’ phenomenon. Since a while, singles, young couples and families are moving away from the noisy pace and high costs of metropoles to settle within remote areas, looking for wellbeing and affordable cost of the countryside.

If Coworking in small towns and rural areas isn’t new, it keeps nowadays growing, as the last Coworking Europe conference’s editions confirmed. 

Therefore, it made sense to more specifically survey this segment of the coworking market in order to understand the coworking realities experienced outside main urban centers.

1/The Survey sample

Spaces from all over Europe and the world took part in the survey.  Within the final sample, France, Germany, Austria and Spain are the most represented countries.

Most of the surveyed spaces (62%) are located in towns with a population 50.000 to 150.000 inhabitants big. About 20% of the survey spaces are located in towns with less than 10.000 inhabitants and a 4% in the pure countryside.

The respondents operate rather small coworking space in size, between 100 and 200 m2 on average. Only 17% operate surfaces larger than 501 m2.

A majority of the spaces have been in operation for more than 3 years. One third of the spaces represented in the sample are 4 years old or more.

2/ Competition is still low

The lack of awareness about the existence of the “Coworking” concept is mentioned as one of the biggest challenges coworking spaces struggle with in small town and rural areas.

The positive flip side of the situation, is that they face few or no competition in their immediate surrounding.

A big deal of the respondents in rural areas provides with traditional coworking services : meeting rooms, hot-desking in an open space, fixed desk in an open space and event venue.

Mokrin House (Serbia) is an example of a very successful coworking project located in the countryside.

Product such as ‘content production’, ‘private offices’, or ‘sponsorship’,  are offered to a lower extend in rural area located coworking space.

More than 80% of the surveyed spaces operate without any public subsidies.

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3/ Rural “satellite offices” aren’t hot yet

The biggest part of the surveyed coworking community members live within a range of  5 to 20 km from their space.

According to the respondents, the first motivation of members to join the space is : “looking for a business minded work environment“. They “look for a place where they can discuss with other peers and find new opportunities” in second place. The third motivation is : “we like the atmosphere of the space“.

The coworking communities are mainly composed out of freelancers, SME’s, employees and startups.

The coworking space is barely used as a satellite office of corporate employees aiming to avoid to commute to their company’s HQ.

4/An untapped potential 

The main takeaway from the survey is likely that coworking in small town and rural area still offers a big untapped potential.

A big deal of the faced challenges are related to market education.

The coworking market outside big cities still is in a fairly young stage of maturation. There is room for growth, as the average surface and the level of local competition appear pretty low.

Moreover, so far, the opportunity for larger organizations to use small town located coworking spaces as satellite offices is widely unnoticed.

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Reminder

Coworking spaces play a key role revitalizing small towns and rural areas bringing the talent back. A good example is The Ludgate Hub located on the Southern coast of Ireland, in one of the most rural and remote areas of the country. After two years, the main results of the Ludgate Hub include the formulation of a digital strategy for a rural town, the creation of new jobs for the area, introduction of new families into the area, a boost of expenditure in the building, and services.

See the interview here.

Pacific Workplace : “What we learned from the takeover of a coworking brand”

A few months ago, Pacific Workplaces, a California based business centers network, took over Next Space, a coworking brand with locations in Berkeley, Santa Cruz and San Jose.

Why did a business center operator buy one of the best known historical bay area’s coworking brand ?

What was the vision and how is the integration going ?

Laurent Dhollande, CEO of Pacific Workplaces and boss of CloudVO, one of Coworking Europe 2017 conference‘s partners, shared his insight, last November, in Dublin, during one of Coworking Europe’s session (cfr video below).

Strong community, weak processes

“No one can curate a community as well as Next Space”, says Laurent Dhollande, first. “They have a solid brand recognition and informal culture, which is an asset”.

“Independent coworking space management is a hard thing to operate, though, adds the CEO of CloudVO. Many are run by very passionated people who focus on the community, but often overlook the monetization of additional services as well as the improvement of the operational side.”

“Next Space different locations, for instance, were too remote from one another to manage the network easily. The management was very decentralized. There  processes were not up to date. They didn’t leverage technology to run the space, for rooms online booking, for instance. They had an insufficient number of meeting rooms. They didn’t kill inefficient new initiatives fast enough“.

Word of mouth marketing vs SEO

“Next Space marketing was mainly made through word of mouth and social media, whereas we focus a lot on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)“.

Next Space’s financial situation was weak, whereas Pacific Workplace financial situation is strong.

According to Laurent Dhollande, Next Space wasn’t good enough with the development of additional side revenues, aside of the revenue stream generated by coworking subscriptions.

“At Pacific Workplace, Virtual Office, makes 30% of our revenues, as opposed to a mere 6% at Next Space”, illustrates the CEO of CloudVO.

Complementarity and ultimate convergence

Despite some flaws, Pacific Workplaces choose to keep the Next Space brand alive as well as the website. The identity is strong and the complementarities with the mother company seem clear.

“The is a convergence between the models, observes Laurent Dhollande. Within the coming 5 years, the two brands and customer experiences might become only one“.