State of the Co-Work Space
Co-work spaces are essentially shared workspaces that those perhaps without an office or those choosing to work in a different environment can use as an office space. Of course, being such a collaborative environment where many people gathered, made it nearly impossible to use co-work space during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic eases, we are seeing things return more to normal in the co-work realm.
Many people remember Wework, and they are making a comeback. Twelve months ago, it appeared that they were really done for, but a new CEO and backers like Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, and Fidelity Thought BowX Acquisition Corp, have added new life to the company. They even have SHAQ as an investor! Companies like Regus and the smaller independent spaces like FronterRTP are also starting to see some strong signs of a comeback. Most of these spaces had 85% occupancy pre-pandemic but are now at 35-45% and continuing to rise. After summer, we expect to see even more gains.
What is the reason for this upswing? Many big companies are asking themselves if they really need full offices, and a large headquarters. Do they want all of the hassle and expense of maintaining those spaces? Maybe, maybe not. The future looks to be less attached to the traditional office space. Even tech giant Google
has announced that their official policy will be to have a hybrid work arrangement where employees are sometimes in the office and sometimes remote. Hybrid work may look a little more like a hospitality space versus a traditional office. The office might become the space where people gather socially for two days per week and then work virtually the rest of the time. This arrangement is ideal for the Co-work spaces.
Companies local to MOBLZ, like xCures
which works in the AI cancer research field, forgo the big fancy office and instead use cowork spaces as their headquarters. The reason is not due to costs, but because they really don’t need their own full time space. If the product of your work is physical, such as t-shirts or food, you need a warehouse. If your product is knowledge and computer code, the requirements for space are less restrictive and a collaboration space is more important.
As the world changes and work trends change with it, co-work spaces seem to be ready-made to take on the workload of the traditional office space. Only time will tell.