Co-Working – Stealth or sledgehammer disruptors?

Martin Levy ByMartin Levy

Co-Working – Stealth or sledgehammer disruptors?

Maybe it’s me because I’m at the coal face day-in, day-out but so many of my clients just haven’t appreciated the stealth of the WeWork co-working phenomenon and amazingly some still haven’t even heard of them. It’s a fact that WeWork is now the largest space taker in London and Manhattan too, thanks in no small part to a staggering £4 billion investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and are reportedly worth more than £42 billion despite £1.2 billion in losses for the first 9 months of 2018.

Did you know that we’ve completed a total of 18 London office deals over the past 12 months, delivering over 70,000 sq ft of new business space to corporate occupiers?

What’s surprised us is that almost 23% were established clients moving from conventional leased offices to more efficient, centrally serviced co-working or managed space and that’s a trend we haven’t seen before.

With shorter lease terms and 3 and 5 year tenant breaks, more of our clients are asking ‘what’s all the fuss about ?’ Even British Land and Landsec are slowly turning the juggernaut around and launching their own versions to remain competitive with the more agile propco’s who were among the first to recognise the attraction of a bespoke build-out and instant fibre connectivity.

3 out of 4 of our new clients arrive from the US and are loving the new landscape as Knotel, Spaces, Convene and Fora join the elite providers by offering an array of fabulously stylish, community based facilities with open kitchens and coffee bars, terraces and break-outs.

We’ve seen that our clients are happier paying a premium all-in monthly rent for ‘turnkey’ space, robust instant broadband, leasing flexibility and scalable growth potential.

Co-working is not a panacea but we love what it’s done to disrupt the ‘cosy landlord’s clubs’ that had tenants queuing ‘cap and excessive security deposit in hand’ and that’s great news for tenants.

It’s a reality that the WeWorks of this shiny new world are now 21st century landlords but just another attractive option for our clients. It’s down to us to present the right balance on costs (including deposits and fit-out contributions) so come and talk to us about your office space needs and we’ll show you the very best range of options that’ll help retain your talent, keep them happy, engaged, motivated and profitable.

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Martin Levy

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