The collapse of WeWork on Nov. 6 has left a gap in the coworking industry that other firms are eagerly snapping up. Once synonymous with flexible working arrangements, WeWork filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New Jersey amid a mountain of debt.
Unlike other coworking companies, which share profits from membership fees with landlords, WeWork chose to collect all membership fees and take out long-term property leases. While this approach meant the company prospered, it also exposed the company to short-term risks like the pandemic, implied John Arenas of Serendipity Labs, a WeWork competitor.
Steady Demand for Flexible Working Spaces
Furthermore, it appears that while the demand for coworking spaces has not diminished, their positioning is changing. For example, Serendipity and others are building spaces in inner city regions as opposed to major urban centers like Chicago or New York.
Sara Sutton, the CEO and founder of FlexJobs, a remote job service, says that because hybrid work arrangements are now commonplace, demand will not drop because of the failure of WeWork.
“The numbers show growth in interest in the coworking space, and I don’t see those suddenly dropping because of WeWork.”
Companies are emerging to meet the need for flexible Web3 working arrangements. A company called Huckletree opened a Web3 and metaverse coworking space in London in March. This opening was part of a larger initiative to make Oxford Street a Web3 hub for investors and companies.
Oosh Tech Lab, a venture capital firm, offers flexible Web3 working spaces at its facility in Central, Hong Kong. These include a hot desk for solo professionals, private offices, and meeting spaces. Its meeting and event spaces can be used to host physical or virtual events.
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