I work out of several of the Soho Houses and absolutely love them. Prior to joining Soho House, I also had a membership at Neuehouse which was equally great but for slightly different reasons. I believe in the concept and benefits 100%.
- That said, we are at a tipping point for how many co-working spaces the market can absorb.
- Currently, nationwide, there are too many companies chasing the co-working crowd.
- Read on below for news on who is getting in the game: big box stores, hotels, restaurants and cafes and now, finally, commercial real estate companies are fighting back.
Big box stores like Staples, in partnership with Workbar, are repositioning themselves for the tech entrepreneur and small business crowd.
- Staples’ online orders now make up 60% of their sales and they’re anticipating online will reach 80% by 2020.
- They have long leases and huge amounts of empty space, co-working might be the perfect short term solution. And there are clearly synergies in co-working at Staples – especially if you need office services that they, more than your local Starbucks, can provide.
Hotels e.g. the new (and very fabulous) Public by Ian Schraeger on NYC’s LES is actively promoting its 2nd floor as a co-working space, open to all, complete with conference rooms. There is also a food mart on the ground floor so you’re set for the day.
Restaurants and bars e.g. thru a brilliant company called Spacious, for just $95 a month you can work out of numerous restaurants, cafes and bars that are normally closed during the day. In NYC, locations include David Boulud’s DBGB, Batali’s La Sirena at the Maritime Hotel and many more. You can also host meetings, wifi is free – as is the coffee.
But, now we’re also starting to see commercial real estate developers pushback. For example, the renowned and highly creative Two Trees Management in Brooklyn is actively courting co-workers to reconsider more traditional offices – albeit, often with all the creative bells and whistles found at the best co-working spaces.
And, finally, let’s not forget the giant of the industry, WeWork. It continues to innovate and is aggressively expanding globally. This latest space (below), in a former opium factory in Shanghai is stunning and ranks as one of the top 5 co-working spaces in the world.