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OpenWork Partner, David Walker, Featured Panelist at Bisnow’s Workplace of the Future (Event): How Tech is Disrupting Houston’s Traditional Office Scene

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While some may still aspire to work in a “corner office”, many others are embracing the Workplace of the Future. All over Houston, employers are redefining the term “office”.

What are architects, interior designers, general contractors and project managers being asked to include in their future buildings and corporate campuses? And what will building owners and developers need to provide in order to entice new tenants to move in? Also, what new technologies will companies need to consider adding?

Join us at another top-notch Bisnow event, and enjoy breakfast and networking with your friends and colleagues in the business!

OpenWork attends EcoDistricts Summit in Denver, CO- Introduces ‘Civic Coworking’ Initiative to help economic development strategy introduce the coworking model

Our experienced coworking leaders have worked with cities, economic development groups, and non-profits that want to better their communities through coworking and collaboration. The team comes from all over the US and can relate and develop plans for small towns that are struggling to keep young people to cities that need to capture the entrepreneurial energy.

Learn more & download our civic coworking brochure

About EcoDistricts Summit:

The world’s only conference dedicated to neighborhood- and district-scale sustainability. This September 13-15, urban leaders worldwide convened in Denver CO to explore the role of district-scale innovation to address some of most critical issues facing city makers today

Making the Connections: Coworking & CRE

In the July 13 issue of the Wall Street Journal, two articles sit side by side with no reference to one another. That they are presented as separate stories is both ironic and alarming.

The first article, “WeWork’s Top Rival: Anyone and Everyone,” talks about how WeWork is and will continue to face stiff competition from numerous players, big and small, in the now burgeoning coworking industry. This is simple enough. The article quotes a commercial real estate executive in New York, who says that for now they do not plan to enter the coworking market, but that they are mindful of it.

The second article, “Service Firms Feel a Chill,” discusses the flagging performance of the world’s largest real estate services firms- CBRE, JLL, Cushman & Wakefield, Colliers International, and Savills. The article pins the blame for this poor performance on both the changing nature of the industry and on the macro-economic impact of Brexit. While surely Brexit will impact the CRE industry, particularly in Britain and Europe, that is really only part of the larger picture. For some reason, whether it is a lack of peripheral vision or simply willful ignorance, few participants in the mainstream CRE industry quite manage to make the necessary connections to have a truly holistic view of their own industry.

The first article about WeWork, it might seem, is entirely unrelated to the second article about CRE, but of course it isn’t.
The massive growth of coworking reflects fundamental changes in how people are officing- in small startups as well as in medium and large firms. It decreasingly makes sense for large firms to lease based on the ‘one fixed work station per employee’ model on which the traditional CRE leasing model is based. That is, like individuals in the coworking world, many corporate employees now work ‘in the cloud.’ Sometimes they go into the office, sometimes they work at their kitchen tables, and sometimes they work at their local Starbucks. That such mobility-of which the coworking industry is a huge part- is unrelated to the decline in revenue among the largest CRE firms, is simply not a tenable notion.

Note that 51% of coworkers in the US are company employees, not freelancers, an important and telling change in the industry.

Where are these folks coming from? They are coming from companies that are, in a variety of ways, changing the way they use and lease work space. It is a leakage problem for CRE. There are, though, internal solutions. When, we ask ourselves at OpenWork, will large firms (CRE and their clients) put their fingers in the dike and build coworking-like environments where their employees actually want to be?


Author: Drew Jones, OpenWork Partner