Co-working spaces haven’t exactly had the best time of it over the past six months, with WeWork and Central Working’s woes just two examples of struggling providers, so positive news is a welcome change.
What caught my eye in particular was John Arenas’ emphasis on doing things a little differently, by seeking to create a space that is both inspirational and fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Other providers have claimed to offer that same mix, speaking of themselves as ‘proptech firms’ first, but I don’t think we’ve quite seen that combination work yet. However, if Serendipity and Newable can get it right, that mix of tech, space and people is exactly where the future of workspace is headed.
Tech and space shouldn’t be seen as separate entities but as two complementary aspects of a great workplace offer. Our own tenant experience app is a technology product that offers enormous digital convenience and sophistication, but its primary function is to ensure that tenants are able to get the most from the physical space they work in and feel truly connected to their building. At its best, tech should supercharge the physical offer, allowing tenants to discover new spaces, enjoy new experiences, activities and events in the building and engage with other occupiers.
Regardless of the sophistication of a workspace, if tenants feel disconnected from it, or if it feels inaccessible and non-consumable, then it’s difficult to inspire loyalty among your occupiers. If, however, you provide the tech to seamlessly bring a space to life and make it easy for tenants to get the most from it, then loyalty is quickly built and easily maintained.
If Serendipity Labs and Newable can do that and are able to build great spaces supercharged by tech, then I have no doubt that their new offer will prove a hit.
Bronny Wilson, regional head, UK and Ireland, Equiem