Welcome back to Collective Bookmarks. This week’s newsletter is a 8 minute read, or about the time it takes to sign up for our Collective Connect Community. Collective Bookmarks is sponsored by HQO, the world’s leading workplace experience platform.
Last night we hosted an awesome group of humans from across the world of work + place in Los Angeles. We broke bread, shared stories, and changed some assumptions about each of our parts of the industry. Many thanks to our partners Steelcase and Tangram for continuing to support Collective Table. We couldn’t do this without their partnership and leadership.
In This Week’s Issue:
- Three Things You Should Know
- A Person You Should Know: Jonathan Johnson
- A Product We’re Into: Saltmine
Events We’re Attending:
Books We’re Reading: Automate Your Busywork by Aytekin Tank
As always, if you have feedback or questions please reach out.
Three Things You Should Know
From The World of Work and Place
1.The Future of Cities
Cities aren’t going anywhere and their obituaries are pre-mature. As Rani Molla notes in her recent article for Vox, despite signals about their fate, experts believe that major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago will ultimately remain resilient due to their unique attractions that can’t be replicated elsewhere. While remote work and shifts in population patterns have impacted urban areas, the essence of cities, such as jobs, amenities, and social interactions, still remain appealing. Although the pandemic accelerated changes, it didn’t fundamentally alter the long-standing churn of urban populations.
The evolving landscape means that downtown office spaces will need to be repurposed as many cities transition away from traditional central business districts. With remote work diminishing office demand, cities are focusing more on cultural and entertainment amenities to maintain their vibrancy. Smaller cities have seized the opportunity to attract remote workers who seek affordability, quality of life, and unique features. However, they need to address diversifying their economies and accommodating the desires of new residents. To thrive, cities must prioritize core quality-of-life concerns, including housing, infrastructure, public services, safety, and family-friendliness, while also adapting to emerging challenges like climate change. In this constantly evolving environment, cities’ ability to innovate and adapt will determine their success.
What We Think: Cities of varying sizes have a lot of work to do in order to adapt to post pandemic changes. That’s not a bad thing though! Cities have always reinvented themselves and as the article states, this is just the last gasp of the industrial revolution style city. Cities of different sizes will attract different types of workers to the place that best fits their current lifestyle, and we think that’s great. It’s a time for innovation, reinvention and for creating new solutions.
2. Staying Relevant as a Transformation Strategist
The quest to stay relevant is a central challenge for individuals and organizations. In Cristina Herrera‘s most recent Collective Thoughts article, she shares her perspective on remaining relevant as a Transformation Strategist with a focus on her strengths and applying three practical strategies. If you’re a change management leader or oversee transformations within your organization, this article will be a significant informational piece to reference.
3. Forget WeWork, The Co-Working Sector is on an Upswing
As reported from Axios – WeWork’s potential bankruptcy might have cast doubt on its future, but it seems to be a company-specific issue rather than a reflection of the broader co-working sector. Despite WeWork’s turmoil, the trend of remote work remains strong even amidst employers’ efforts to bring employees back to traditional offices. This shift has impacted the conventional office space market, leading to decreased utilization of commercial buildings. However, the flexible workspace sector, including players like IWG and Industrious, is experiencing growth, with customers increasingly favoring flexible office arrangements over long-term leases.
According to Axios WeWork’s downfall appears to be linked to its former co-founder’s extravagant ambitions, while other co-working companies like IWG are thriving. The co-working market’s size is projected to surpass $14 billion, with an expected annual growth rate of over 17% until 2028. Regardless of WeWork’s fate, co-working spaces are likely to continue flourishing post-pandemic as traditional offices lose popularity and fewer large-scale properties are constructed. Companies like Industrious are witnessing strong demand, with revenue growth rates of 35% to 40%, reflecting a preference for flexible and high-quality workspace experiences.
What We Think: With companies requiring less space, and desiring more flexibility in length of lease – coworking makes a lot of sense. The era of 10 year leases may be dead but the era of co-working certainly isn’t. We frequent a lot of co-working spaces in our travels and every time we are in one it is packed with founders, entrepreneurs and folks from larger companies too. Some things that WeWork got right, and many other co-working companies are now improving upon – great services, great locations, and great community.
HqO, ranked No. 75 on the Inc. 5000 list, is transforming how people connect with each other and the places they work. The HqO Workplace Experience Platform and App makes it easy for companies and commercial property teams to create modern workplaces through world-class amenities and services that allow people to thrive and produce the best results. Active in over 250 million square feet in 25 countries, 57% of the Fortune 100 rely on HqO to enhance their workplace experiences, improve employee satisfaction, and drive operational excellence.
One Big Thing
“It takes a lot to kill a city.” Mary Rowe, president and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, as reported in Vox
Someone You Should Know
In The World of Work And Place
Jonathan Johnson is an operations, facilities and workplace professional based out of Denver, Colorado who has founded facility start-ups and had stints at Flexport, Bolt Threads, Sirius XM + Pandora and Guild Education. He is currently a consultant offering fractional facilities and commercial real estate expertise to small and medium sized organizations. He has a MSc in Facilities and Environmental Management from University College London and speaks frequently at conferences such as World Workplace and is a military veteran serving in the United States Air Force with the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron serving in both OIF and OEF.
In His Own Words: After leaving the military and not knowing what to do next I knew I wanted to use what knowledge I had gained but apply it to a more commercial and peaceful endeavor but all I could get were contractor jobs in war zones. One role in one of these austere environments, however, facility manager, seemed to resonate with me and after getting my feet wet I knew it was what I wanted to do so I dedicated myself to finding a way to continue to do what I loved. After attending an IFMA conference I saw a partnership with University College London (UCL) and thought to myself, I have this GI Bill to go to school on and who has more experience maintaining buildings than a historical city like London?
At UCL I focused on the impact the physical environment had on technology companies and realized I had a deep love of problem solving and research. Something that has served me well over the years in trying to craft the best work experiences across any organization I’ve been with whether a scrappy start-up or fortune 500. Oftentimes I believe that operations/facilities are very much like my time in special operations. Your worth and value is evident but you’re not always at the forefront and your accolades aren’t celebrated as much because you’re behind the scenes but you never need the accolades as you can clearly see the impact of your work when people are excited to come to work or their jobs are made easier because of what you’re able to do. And that is why I love to work within facilities and operations.
What’s Happening in The Collective Connect Community?
While we’re just getting started with the launch of our Collective Connect community we’re already lining up some incredible speakers. What’s even more exciting is most of our speakers are also community members. They’re Connectors.
We’ll be posting snippets from these events but the only way to fully participate and join in the conversation is to join the community. We hope to see you there.
A Product We’re Into
Saltmine revolutionizes workplaces by intelligently automating and integrating people, data, and processes through a collaborative cloud-based platform. This empowers businesses to create a human-centric workplace ecosystem, enabling teams to analyze contextual insights and recommendations. By enhancing space planning efficiency, accelerating design and construction, and reducing costs, Saltmine maximizes the employee workplace experience. Acting as an intelligent spatial database, it centralizes real estate assets, facilitating well-informed decisions and a comprehensive understanding of portfolios while eliminating the need for multiple solutions.
What We Think: Saltmine allows workplace professionals to analyze, track, and interpret contextual insights and provides recommendations all in a cloud-based solution to plan, design, and operate workspaces. It’s an intuitive tool in capturing the necessary data to inform your decisions on creating a great workplace experience.
That’s It For This Week
We Appreciate You
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