Press: The Toronto Star

Flexday Startup Turns Restaurants Into Working Offices

The following excerpt is taken from www.thestar.com: 

... “I love the hell out of it. I didn’t see any downsides,” says White, on the decision to join, noting it is “zero cost” to the restaurant. Flexday staff open the space early in the morning, brewing unlimited coffee before Flexday clients arrive to work at the restaurant tables. “We don’t have to staff it — that’s the best part,” White says.

White says Marben may hire a barista down the line and provide snacks to enhance the Flexday experience. “Sandwiches, muffins. What you would get at a coffee shop, but a little bit more elevated and less expensive,” he says.

Flexday is among the latest in sharing economy startups, but not the first to look at empty restaurant space. New York-based Spacious offers $95 monthly or $999 US annual memberships for access to more than a dozen restaurants across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City. Austin-based Switch Cowork offers a $49 monthly membership for space at select bars and restaurants. Australian startup TwoSpace takes over restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne for a $169 AUD monthly rate.

Read more here.

Switch Cowork at World Entrepreneur of the Year 2017

Contributing to the World Entrepreneur of the Year event session “Future-Proofing Your Workforce”, Co-Founder and CEO, Christa Freeland, had the opportunity to share her experience starting Switch Cowork as a restaurant workspace concept in Austin, Texas.

World Entrepreneur of the Year Signage

World Entrepreneur of the Year Signage

 

During the break out session she discussed her idea of creating a business model designed specifically to address the workspace and community needs of freelancers, young companies, and remote workers.

The session kicked off with Nancy Altobello (EY’s Global Vice Chair and Head of Talent) interviewing award-winning author Tammy Erickson on collaboration, innovation and nature of work.

Based on research from the EY Contingent Workforce Study, almost one in five US workers will have alternative work arrangements by the year 2020, or the equivalent of 31 million people.

Leading the session: Tammy Erickson and Nancy Antobello

Leading the session: Tammy Erickson and Nancy Antobello

 

If part-time workers are added to that number, they predict as much as 40-50% of the workforce will be non-permanently employed in less than five years.

One of the biggest takeaways of the session was Tammy’s suggestion that leaders of today and tomorrow need to give their employees more flexibility. Also she predicted that new job titles will become more focused around projects versus areas of business or departments of companies.

Also, after polling the audience of business leaders and entrepreneurs from all around the world, it became evident that "culture" was the number one way their businesses would attract the next generation of top talent.

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For further trends and information around the future of the workforce and workplaces, check out Tammy's Twitter stream here: https://twitter.com/tammyerickson.

Press: Treehugger

Startups now turning upscale restaurants & bars into coworking spaces during the day

The following excerpt is taken from treehugger.com: 

Coworking spaces are a hot trend in the real estate industry. According to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey, there are now over 13,800 coworking spaces worldwide, with an estimated total of 27,000 cropping up by 2020. There is a lot of demand, and not everyone is going to sign up for a membership for a coworking space that can cost hundreds of dollars -- often, people may just head on over to a local café with wifi. However, some cafés are now fighting back against the influx of these space-hogging, laptop-toting coworking armies, by cancelling their wifi altogether.

Instead, remote professionals in a growing number of cities can now choose another kind of membership, one that allows them to work out of a bar or restaurant during those slower business hours during the day, before they revert back to serving diners and bar patrons during the evening.

The same concept is being plied by competitors like WorkEatPlay, where office space is being hosted in high-end restaurants that can offer members delicious food and full service. And it's not just New York: cities like Austin, Sydney, Melbourne and Tel Aviv are now home to similar startups such as Switch CoworkTwoSpace and Pub Hub.

Adapting bars and restaurants into daytime offices offers a new twist to the coworking trend that is honestly quite intriguing, and possible further evidence of the coffe-shopification of everything. For starters, you can't argue with the significantly lower membership fees that would allow remote professionals to still network and be less isolated, while also having access to a collection of high-end spaces with most of the perks of a dedicated coworking space, and without the hassle of waiting for your application to be reviewed. There's also the advantage of working out of a space with a beautiful ambiance that doesn't feel like a cookie-cutter office space. And best of all: being able to turn off the computer and partake right away when happy hour rolls around.

Read more about it here.

Press: HFF Advisor

When Coworking Meets Retail

 

The following excerpt is taken from HFF:

Switch Cowork is trying to grow the largest "underground" network of freelancers, startups and remote workers in and around Austin, Texas, and the company is achieving this goal by marketing restaurants for work space. Co-founders Christa Freeland and Jacob Morin launched the company in November 2016 after they came to the realization that it's difficult to work in a coffee shop due to size, limited access to outlets and often unpredictable Wi-Fi. They initially wanted a coffee shop designed for work, something akin to a blending of spaces between café and office, but Freeland noted that it came with issues.

"It's risky to start because of the time it would take to build and that it's an unproven, very capital intensive mode," she said. "I though of doing an MVP [minimum viable product] of that idea to just collaborate with well-designed restaurants that don't open during typical office hours anyway, to operate their space as a place to cowork."

Available restaurants are updated on the Switch website. Cost for the service is $95 per month for a standard monthly plan. Switch also offers individual and team pricing. For those not sure about committing to a full month, the company offers a $10 daily rate after a free week to try out the service.

Read more about it here.

Press: Future of Everything

The following excerpt is taken from the Future of Everything blog:

For our parents, the goal was to find a job they liked and move up the ladder until they could retire. On the other hand, people today (and not just the millennials) tend to last less than 5 years at a job and if you ask around, most people would rather work at home or in coworking spaces of their choosing than in a cramped office.

Thanks to the cloud, video calling, and the internet of things, coworkers really don’t need to cohabitate during the day. A virtual office specifically makes it a lot easier to stomach when your office space boss says, “Oh, oh, and I almost forgot. Ahh, I’m also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…“ You may be at work, but at least you’re still in your PJs.  

Every year we see companies in all industries make the switch to a shared or virtual office space and as technology improves you can only expect that trend to increase. For more on that and the future of coworking we asked a group of industry experts…

What's the future of coworking spaces? Here's what Christa Freeland from Switch Cowork had to say:

“We’re on the cusp of a new coworking trend that is the shapeshifting of physical spaces. We have seen examples of this with some OfficeMax and Lifetime Fitness locations carving out a coworking space in their buildings for their customers. Even with locally owned businesses, we’re doing that at Switch by partnering with well-designed restaurants to operate them as a shared work space during the day when they usually sit empty or aren’t open."

Read more here.