IBM Turns to WeWork

In a massive deal for co-working giant, WeWork, IBM just rented the entire 70,000 square feet of WeWork’s University Place in New York City. So the looming question is why? As a major leader for more than a century, shouldn’t IBM be able to manage its own office space? Sure. But it’s not 1945, and WeWork is offering IBM a few systems that the company can’t ignore

Flexibility: While we don’t know the terms of the deal, it’s likely that WeWork is offering significantly more flexibility to IBM than a traditional commercial lease. In fact, co-working is based on flexibility. So if IBM has to move a department out of NYC or lay-off 200 workers, they aren’t stuck with the cost of an empty office.

Talent: Young employees don’t want to be stuck in a dull, grey cubicle. And while those workers in their 40s might still tolerate the traditional office setting, the millennials simply won’t. They know that companies like Google and Uber have slick, comfortable working spaces. And if an employer can only offer bad coffee under fluorescent lights, the new and eager workers will go somewhere else.

Productivity: Yes, co-working spaces like WeWork can seem like a distracting environment. But the environment is also comfortable. So instead of stopping at Starbucks before work, employees will show up to the co-working coffee bar and get settled faster. And if they like where they work, they are much, much (MUCH) more likely to stay an extra 20 minutes at the end of the day to finish a project. Even better – the kids like to come in with Mom or Dad on the weekend because the office is filled with couches and café tables. (Plus great WiFi for Netflix.) Think about productivity hours for a company like IBM. If everyone starts to average an additional 25 minutes of work per day, then the 600 people in the WeWork/IBM building are cranking out 250 more work hours per DAY. That’s like 31 free employees working for the company simply because the employees like lemon water and soft lighting.

Co-working companies have begun a revolution. A century ago, businesses needed to eliminate harsh factory conditions and develop concepts like Lean Thinking to compete. And while the office cubicle of 1992 is hardly harsh, co-working is proving that desk-bound workers need an improved workplace to drive business forward.


What are the best CoWorking office spaces near me?


Looking for that perfect CoWork tech space?

We’re pleased to offer “ONE DAY FREE” at NEST CoWork @ CyberTECH, in San Diego’s Bankers Hill, a few blocks from downtown. Offered in partnership with LiquidSpace.

1855 First Avenue, Suite 103

San Diego, CA 92103

Sample space:

1 unreserved desk w/ private kitchenette, modern feel, part of 16,000 sf NEST CoWork space. Included: broadband, utilities, security, conference room, workout gym, coffee service. No hidden fees!

Contact Darin Andersen:



What’s Good Etiquette in the CoWorking Space?

Etiquette in the CoWorking Space

With some predicting a freelance workforce at 50% by 2020, co-working etiquette is quickly becoming a defining component for any co-working space. And etiquette isn’t just about how the members behave, but also about how the co-working management sets expectations and upholds those standards. From loud phone calls to garlic shrimp at lunch, workplace behavior is about to get a whole lot trickier.

Let’s start with phone calls. With cell phone reception still far behind land line clarity, scream-talking is fairly commonplace. Plus, 95% of co-working members will be cell phone based. Phone booths are now standard for most co-working spaces, but they don’t solve all problems. For example, a quick phone call to a client can easily turn into an hour-long discussion. And if you need to be in front of a computer while talking, a phone booth or patio might not be a viable solution. Moreover, even those who occupy an office can be a bother if scream-talking with their door open.

This is why strong, gentle management is critical. Co-working contracts need to specify some basic expectations. “All calls longer than 3 minutes need to take place behind closed doors.” Then, when someone is scream-talking in the open or in an open office, the on-site manager can quickly step in and relieve the frustrations that the other workers are feeling.

Food is another major issue. As is slurping coffee. And chewing gum. Even someone clicking a pen or playing with their long hair can be enough of a distraction to drive hard-working members to find another location. The current generation of millennials isn’t known for their selfless lifestyle, and they will be the ones working freelance jobs at co-working offices.

Establishing a Code of Conduct is key in keeping co-working members happy. Enforcing the code means having an on-site Emily Post who can keep a reign on behavior. Ideally, your on-site manager would come with the inflexible gentility of a Savanah librarian. “Keep quiet or get out, sweetie-pie.”

Managing people has always been the most difficult part of any business. So, managing a collection of people who have no employment ties to each other or the office space means having a well-worded contract and a strict manager to enforce the rules.

(And everyone over the age of 25 will quietly say, “Thank you.”)

Business Insider Proclaims WeWork is Tremendously Overvalued. Is it?

Business Insider Proclaims WeWork is Tremendously Overvalued. Is it?

In a video about overvalued companies, WeWork made the top of the list. The current valuation equation puts the value of each WeWork customer at more than $550,000. In other words, WeWork is operating as if each client will generate over half-a-million bucks for the company. That’s like every client paying $5,000 per month in rent for nine years.

Realistically, that’s not going to happen. So why is WeWork riding so high? In short, trend.

Right now, WeWork spaces are generally expensive, and the company has very low vacancy rates. With this kind of money coming into the company, someone will have adamantly pointed out that WeWork is likely operating in a bubble. And all bubbles pop. (See: Housing, 2007)

However, WeWork is leading a trend. For example, right now several large companies are utilizing WeWork instead of managing their own office spaces. (That’s gunna shift.) Plus, WeWork is capitalizing on venture capitalists who want to see their money at work in super-trendy workplaces with free lemon water. (Is lemon water really worth $5,000 per month?)

Coworking is growing – very quickly. So it’s highly probably that WeWork has created several contingency plans to adapt when there’s a shift in coworking demand. At these rates, big companies will eventually see coworking as wasted money. And venture capitalists might stop investing in companies with less than five employees and shift to more established operations. (See: Tech Industry, 2001)

When the winds shift, WeWork will adapt. They likely have five and ten-year commercial leases, so if IBM moves its operations out of WeWork New York, WeWork will have to fill that vacancy with someone.

And it all comes down to the little guy. At $250 or $300 per month, coworking spaces can quickly fill its vacancies with general and “hot desk” members. The real trend is not in coworking, it’s in the entrepreneurialism of the gig economy. It’s the American dream to be your own boss.

The coworking companies are here to stay. They are becoming our second home – our oasis in a life of soccer practices, mean bosses, and in-law visits. All of those employees showing up for work at a WeWork coworking space are the future tenants for the company. And that is worth $5,000 per month.

Coworking Spaces Act as Anchor

Think about the American worker in the 1950s… or the Japanese worker in the 1980s… the workplace was a reliable haven of productivity. Sure, there must have been long hours, office politics, and noisy coworkers slurping soup at lunch, but the office was always there. Today, the vast majority of that reliability is gone. Layoffs, cutbacks, and outsourcing has become commonplace. And even in a big city, finding a cushy replacement when you’ve been laid off from your Fortune 100 job isn’t easy. Plus, there was a time when you and your employer made a pact: you show up to work hard and the company wouldn’t fire you. Today, a bad supervisor can put you out on the street with a few well-crafted emails to HR.

With today’s expensive lifestyle (where hors-oeuvres and a drink can cost $50), most of us need a side hustle. There are likely some mid-level executives flipping on their Uber app while they drive home from work to pick up some extra money for Christmas. And blogger-moms staying up late to get sponsored dinners for a date night with hubby.

So coworking spaces are not just for the full-time entrepreneur. In fact, anyone looking to work a few hours on a blog, ebook, or part-time coding gig needs a desk and a cup of coffee away from the house. Even if you’re a full-time employee, maybe you have a desk for the days when you want to avoid the commute and “work from home.”

Thus, the coworking space becomes the new workplace anchor. It doesn’t matter if you get fired, laid-off, or quit. You keep going to the familiar coworking space, shifting your time and energy to the project at hand.

Coworking spaces have become key for personal productivity. When your employer no longer sees you as a necessary asset, you simply flip the switch and do more work as an independent contractor. In fact, coworking spaces, along with the gig economy, are a tremendous threat to corporate productivity. Coworking offices have leveled the playing field, offering workers the chance to remain productive and happy regardless of where the work is coming from. And the more you are in a coworking space, the more you learn how to source and duplicate work as a contractor.

Take that, corporate America!


Why the Gig Economy Isn’t Going Away

Most presidential elections come with rhetoric about jobs and the economy. And while the majority of jobs that come with an improved economy may still look like a traditional 40-hour employment agreement, freelance work is on the rise. And it’s not going anywhere. Whether you are a self-employed programmer, part-time graphic designer, or a member of an app development team, you will need a community of like-minded professionals seeking the same professional satisfaction.

The Workers
The up-and-coming workforce is against the idea of a traditional job. Millennials, as a group, are far more interested in life experiences like camping, travel, and leisure than they about having a house, a car, and a high credit line. Corporations are finding that freelancers, while expensive on the hourly end, are more motivated and efficient that full-time employees.

The Benefits
Health insurance was one of the driving forces for finding and keeping a traditional job. And while it’s likely that health insurance will change over the next four years, universal healthcare is likely here to stay. And if you are in a liberal state like California or Massachusetts, changes in federal healthcare laws could be offset by changes in state laws. So if you can get health insurance on your own, a traditional job comes with more restrictions than benefits.

The Workplace
As the US moves towards a knowledge-based economy (as compared to a manufacturing economy), the average worker won’t need more than a cell phone and a laptop to be highly effective. Corporations are seeing the cost-cutting benefits that come with workers who pay for their own workplace (and health insurance).

If you’ve ever worked from home for long stretches of time, then you know that the isolation and quiet can be unsettling. And if you’ve ever worked from a coffee shop, you know the sound of blenders and screaming children is less than professional. Coworking spaces are a key component in the gig economy. Collective workplaces offer the human interaction we need to feel connected day-in and day-out. Plus they offer a brand of professional flexibility found nowhere else.

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The Digital Nomad and the CoWorking Space

Gig economy… Side hustle… Digital nomad… The face of the workplace is changing. In an effort to attract talent and reduce costs, employers are utilizing coworking spaces to allow distance workers to work in a professional environment. And individuals are no longer looking towards traditional employment for part-time and full-time work. These workers now crash together in coworking spaces around the world, grateful that they aren’t relegated to a kitchen table or crowded Starbucks to get work done.

For nearly two decades, traditional employers have struggled to manage good employees who opt to work from home. With good employees difficult to find and expensive to replace, most employers have bent strict rules to allow some to work from home. Supervision, productivity, and insurance conflicts arise as (unlikely) problems. Thanks to coworking spaces, however, more corporate employers are allowing employees to work at desk outside of the house, but away from the corporate hub.

Even for those with a full-time corporate job, a coworking space can be a great way to build up a freelance portfolio, work a digital side job, or just get out of the house. The days of working one, full-time job are practically done. Regardless of how full-time employment meets (or fails) modern financial demands, more workers are seeing entrepreneurialism in their future. Coworking spaces are incubators; emerging tech, service, and business ideas come to light thanks to the inherent interactivity of coworking spots. Between the casual coffee pot conversations and the official networking dinners, coworking spaces are the new “garage office.” In other words, the next Apple (Facebook, Google) is probably under development in a coworking space as we speak.

And finally, the digital nomad. Why bother paying rent or a mortgage if you can roam around the world, working digitally every day? For the true tech worker, a network of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and AirBnB apartments can serve as the basis for a nomadic life. See the world and earn a living… what could be better?

Even the face of the coworking office is changing. At one time, shared offices and executive suites were open Monday through Friday, nine to five. But today, the urban coworking space is a 24-hour operation as part-timers, freelancers, and all-nighters come together to feed off each other’s ideas and build momentum towards a more satisfying work-life balance.


What is the best CoWorking space in San Diego?

In every business, from tax preparation to coffee, you have to make a choice between a national brand and a locally owned business. With the dramatically increasing demand for coworking spaces, remote workers and entrepreneurs have to make the same choice – nationally branded coworking or a locally grown company. (Obviously, we at NEST are biased.)

But let’s talk about the benefits of a national brand. In many ways, nationally branded coworking spaces come with a few benefits over what you can get with a local space. The primary benefit of a national coworking company is the access to office space in all major metropolitan areas. So if you are constantly on the go – from Seattle to Orlando – then a large, corporate coworking company might be a better choice. But for anyone who plans on heading into a local office, a locally owned coworking space is always a better choice. Here’s why:

Locally owned and managed coworking spaces have a flexibility in contracting you won’t find in with larger companies. Temporary holds, upgrades, downgrades, and additional desks are easy changes to your current lease. In other words, you won’t be nickel-and-dimed by a local coworking company. You will also find that the smaller, local company will provide more freebies like conference room use, beverage services, and printing.

Local coworking spaces also tend to have a broader range of working spaces. The big coworking companies are going to be focused on squeezing every dime out of every square inch of space. And that means lots of closed doors and tiny cubicles. Local coworking spaces will have plenty of open areas furnished with couches and café tables. The smaller, local companies will offer more outdoor spaces for events and social gatherings.

Finally, you won’t find the kind of symbiotic environment in a large, corporate coworking space. The local coworking space is likely to have a tenant niche (like tech-oriented NEST) and will attract collaborative people. Casual conversations and official networking comes easier in a locally owned coworking space.

In short, a locally owned coworking space is more likely to meet your needs as a new and growing company. At a space like NEST, you will find the right kind of driven and collaborative folks that make coworking a great place to be.


Downtown SD Emerging as New Tech Hub

Everyone knows your basic US tech cities – Seattle and San Francisco. And thanks to the major tech players like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, those cities will likely remain at the top of the tech heap for years to come. But San Diego is attracting significant attention as an emerging tech hub. And here’s why:


If you want rain, go to Seattle. Busy streets? Try New York. But if you want great weather year-round without the bother of LA posers, you come to San Diego. And for the moment, San Diego is considered “affordable” when you compare housing prices to places like San Francisco. Keep in mind, the emerging workforce is one that empathizes quality over quantity. Twentysomethings are happy to give up big houses and hefty salaries for a freelancing flip-flop life.


Not only does San Diego county offer broad expanses of land (think: North County’s Geico call center); but downtown San Diego has its underdeveloped East Village. From 2005 to 2008, the East Village was flush with developments. Now, eight years later, the empty lots and unused buildings are coming into focus as developers eye those blocks for expansion. The I.D.E.A. district and Makers Quarter are going to bring tech workers into an arts, commercial, and residential project that will rival swanky SF living.


So, when you think San Diego, you don’t automatically think tech software. But the city has a long history of developing everything from bio technology to microchips to missile launchers. We have our fair share of major players like Qualcomm and General Atomics. Plus don’t forget about our reputation as a research hub thanks to the huge universities.

San Diego has everything to become America’s next tech supercity. With the universities pumping out thousands of eager workers looking for ways to stay in Sun City, tech giants are seeking ways to capture the enthusiasm. Plus, with every student comes a new idea for an app, game, or device. So the city’s grassroots tech efforts are fed by the venture capitalists excited to hear something new from Sunny SD.

Tech growth is inevitable. And welcome.



Coworking Communication Avenues

Although the peak hours of operations for a coworking space might be Monday through Friday from nine to five, coworkers operate 24 hours per day. And while there are always an energetic few who want to actively network face-to-face, others would prefer an online setting. In fact, coordinating coworking members is like herding cats. Keep in mind, if they were obedient dogs, they’d be operating out of a corporate office up the street.

So how do you wrangle coworking member together?

In short, food is the best way to bring people together. Just like a gaggle of cats that keep to separate corners during the day, cats pull together when you feed them at 5pm. If you want your coworkers to come together, buy some subs from the local sub shop or order enough pizza to feed everyone. Add a little background music and it’s a party. And yes, the chatty few will keep the conversations going, but the quiet ones in the background appreciate the opportunity to socialize – even if it just means offering a few smiles to other members.

Remain active online. You need to offer regular updates about activities at the coworking space. In the 1980s, that meant printing a monthly newsletter with cheesy photos and coupon for free chips at the sub shop. Today, it’s as simple as a Facebook group. Update it once or twice a week with membership news. Post lots of great, candid photos. And occasionally encourage members to join together for an official event like a member appreciation party.

Talk to your members. People are shy. They don’t know how to break the ice. Knock on doors and ask how business is going. Encourage them to respond to the Facebook updates. Pull another member into the conversations. Conversations inside the coworking space need an organic element in order to feel genuine.

So, communication at the coworking space is all about options. Coworking members aren’t the kind of corporate employees who will conform to strict standards. So coworking managers and community coordinators have to offer a range of options. With very few exceptions will you have 90-100% participation on any one activity. But with several avenues of communication, you will reach the vast majority of members who want to engage.