Cushman partners with Industrious in bid to bring the office back

Duo will target companies and workers who want flexibility as they return to office environment

Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White and Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari (Industrious; Cushman)
Cushman & Wakefield CEO Brett White and Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari (Industrious; Cushman)

Cushman & Wakefield is betting big on co-working, even as millions of Americans have yet to return to the office amid the pandemic-imposed remote work revolution.

The firm has teamed up with startup Industrious to help provide flex-office space for companies and individuals outside the corporate environment, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The co-working sector has struggled during the pandemic. Industrious laid off close to 20 percent of its workforce in April, according to the Journal. And WeWork had to pull out of a number of its offices.

Industrious was founded in 2013 and has about 100 locations in 50 cities.

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Cushman has not been immune. The firm reported a net loss of $100 million in the second quarter, down from a $6.3 million profit a year ago.

Other real estate services firms are also expanding their co-working businesses, including CBRE, which launched its flex workspace business called Hana in 2018. The company opened its 10th location this week, according to the Journal.

Some co-working operators such as Quest Workspaces, which has 12 locations in Florida and New York, are seeking to transform their office space amid the pandemic. Quest is planning to turn some of its enclosed office space into small pods where groups of students can gather for virtual learning.

JLL projects that co-working companies that can make it through the pandemic will see an influx of new tenants. In 2030, nearly one third of all office space will be flexible office space, according to JLL. [WSJ] — Keith Larsen