Offices Can Adopt the Airbnb Model | Professional

Now, as people choose to work from “anywhere”, the industry must bring people back to the workplace.

A major wave of disruption has been the rise of serviced offices and coworking. As serviced offices emerged in the 1980s, the concept of co-working grew out of the ashes of the global financial crisis as new entrepreneurs and small businesses sought accessible and designer space on flexible terms.

Now, the pandemic will force commercial real estate to adapt again. WeWork has raised the bar, advancing the way we work through its provision of modern and designer spaces. However, with the global scale came normalization, which over time has both benefited and harmed its followers.

Likewise, the constant production of big-box branded hotels has met the constant expectations of travelers of all types. However, in recent times, travelers have sought more tailored, richer stays – encouraging Airbnb to deliver an experience built around the traveler looking for more than just a standard room.


Now is the time for the Airbnb moment of the office industry? The expectations of SMEs as to what their space must provide in a post-Covid world will exclude both a standardized big-box product and a DIY lease where they should figure it all out on their own.

Tenants want to determine where they want to work, how that space is designed, and most importantly, what layers of services can be integrated to maximize their business experience over one to five years within those four walls. To date, there has not been a seamless end-to-end experience combining these three elements.

The path is set to create an end-to-end experience for tenants, where they end up with a product built around their needs. Owners, agents and operators can embrace this to deliver the office product that carries us for the next decade and beyond.

Steve Coulson is Founder and CEO of Kitt

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