For quite a few years, WeWork was close to holding a monopoly in the market for flexible workspaces. They certainly have done a great job in branding and especially the free beer during evening events made these locations attractive in pre-Covid times. However, their pricing models were not made for founders and freelancers, and the landscape has changed during the pandemic. The need for flexibility is now even bigger than it ever was before, and the number of flo-workers has seen a historic increase in recent years.

It is no longer limited to those running their own businesses. Long gone are the days where workers had a regular commute to the same office every day. Nearly everyone who can work from anywhere now needs workspaces in different locations.

Second Home Lisbon rest area

Second Home Lisbon, rest area

Which WeWork alternatives are there today and how do they account for flexibility and flo-working? For a better overview, we’ve decided to break them down into categories based on 4 criteria:

  • Serviced or private offices: Do they provide traditional office space?
  • On-demand coworking: Can you go and co-work, i.e. book a hot desk, whenever you want?
  • Independent: Do they only provide their own spaces, or can you book a desk across an independent network of workspaces?
  • Unlimited access: Is there an option to get unlimited access to their workspaces?
Workspace provider Private offices On-demand co-working Independent workspaces Unlimited access option to multiple workspaces
1. WeWork Yes Yes No Yes
2. Regus Yes Yes No Yes
3. The Office Group (TOG) Yes Yes No Yes
4. Hubble Yes Yes Yes No
5. Spaces Yes Yes No Yes
6. Upflex Yes Yes Yes No
7. Huckletree Yes Yes No No
8. Tallymarket Yes Yes Yes No
9. Othership Yes Yes Yes Yes
10. Desana No Yes Yes Yes
11. Local Coworking Spaces Yes Yes Yes No

Regus

As one of the oldest in the workspace business and a global operator, Regus has recently made the move from an old-school office space provider to a coworking model. They pride themselves with solutions for every type of business and facilitate hybrid working.

With their coworking solution comes a community and regular networking events. Members can choose between a dedicated desk or drop-in and hot desk in a shared office space around the world. It is limited to bigger cities though.

  • Founded in 1989 in Saint Helier, Jersey
  • Coverage: Bigger cities worldwide
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: No (You can only access Regus workspaces)
  • Unlimited access: Yes (but only for Regus workspaces)
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: No
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: £256 per month

Hubble HQ

HubbleHQ has gone through a similar transformation as Regus. Pre-pandemic, they equipped businesses with office space. They are still doing that, but to a smaller extent than before. Coworking has taken over. Businesses can still rent offices on a monthly basis, and they have plenty of shared workspaces to rent by the hour or per day. Similar to Regus, HubbleHQ has workspaces worldwide, however only in bigger cities.

To access Hubble workspaces, you’ll have to sign up for Hubble Pass and the cost is based on the credits you use. A coworking pass for the day costs between GBP 25 and GBP 30.

  • Founded in 2014 in London
  • Coverage: Bigger cities worldwide
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: No (You pay each time you use a workspace)
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: No
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: ~£25 per day

Othership

Hart Shoreditch coworking table
Hart Shoreditch

Othership was a pioneer in flexible working in London. Long before the pandemic and the rise of WFA, it was Othership’s mission to connect workers to workspaces and to each other making use of underused space in the capital.

Creative Works Meeting Rooms
Creative Works

It has since expanded to nearly all locations in the UK and is proud of its community of flo-workers. The Othership teams capabilities in connecting their community, has become their USP for enterprises looking to achieve the same across their now remote and hybrid teams.

Othership does not own the workspaces and has partnerships with private offices, coworking spaces, coffee shops and hotels that you can book for an hour, a day or a month.

The pricing is as flexible as the workspace solutions: You can choose between a pay-as-you-go model with On Demand Workspaces; a fixed desk, a private office with the Fixed Workspaces; or manage your Hybrid plan connecting your own office with Othership’s network of flexible workspaces.

  • Founded 2018 in London
  • Coverage: More than 300 locations in the UK
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: Yes
  • Community: Yes
  • Networking & Events: Yes
  • Business support & advice: Yes
  • Price: £30 a year to £199 a month

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Desana

Desana provides an app that employees can use to book desks and meeting rooms in any of the workspaces Desana has a partnership with. The advantage for employers is that they get one invoice per month that covers all workspace usage, and they can track how often employees use workspaces and adjust if needed. Desana is aimed at bigger organisations and less attractive for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

  • Founded in 2016 in Edinburgh
  • Coverage: UK cities
  • Serviced or private offices: No
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: Yes
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: No
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: Unknown

Five people sitting around a table to discuss ideas.

Photo by Kindel Media

Huckletree

Founded in 2014, Huckletree is one of the older players in the market of flexible working. And we find that their solution caters for all layers of flexibility with individual day passes to the monthly floating package.

Huckletree also offers a lot more than a workspace model from an entrepreneur support program, learning opportunities to an in-house accelerator and a community that comes together for regular workshops and events.

  • Founded in 2014 in London
  • Coverage: Bigger cities in the UK and Ireland
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: Yes
  • Community: Yes
  • Networking & Events: Yes
  • Business support & advice: Yes
  • Price: £35 per day or £226 per month

Huckletree coworking space

Huckletree coworking space

Tally Market

A relatively new player in the market that was founded in 2020 is Tally Market. Other than HubbleHQ and Regus, they do not own any coworking spaces, but have partnerships with workspace providers. This allows for more flexibility and a larger network.

There is no monthly membership fee, you only pay for the workspaces you use, and prices vary by space and location.

  • Founded 2020 in London
  • Coverage: Mostly UK cities, some other locations in Europe
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: No (You pay each time you use a workspace)
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: No
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price range: ~£20 per day

Upflex

The name already suggests flexibility and a look at their offering reveals this to be true. Upflex is suitable for businesses of any size and provides access to a global network of workspaces. Their Hub and Spoke Model allows for everyone to find the right solution: from private offices and fixed desks to full global flexibility.

The Upflex-idea was born out of a vision for more sustainable ways to work and the company is planting a tree for every seat booked.

  • Founded in 2017 in New York
  • Coverage: Worldwide
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: Yes
  • Unlimited access: No
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: No
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: Unknown

The Office Group (TOG)

With a background in traditional real estate businesses, The Office Group is one of the oldest office space providers in Europe with workspaces in the UK and Germany with a little more corporate feel to it. As such, their main product is to this date serviced offices and they also introduced Home & Roam Memberships. One of these is a dedicated desk, the other allows hot desking across their network of workspaces. Memberships come with a minimum requirement of 3 months which makes the offer a little less flexible than expected.

  • Founded in 2003 in London
  • Coverage: Bigger cities in the UK and Germany
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: No
  • Unlimited access: Yes
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: Yes
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: £425 per month

Open plan office in a warehouse setting

Photo by Shridhar Gupta

Spaces

Spaces has gone through a similar change as Regus and The Office Group. They used to be a traditional office provider and have recently added flexible coworking options to their offering. It is limited though to workspaces owned by Spaces and in bigger cities only. They also offer regular, mostly sports related, events in some of their workspaces.

  • Founded in 2008 in Amsterdam
  • Coverage: Bigger cities worldwide
  • Serviced or private offices: Yes
  • On-demand coworking: Yes
  • Independent: No
  • Unlimited access: Yes
  • Community: No
  • Networking & Events: Yes
  • Business support & advice: No
  • Price: From £216 per month

Local Coworking Spaces

Last but not least, there is always a local coworking option, especially if you’re based in a city. We found that they often don’t offer flexible day passes and you would have to sign up for a monthly membership. You will hence bind yourself to one specific workspace, even if you can choose a different desk every day. Coworking spaces usually offer private offices too and regular events for members.

Now the positive news: Plenty of coworking spaces have partnerships with independent workspace providers such as Othership and you get the best of both worlds! You will have full flexibility and can decide every day whether you want to return to the same workspace or try a new one.

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