When people aren't allowed to go into the office to work, you suddenly stop needing a remote office. Weird how that works.
Commercial real estate companies masquerading as tech startups like WeWork ($PRIVATE:WEWORK) are in deep trouble if the Coronavirus outbreak stretches on for months, making companies everywhere question paying rent. Social distancing guidelines will effectively neuter the need for a shared workspace this summer, as everyone works from home.
So with all of that out of the way, Knotel ($PRIVATE:KNOTEL), one of WeWork's main competitors in the workspace industry, is cutting 30% of its staff and furloughing another 20%. Coincidence, or just poor timing? You be the judge.
The news was just announced, and both the permanent and temporary layoffs haven't taken effect yet. So when we look at the data, there isn't a massive drop of almost 200 employees. It will, however, effectively cut Knotel in half. From the end of last year, the staff has already done down 15%.
As for replacing the furloughed or fired employees, they should probably look elsewhere for work. Knotel has done nothing but chop away job postings for the last year or so; listings data shows an 89% decrease from January 2019.
But luckily for Knotel, no one seems to be talking about this news. At least not on Facebook as of yet, since there are more things to worry about than a niche startup losing some workers. It's a great time to dump a bad news story like this on a Friday afternoon, and Knotel got almost everyone to not notice. Except us.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.