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IWG Offers Free Access To 31 Boston-Area Coworking Spaces During MBTA Shutdown

IWG's coworking space on State Street in Boston.

In the wake of the 30-day shutdown of the MBTA's Orange Line and part of the Green Line, one major coworking operator is offering free space to help people work closer to home and avoid the hassle of commuting into the city.

IWG is offering two days per week of free access to 31 of its coworking spaces across Greater Boston from Aug. 19 to Sept. 19, the company announced Tuesday. 

Since the MBTA announced the monthlong shutdown earlier this month, Boston's real estate industry has been bracing for the impact that this could have on the return to the office.

IWG said it sees hybrid work becoming the new norm, and this helped boost its occupancy through the first half of this year. Boston's IWG locations saw a 32% increase in use the first six months of 2022, the company said in a release. 

“Flexible workspaces are on the rise in Boston and around the country because workers want to work from a local office close to home part of the time, and we look forward to welcoming Boston employees to our centers to collaborate, connect and share ideas," IWG President of North America Jeff Doughman said in the release.

The locations where IWG is offering free access include its spaces in Boston, plus several other cities and towns along major highways for those commuting from farther out. This includes Andover, Burlington, Middleton, Wakefield, Dedham, Hingham, Quincy, Newton, Concord, Framingham, Marlborough, Waltham and three New Hampshire locations. 

IWG is the world's largest flexible office space company, best known for its Regus and Spaces coworking brands. The company currently has 3,500 locations globally and serves 8 million office workers, according to IWG's website.

In May, IWG CEO Mark Dixon told the Washington Business Journal the company planned to open between 500 and 700 new coworking spaces in the U.S. within the next year. 

The coworking industry has shown signs of recovery across the country this year, with nationwide shared space inventory in July reaching 117.5M SF, representing 1.7% of the total office stock, CommercialEdge reported Tuesday.