- 18th July, 2018
Coworking – Why the world’s biggest companies are sharing space.
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Why would any large company choose coworking when they have the time, infrastructure, and money to be able to take on a conventional office lease?
Sharing office space has been the working style for many creatives, freelancers, tech start-ups and entrepreneurs for quite some time. It is a very economical way of having your own office address and the kudos of an established one if you choose.
In a coworking space there is no need for huge cash deposits, added running costs for communication infrastructure, rates, tea, coffee and all the other expenses that come with a traditional lease. It also takes the risk out of being committed to a long lease when you are not sure how the business will go at this time.
It has been about ten years since the first coworking spaces started to appear and moved many solo workers out of the back bedroom and into established business.
They immediately transformed the entrepreneur skyline and became great incubators for businesses testing the market place. This was especially so for tech companies who were hitting the market in great waves with an idea and a computer.
Many of the largest tech started in this way. Take a look at Instagram, Uber and Timehop and they all started in coworking spots around the world. Coworking has never quite outgrown its association with young creatives, tech start-ups and entrepreneurs – until now.
It seems to be a growing trend that instead of moving out of coworking offices, larger companies are moving back in.
They’re turning their back on conventional offices and choosing creative coworking options instead. And it’s not companies you’d expect to revel in relaxed atmosphere policies at coworking hubs – HSBC, the Bank of England, KPMG, Hiscox Insurance and Microsoft are a few examples that have taken coworking spaces in the past few years. It seems established businesses moving “backwards” into coworking spaces?
Office Developers who were very reticent to do anything but sign up traditional ling leases only 5 years ago are now changing. They have been forced to look at different models because of the sheer volumes involved in coworking.
There’s a number of reasons why coworking is appealing to large companies. For some, it’s a temporary solution while they sort out other premises, refurb or because they have run out of space. For others, it’s an opportunity to cut back on office spend and invest that money elsewhere. But for most, the community, collaboration, and flexibility benefits of coworking are the main draw.
Coworking offices are a great temporary solution. They give a professional, functional plug-and-work space. They often have immediate access you sign and start working immediately on an easy month-to-month basis.
Shared offices are the cheapest way to rent office space as you don’t need to pay for the design, fit-out, furnishings or for any professional help with negotiations. All ongoing costs tend to be covered in one monthly bill, dramatically reducing accounting time, while shared use of electricity, utilities, housekeeping, a reception team, insurance splits the bills and brings costs right down for everyone.
Coworking spaces have an atmosphere that can’t be replicated in house. When you walk inside, you can really feel the energy, inspiration, and productivity. There’s a sense that people are there to work on their passion and do what ever they can to make it happen. Think about what it feels like to be in a room with so many enthusiastic people who chose to show up for work, feel valued and wan to contribute. This group of people often not only share space but friendships, ideas, contacts, and countless synergies.
The social structures created by coworking have an invaluable impact on people and performance. There are many studies that show the benefits on employee productivity and happiness. It is even proven to cure loneliness in some cases as HBR also investigated. Workers feel both individual autonomy and an important part of a wider community, which is shown to be the ideal balance for employees to feel valued.
Working for recruitment
Coworking is a useful recruitment tool for this reason. If you offer people, and especially millennials, an exciting place to work with the opportunity to meet countless new people, you’ll have the edge over a competitor who has a sterile or traditional conventional office.
Large companies who choose coworking are essentially saying that their people are the most important part of their business. They’re saying they want to make sure you love being at work and you can enjoy the social aspect of the workplace. There’s no such thing as “Oh no it’s Monday” at many coworking spaces.
The longer coworking exists the more popular it is going to become. As early adopters grow into larger businesses and remember what it felt like starting up in a coworking space. Their first job or solo venture in the mid-2000s may have been based in a coworking space when the workstyle was taking off for the first time. Now, they’re at big corporations and understand first hand that the conventional style of working isn’t what they or future employees want and need.
Coworking for grown-ups
Coworking spaces have also grown up with them – many are now slick, stylish spaces managed by professional teams with receptionists, IT specialists and more help on hand to take care of your every need.
This means there is no need to add this support staff to your payroll. Large businesses are feeling the advantages: happy people, great recruits, strong work performances and substantial money savings.
Historically, the clear majority of coworking clients have been start-ups and growth-phase small businesses. There is now a huge rise in the enquiries companies are receiving form international and national corporations who are testing this experience. Our guess it that they will witness great results and that this way of working will become a place where new entrepreneurs are working shoulder to shoulder with larger corporate. A synergy made in successful business heaven!
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