Today, coworking is not just for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Instead, users’ profile is growing exponentially to include large companies seeking to take a global approach to real-estate for several reasons, including financial and social. Here are some of the main reasons corporates are opting for shared space.
Social benefits for big corporates
A study by US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE shows that 86 percent of global CEOs are looking for mixed office solutions. So what would make corporates enter the coworking environment? Before discussing the financial benefits of moving into shared space setups, there are many social and motivational ones.
As we’ve covered in previous articles, employers are more than ever attracted to workplaces that offer greater versatility and flexibility. Say a company maintains its regular office or headquarters. They can secure coworking spaces to enable workers to choose where to work from – perhaps a shorter commute, maybe closer to an appointment they have that day, or for a break from the regular office environment if they’re feeling uninspired, burnt out, and in need of a change of scene. Flexibility helps workers find a healthier work-life balance. That, coupled with profound health benefits and growth opportunities, shows how much an organization cares. This conduct ensures that workers want to stay in their jobs. Retaining trained, long-term employees is a new challenge even for the most prominent companies, as is onboarding new hot talent. Once, companies could scoop up talent by offering stability and an impressive salary. Today, however, other factors are more critical, which leads us to the next point.
Working in a buzzing, up-scale workspace surrounded by startups, entrepreneurs, and independent workers brings with it an air of excitement and renewal. Even if a big company is long-established, or primarily because of it, there is a tendency for stagnation – the way things have hardly changed, be it the running of the office or how meetings are held. For these companies and their employees, coworking environments can bring a much-needed wave of inspiration without completely doing away with the features of a traditional office. Seeing how innovators with game-changing ideas are entering different industries, drawing on the latest tech or inventing it, is eye-opening – even for successful industry stalwarts. There is much to learn and opportunities to explore – companies have direct access to innovators and perhaps investors. Employees mixing and mingling with their new “neighbors” can bring fresh ideas in a more relaxed environment. This amalgamation can encourage them to share these ideas, feel more involved in their company and its progress, and be happy to be given a voice. Finally, of course, being surrounded by hard-working startuppers encourages productivity. The above are important ways to keep valuable employees and attract new talent.
In keeping with the above, coworking space strongly encourages community as it physically integrates various professions into one area where people can motivate each other. It is uncommon for companies and their employees from different industries to form partnerships and brainstorm ideas. Furthermore, these spaces typically have many casual and formal networking events, such as pitch competitions and meet-ups, to get people talking and their creativity flowing. The result should increase productivity.According to coworking productivity statistics from Cloud-based project management software provider TeamStage, shared offices improve the health of 70 percent of their members, 64 percent of those sharing an office with a coworker complete their tasks on time more than before, and 68 percent feel more focused than before.
Financial benefits for big corporates
For big corporations, renting coworking offices is an optimal solution when expanding. In the past, a company wishing to open a new branch to test the market in a different area or country meant making a heavy investment in setting up a fully kitted-out office, staffing it, and getting tied up in a long-term leasing contract or purchasing real-estate. Alternatively, a company may wish to situate its R&D labs in a specific location. Today, shared space providers offer short-term – monthly, weekly, or even daily leasing contracts in a ready-to-use, fully serviced office with bespoke layout options. These establishments cover all utilities and basic office needs from printers and furniture to high-speed internet. Far less risky for business, and work can start immediately. Furthermore, a relocated team will interact instantly with more established companies there, which can ease the learning curve, increase networking and business opportunities, and contact with locals or individuals in similar situations. This circumstance is far more attractive than landing in a strange location and not knowing anybody.
Also, the massive trend in coworking spaces means they are in good supply. According to Statistica, there were over 18,700 coworking spaces worldwide in 2022. That number is expected to reach 41,975 by the end of 2024, meaning an anticipated annual growth rate of around 21.3 percent! In addition, a study by CoworkingResources predicts that people working in shared spaces will reach 5 million by 2024 – a massive 158 percent more than in 2020.
Tech giants like Verizon, Microsoft, and IBM are among the big companies testing coworking spaces to enable employees to interact with and be close to innovative startups. WeWork counts Facebook, Bank of America, Salesforce, and Starbucks among its members and reports that 25 percent of its annual revenue stems from companies with 1,000+ employees. The trend for big companies to opt for smaller spaces is on the upswing as they realize the many benefits they provide.