Most commonly associated with startups and small businesses, coworking is becoming a popular option for larger companies and corporations. Companies like Apple, Facebook and IBM have already established satellite offices in coworking spaces and others are taking note.
This was one of the key takeaways from a Coworking Panel held in Chicago by CoreNet, a corporate real estate association. Increasingly, more midsize to larger (aka “enterprise” – 1000+ employees) companies are moving into coworking spaces. Why? They are attracted to them for the same reasons smaller companies are as coworking continues to gain more office market share.
Senior executives from five Chicago-area providers – IWG, WeWork, Hana (CBRE), Industrious and Convene – shared some insights and observations about why there has been increased corporate interest.
Flexible Office Space Is More Attractive Than Ever
Many corporations are facing uncertain future business conditions, which makes forecasting revenues and their office needs difficult. Coworking providers can help by offering many options with regards to space size. Expanding and contracting space is more easily accomplished because providers are offering very flexible service agreements.
Sophisticated Space Design
Whether a corporation needs open space or fixed offices with signage and a separate entrance, coworking providers can accommodate them. Their interiors are typically well designed and have a sense of place: they are comfortable spaces in which to work. Some providers even offer wellness centers including fitness centers and yoga rooms.
Content and happy workers are productive workers, so having access to spaces with great amenities guarantees a good return on investment for a business. Another positive aspect of coworking spaces is proximity to other companies notably startups – frequently, the closeness creates business opportunities.
Many Business Support Services
Coworking providers also offer businesses access to many different services from receptionists, IT and marketing support to catering and formal dining. Some providers have event spaces and support staff for larger meetings so a company does not have to go to another meeting venue. Collaboration technology such as video conferencing is also available at most sites: the benefit here is that with good connectivity to other office locations, businesses can reduce their travel expenses. Provider services can in some cases allow businesses to reposition employees into other more productive roles.
The Flexibility Premium
At first glance, coworking appears to be expensive, but when businesses compare the monthly fee with all the expenses of a traditional office, most times, coworking is less costly. The “premium” is actually a bargain when one does the math.
Corporations Want Providers to Be Where They Are
Enterprise clients are now asking coworking providers to open new locations in cities where they have satellite offices. Most providers their own process for scaling into a new area, so they can meet these requests rather quickly.
Coworking Spaces Are Good Options for All Businesses
Engaging and moving into a space is easy for an enterprise company – most providers can provide turnkey solutions for any size firm. Put simply, coworking providers have all manner of space configurations and can take on many of the operational aspects of a business. Providers in most major metros are aggressively opening new locations to accommodate the increased demand by businesses of all sizes.
Truss is the leading commercial real estate marketplace to find, tour and lease office and coworking space. Using the platform, businesses can instantly view thousands of available spaces and get matched with a local broker. Personalized search results, itemized pricing and virtual tours help companies save time searching. To date, more than 15,000 small businesses and startups have used Truss to find office space. TrussCRE is a listing marketplace to streamline transactions for brokers. TrussCRE continually adds new inventory with complete pricing details on every listing.