Since 2005, coworking spaces have been trend-setters for cool and effective ways to work. For years, they have been synonyms with digital nomads, freelancers, and startups who are on the lookout for flexible and affordable workstations. Floating desk options, lightning-fast Internet, access to workshops and various social events, free drinks and snacks are other reasons that lure young specialists to the shared spaces.
As coworking evolves, its clients change, too. Professionals of various backgrounds and spheres unshackle themselves from the office rat race or escape the loneliness of working from home, and chose work in an environment that fosters productivity and networking. About 22% of coworking spaces members are made up of people specializing in the IT industry. They are closely followed by representatives of the PR industry who make up 14% of the coworking clientele. Other members include designers, data analysts, translators, accountants, project managers, educations professionals as well as people in the sales industry.
However, independent workers and startups are not the only categories of coworking space clients. Recently, there has also been an increasing trend in moving big corporate teams to shared workstations. Such heavyweights as Microsoft, HSBC, Facebook, and Starbucks allow their employees to work from WeWork – a global provider of shared workspaces and services associated with coworking. Some corporations encourage separate departments to work from coworking venues, others set up innovation labs or invite personnel to work on temporary projects.
While coworking spaces allow to save up to 25% compared to traditional lease, it is not always the main advantage which multinational companies gain by housing staff in shared venues.
Moving to coworking spaces, corporate giants have better access to talent and innovators. They can form beneficial partnerships and generate increased B2B sales. In the era of high competition and innovation, the coworking model also creates an opportunity for a better collaborative environment.
Thus, corporate employees don’t only enjoy the flexibility that coworking provides but also can come up with original ideas by interacting with people working on other projects. That enables professionals to get a broader perspective on their project and allows to expand their minds.
Another popular trend is for multinational corporations to partner with coworking spaces or set up their own shared venues to create business incubators. Some of the successful synergies include a partnership between IBM and Galvanize – a home base to startups and established companies and an alliance between Verizon and Alley – a US-based coworking group. Bosch went even further by opening Platform 12 – a collaborative environment where employees, artists, and academics can explore new ideas together.
To sum it up, coworking spaces present a more exciting and inspiring alternative to conventional offices and serve as a breath of fresh air not only for independent professionals and startups but also to large corporations. Freelancers, startups, employers and employees of various domains can benefit from the endless opportunities for cooperation, networking and professional growth that coworking communities can provide. Because modern coworking spaces offer excellent amenities such as high-tech conference rooms, functional private offices, cutting-edge technology for conferences and presentations, they can live up to the requirements of the most demanding clients.