Even before the pandemic, there were early signs that indicated major companies were moving their workforce into coworking spaces. Microsoft, for example, recently gave 30% of its New York employees access to a local coworking space. The technology titan even announced its own version of coworking spaces, called Microsoft Reactors, where developers and startups could work and network.
As it turns out, Microsoft isn’t alone in its thinking. Other companies are making the decision to invest in or start their own coworking spaces.
Large Corporations Moving to Coworking Office Spaces
Microsoft isn’t alone. As safety protocols ease and the world gradually returns to the office, large corporations (as well as budding startups) are finding that by using coworking spaces, they can save money, develop important connections, and gain access to thriving entrepreneurial communities.
In 2017, Verizon converted an old data center in Washington D.C. into a bright and colorful coworking space. John Vazquez, Verizon’s senior vice president and head of global real estate said, “to us, the real value is what we get by bringing entrepreneurs into the building and having them meet our folks.”
The reason big companies like Verizon, Bank of America, and IBM are finding coworking spaces is due to cost and culture. Coworking provides a more affordable alternative to giant office campuses (that are seldom used, especially in 2020), allowing flexible payment plans. But beyond that, coworking spaces offer a sort of startup culture that enterprises seek out.
Coworking Office Space Benefits
- Cost-effective plans – Coworking spaces distribute the cost of the space among all its members, resulting in a highly competitive rate for everyone.
- Workspace flexibility – Choose whether you want to work at a dedicated desk, in an open office room, in a phone booth, or in a completely different coworking location. Coworking is about giving employees a choice of workspace.
- Work-life balance – Coworking spaces are typically found in major cities, in proximity to commercial and financial districts as well as transit. The coworking culture encourages rest and relaxation as much as hard work.
- Startup community – Speaking of culture, coworking is about a sense of community with other entrepreneurs, startups, building staff, and other tenants.
- A central meeting place – Whether working with a remote team or inviting a potential client for a meeting, coworking spaces offer businesses a single place to meet up, collaborate, or just have a friendly chat.
Impact of Coworking Spaces on Culture
Over the years, coworking spaces have completely reshaped society’s perception of work culture. In a few short years, companies have gone from rigid and formal settings to embrace more open and collaborative spaces.
One big change is the idea of a flat management structure. Instead of having several managers and employees beneath them, startups have begun to employ a leaderless organization. This leads to a greater sense of ownership, of feeling valued.
With open spaces and entrepreneurial culture, talent management also changed overnight. Companies gained access to prime talent, including vendors, employees, interns, and even clients. Collaboration became a great priority for many, as it leads to more unexpected yet fruitful relationships. Although we are likely to see greater instances of remote, nothing will replace the benefits of in-person work and networking.
Flexible Leases in Coworking Office Spaces
Fast-growing startups and multinational corporations share something in common: the entrepreneurial drive to save money and allocate resources to high-priority items. Coworking presents a way for companies to continue using a common space for productive and collaborative work while having the freedom and flexibility to add or remove office spaces as needed.
For startups, this low-risk commitment is crucial in the early planning stages, while for enterprises, this can be a cost-effective way of expanding to new markets and locations. Coworking offers scalability, whether for enterprises looking to expand their geographical footprint or startups looking to plant their roots.
A coworking place can even offer a convenient meeting place for a distributed workforce, across the country or even the world. If two separate teams were located in the US, they need only an Expansive membership and a chosen coworking location to meet up for monthly meetings.
Whether you are part of a major brand known across the world, or you’re responsible for the growth of a new venture, or you’re somewhere in between, Expansive Workspace can provide you with space and resources to help your business grow and thrive. Learn more on our plans page.