How are large organizations using coworking?

Freelancers and solo entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones running to rent a desk or workspace at the latest coworking spot.  Large corporations like IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft are adding to the growing demand for coworking spaces, an industry that is projected to grow to over 30,000 spaces by the year 2022.  That’s a growth of about 16%!  

Is this just another trend to appeal to the growing millennial workforce? Or is it really a viable alternative for large companies looking to expand to new cities and stay connected with innovators?  Here are just some of the ways large organizations can incorporate coworking into their overall strategy.

Flexibility and Productivity for Employees

The competition for talent is fierce. With a strong economy and a low unemployment rate, the more perks you can offer your employees the better! Is the commute horrendous in your area? Are employees asking for flexible work locations that don’t involve their own home?  Flexible schedules, as well as flexible locations, can mean less time on the road for your superstars and more time adding value to your company. Who doesn’t want that? It’s definitely an easy win for your employee benefits package!

Coworking provides opportunities to employ individuals beyond the reach of your headquarters or existing satellite offices. They eliminate the need to relocate or even lose key talent due to geography.  Want to attract that engineer in Houston, but they don’t want to move to Austin? Coworking to the rescue! All they need is a workspace, a laptop and a cup of coffee and they can be a part of your team! And in addition to the easy setup, you’re also putting them into a community setting, avoiding that feeling of isolation associated with remote employees.

Coworking also gives large organizations more options to take their meetings off-campus.  This simple change of scenery can spark a new level of creativity missing from meetings held in the conference room down the hall.

Cost Effective for Expansion

Don’t be fooled by the trendy set up, the espresso machine or even the vibe of the place, coworking is not only good for flexible schedules. It is also good for the overall costs of running your business. According to 20 years of data from Instant Office, an organization focus on finding clients flexible working spaces, coworking can save businesses up to 73% in overhead costs.

Typically, expansion into a new city called for massive overhead initial investment including rent, additional staff, and furniture just so a handful of employees could have a place to work.  Coworking spaces eliminate all of that-- saving you both time and resources. No more waiting to sign a lease. No more looking for furniture. No more hiring someone to manage the office. Just have your new employee sign their offer letter, plug in and go.  

Coworking space also gives large organizations flexibility to respond to trends.  In this age of collaboration, mergers, and partnerships, a large corporation needs to respond quickly and adjust to the growing demand of the industry. Potential partnership in Portland with a startup? Bring your team there and collaborate with the innovators on the ground.   This is how corporate giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Verizon are gaining access to the brightest minds in the field.

Proximity to Innovative Spirit

One of the biggest perks of coworking is the type of crowd it attracts. While entrepreneurs and startups are the usual customers, employees of a large corporation can find themselves sharing a cup of coffee with the inventor of the next “it” software! How is that relevant to your organization? Well, that innovative, no stopping us, go get ‘em attitude often associated with startups can inject some much-needed energy into your large organization.  Which, let’s be honest, can sometimes be lacking as organizations get bigger.

On top of that, the openness of coworking spaces screams collaboration -- encouraging conversations and creativity that can lead to the next big thing for your business. And that’s always good for your bottom line.