A photo of desk spaces available at csuites, a corporate coworking space in Paya Lebar, Singapore. The photo includes several tables with black, ergonomic chairs.

Corporate Coworking: How Large and Mid-Size Companies Benefit From Coworking Spaces

When thinking of coworking, the first word that might come to mind is “startup”. While it is true that many startups and freelancers work out of coworking spaces, they are not the only ones who can benefit from these collaborative environments. In fact, corporate coworking is on the rise.

Corporate coworking comes in two main forms. Corporates are both consumers of coworking and also creators of coworking spaces.

In this first of a two-part series, we take a look at how large and mid-size companies benefit as consumers of coworking spaces.

Over the past decade, workspaces have changed dramatically. More and more individuals are looking for increased flexibility in their life as well as in their work, and the rapid developments in technology allow us to move away from the traditional workspace and the 9am-5pm routine. While the latter has been spearheaded within the coworking community, particularly with startups and freelancers, larger corporations like Google and Twitter are starting to move in on the trend, too.

Aside from comfy chairs, cool office design, and awesome snack bars, coworking is really all about independence, flexibility, and collaboration.

Here are 3 ways mid to large size companies, corporates included, can benefit from coworking:

1. Ignite collaboration and innovation

Coworking environments transform the traditional office space to facilitate partnerships and create a community of likeminded individuals where open communication is encouraged. As your employees start to socialize outside of the main company office, collaboration becomes a healthy side effect. Coworking spaces house many entrepreneurs and specialized teams, and the odds are that some of them will be in your industry. Bouncing ideas off each other and chatting in the common areas over lunch or morning coffee could lead to new business collaboration.

 2. Foster a strong company culture and disrupt group-think

While all employees need office space that is conducive for productivity, there is nothing worse than a plain white walled space to depress the working atmosphere.

When you make coworking a part of your company culture (even if only a few times a month!), you are giving your employees the chance to work in a space that is designed to foster creativity, support communication, and encourage independence of thought. You will be in good company as corporates now make up 20% of members at WeWork, says Adam Wacenske, a General Manager at WeWork. Your employees will thank you for it too, and you will eventually thank yourself too when efficient results start emerging. Don’t forget! Happy employees = productive employees.

3. Save money with “workspace as a service”

Coworking spaces aren’t just cost effective for solo-entrepreneurs renting out one desk, they can also save some costs for larger companies. The savings come when you consider all that is included in the coworking space you are renting – utilities, cleaning, maintenance, shared office tools (like printers!), reception, decor, furniture, and sometimes even extra amenities like state of the art coffee machines. As Adam Wacenske points out, “companies, regardless of size, don’t have to hire a receptionist, an IT guy, a cleaning service, a maintenance crew. This allows them to ‘focus their energy and resources on what they do best — their core business”.

Another great thing about coworking is that you don’t have to take the plunge into a long term commitment. A lot of spaces will offer packages for a set number of days each week, month, etc. This can be an efficient way of testing to see if coworking is suitable for your business. Alternatively, these packages can be part of your long term solution to increase employee morale and productivity. By offering them a set number of days a month at a coworking space, it might just feel like a work-holiday that they will surely appreciate and use to recharge their creative juices. Find out more about your coworking options here.

Like the idea but not sure how to implement? Here are a few of ways in which coworking spaces can be used:

  • a company could use a coworking space for short term contracts that they outsource to another team
  • industry-only spaces can be rented out for more specialized teams within your company that need more resources, tools, and connections outside the home office
  • A mid to large size company looking to give its employees more flexibility could buy packages for them to work out of a coworking space 10 times a month
  • a company looking to keep overhead low could have a smaller core office space for client-facing interaction and house the rest of its team in a coworking space
  • a company that primarily uses its space for operational purposes could put the non-operations team in a coworking space
  • a company that is based in one country but is adding a team in another can save money by housing its offshore team in a coworking space

For more information on coworking in Singapore, visit us here.

Quote: Adam Wacenske – Broker and Real Estate Partnerships @ WeWork. “Major companies now comprise 20% of our members”. BizJournal Article: https://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/news/2017/07/27/how-large-corporations-are-leveraging-coworking.html



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