Coworking Space: It’s Not Just for SMEs
We all know that the coworking space industry is growing rapidly. In fact, it’s expected that the number of people working from these temporary offices will increase by about 40 percent in the next few years on a global scale, with more than one million ‘coworkers’ by 2018. However, until now, the concept of the coworking space has largely been associated with SMEs and with small start up enterprises looking to save on rising office rent. The relationship between the coworking space and the larger corporation has rarely been explored. But it seems like all that is about to change, as it’s reported that more and more larger companies are beginning to see the attraction of flexible, temporary work stations.
Earlier this year, Mat Oakley of Savills presented a report demonstrating how office availability is dwindling. London’s West End, for example, today offers just 3 percent office space availability, while more than one million square feet of Westminster land has been transformed from commercial to residential space within the last 5 years alone. Many businesses – regardless of their size – are today finding it more and more challenging to locate and identify affordable, convenient office space.
Coworking spaces are ‘no longer just for SME organisations’, says Oakley. The term ‘corporate coworker’ is already entering our vocabulary as we’re seeing increasing numbers of larger businesses search for a coworking space to meet their needs. In the United States, major companies such as Sprint have even started to introduce their own coworking facilities, such as the Sprint Accelerator – a place where Sprint employees and workers in the local community can go to work, influence, motivate, network, and so on.
The reason why larger businesses are beginning to look more seriously at coworking spaces is simple – the benefits of the coworking space aren’t exclusive to SMEs and startups, they’re universal advantages that businesses of any size could benefit from in both short and long term situations. Some of the biggest benefits of coworking space, for both large and small companies, include the following:
- Ability to significantly reduce permanent office size, or remove the need for a permanent office altogether to save costs at a time when office rent is rising in many areas around the world.
- Encourage better interaction between employees and enable solid networking opportunities for those within similar industries. Chance to be inspired and motivated by like minded people.
- Access to professional meeting spaces and fully equipped conferencing facilities for both internal meetings and discussions with clients, suppliers, and potential investors.