We’ve heard about companies like Microsoft and IBM allowing remote employees to work from coworking hubs. Now more big brands are forming partnerships with shared workspaces. A press release from WeWork predicted enterprise clients will grow by 360 percent over a twelve-month period ending June 2017. What is attracting these large, multinational companies to coworking?
1) Proximity to the Innovators
Coworking spaces are natural hubs for innovative new business ideas and upcoming talent. By partnering with a shared space, companies host incubators or accelerator programs. This allows the company and other promising talent connect with novel innovations to foster industry growth. Take Barclays Rise New York as an example of a multinational institution encouraging startups through a partnership with a shared workspace.
2) Monitor Trends
Technology development is accelerating in all industries. Through hosting incubators, launching shared spaces inside their existing real estate, or moving entirely into a shared space helps companies keep an eye on the latest trends. Brands see which companies might be worthy of acquisition or if new industry competition is brewing.
3) Outsourcing Infrastructure
IBM outsourced an entire WeWork building in 2017. Why? A report by Colliers International says large corporations can save up to 25 percent when partnering with shared workspaces. Partnering with a shared space means another company is responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure, growing a community, and sourcing an ideal location. Essentially, IBM is moving into a space that’s designed for flexible work without the hassle or expense of acquiring and retrofitting existing real estate or building from scratch.
4) Generate income
The communications revolution meant tech giant Verizon owned a large amount of underutilized space in its buildings. The company decided to convert the space into a coworking center, ostensibly to network and stay abreast of the latest technology developments. Don’t be fooled; converting empty space into income played an equally important role in the decision.
A study by real estate firm CBRE found that 44 percent of corporations use some form of flexible workspace, and that demand will continue to rise moving forward. We expect to hear about more partnerships with coworking service providers as corporation realize the benefits and the need grows.