When coworking spaces were just becoming popular, only startups, independent professionals and small business owners were their main clients. For a while, large companies did not use coworking spaces.
Now, in addition to their traditional offices, an increasing number of large companies are using coworking spaces or even creating some of their own. One could think of their strategy as impractical or unnecessary.
After all, why would they need coworking spaces when big companies already have innovative office spaces? There’s more than just one reason why big companies are now using coworking spaces and they know what they’re doing.
Before the end of 2019, Statista’s projection for the global count of coworking spaces is around 22,400. By 2025, the growing number is expected to reach 26,300. According to Deskmag, these are the industries that make up a huge portion of the coworkers:
- 22% IT Professionals – they make up the largest number of coworkers
- 14% PR, marketing and sales employees
- 6% Consultants
Coworking spaces provide benefits that traditional offices can’t. These benefits are impactful to the overall competitive edge of a company. Moreover, research and statistics have also shown workers’ inclination towards coworking spaces and its effect towards their productivity and well-being.
We’ll share with you 2 giant tech companies that make use of coworking spaces and their reasons for doing it. Find out why they changed their strategy and its impact to their business.
Microsoft is one of the most well-known companies in the world. Along with its reputation for providing the most used software program and being part of the Fortune 100 is the company’s efforts to provide one of a kind workplaces for their employees.
Since 2010, Microsoft has been doing experiments for a more team-centric setup to optimize collaboration. They’ve experimented by changing desk arrangements, open floor plans and modifying office hybrids.
Microsoft also designed and built unique workplace pilots. Microsoft’s drive for this movement is centered towards providing not just work that their employees love but also a place where they feel comfortable doing it.
It’s also to bridge employees together for a more effective style of work collaboration. What’s great about Microsoft is that they care for their employees.
Apart from providing excellent office spaces, Microsoft employee benefits also include caregiver leave, a 24 hour nurse line, on-site medical centres, commuter assistance and financial planning just to name a few.
According to Coworker Mag, Microsoft also makes use of coworking spaces for these reasons:
- To acquire more B2B sales with startups and businesses
- To improve the creativity of their employees by giving access to fresh new ideas
Tapping into coworking spaces is tapping into a pool of prospects. Here’s a quote from the “Power of Coworking” by Cynthia Chan, “we break down walls so that we can breakthrough in our businesses”.
IBM is an empire that provides computer software, hardware, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Much like Microsoft, IBM has also begun to use coworking spaces. Although Microsoft began their workplace design experiments since 2010, IBM was first in deploying their employees to coworking spaces since 2014 according to Coworker Mag.
Microsoft partnered with WeWork and IBM leased their coworking spaces from Galvanize. According to Techwire, one of the main reasons why the 2 giant tech companies made use of coworking spaces was to get closer to entrepreneurs.
According to Harvard Business Review, the reason why companies like Microsoft and IBM use coworking spaces is for their employees to experience the same benefits that entrepreneurs and freelancers do with coworking.
It’s more than just about being closer to business opportunities but it’s also about letting employees experience coworking benefits individually or as a team such as:
- Learning skills faster
- Being inspired
- Feeling in control
The same study also suggested that while the purpose of such corporate working spaces differ, they fall in one or more of three groups:
Other than deploying their employees in coworking spaces, part of the IBM employee benefits is allowing their employees to work from home. Workers are allowed to be flexible with the amount of hours they want to dedicate for the office.
More reasons why these 2 giants including all other large companies use coworking spaces is because it is cost-effective. These are reasons why coworking spaces are cost-effective according to TechSpace.
- There is less overhead
- Technical infrastructure
- Functional flexibility
- Coworking by the numbers
Having an office includes a lot of rates and fees aside from just rental. There are bills, licenses and other elements to maintain offices and buildings. There are also procurements such as for furniture and equipment.
By deploying employees in coworking spaces, companies can cut cost as they would then just need to pay for membership and rental. They don’t have to pay for extra bills, buy furniture and equipment, account for tax, etc.
Moreover, coworking spaces are great for the well-being of corporate employees. It can help them become happier and more engaged which leads to a boost in an organization’s productivity and sales.
According to a survey conducted by CBRE Enterprises, by 2020, 65% of enterprise companies plant to incorporate coworking into their portfolio offering. This shows just how corporate norms are evolving to keep up with the trend and to remain competitive.
It also proves the value of coworking spaces not just to freelancers and small business owners but also to large companies. We are yet to see more of how coworking spaces will change the entire business ecosystem.
A strong sign of a company’s ability to adapt is its willingness to innovate. The number of companies that use coworking spaces continue to grow.
Model from companies that use coworking spaces for the well-being of your employees, an increase in productivity and sales, to remain a competitive edge and to remain relevant.