Why Companies like Microsoft Use Coworking Spaces
The coworking movement is the latest craze in the workplace community. Coworking spaces are targeted towards freelancers, start-ups, and remote workers who want a structured office atmosphere with the vibe of your neighborhood café. By 2022, experts predict that there will be over 5.1 coworking members at more than 30,000 global coworking spaces.
Coworking is a cost effective solution for many companies wanting to relocate a few employees without renting an entire traditional office space. For the few employees, these unique office spaces require a company to only rent what they need and already have the necessary office supplies. A coworking company called CommonGroundsWorkplace offers customizable office spaces with a design team to create the ultimate coworking space. Their design services include space planning, color matching, and furniture matching to impress a company’s clients. HelloEssentials is a smaller company that took advantage of CommonGrounds Workplace services. Their headquarters is located within the CommonGrounds building which allows their employees to build relationships, collaborate on projects, and attend workshops in the creative space.
Although these spaces are more common for small companies, many large corporations are utilizing coworking spaces. According to Coworker.com, about 40% of coworking memberships are corporations. Companies like Microsoft, Spotify, and Facebook have moved into coworking spaces because of the many benefits of these flexible workplaces. In 2016, Microsoft relocated 300 of their New York City sales employees to coworking spaces in order to give the employees flexible offices. Through memberships with the popular coworking company, WeWork, Microsoft employees have access to 30 different office buildings around New York City. In return, Microsoft offers Office 365 discounts to WeWork members. The membership allows the Microsoft employees greater flexibility to meet clients in professional settings all over the city.
Start-up companies are often members of coworking offices because of their convienent locations and cost effectiveness. These spaces are usually located in high-profile metropolitan areas where independently renting an office breaks the bank. For example, Spotify began as a tech start-up at the coworking space in San Francisco owned by Rocketspace. Rocketspace offers programs to tech start ups to connect them with industry professionals and investors for development and networking meetings.
An added benefit of coworking is the community that is developed within the office. The communal office environment helps eliminate social isolation that is normally felt by freelancers. In addition to hosted social activities by owners, the open-office design increases networking and collaboration opportunities. Facebook announced recently a partnership with a coworking company called 91Springboard. As part of this partnership, Facebook Hubs will offer mentoring and development training for tech start-ups in the coworking spaces.