Alternative office, workplace of the future, flexible offices – there are many synonyms for coworking. What started a few decades ago as a solution for freelancers and young startups, has now become a global trend. Currently, more than one million people worldwide work in coworking spaces, and the number continues to grow. Currently, large companies increasingly use coworking for their needs and often house entire departments consisting of hundreds of employees within coworking spaces. There is also a shift towards enterprises leveraging coworking spaces as research labs, centers of innovation, or as satellite offices. This concept has become a central part of the tech and innovation scene. So what is driving this trend, and what makes coworking so attractive for tech companies?
The reasons to be pro-coworking are manifold and cover a wide range of aspects of everyday working life. Most of the coworking spaces are characterized by their community. The exchange between members in one or more locations is actively promoted through shared spaces such as lounges and communal kitchens, as well as networking events. In addition to internal events, many coworking providers also invite external partners to events. As a result, members can quickly connect to the local ecosystem and network professionally. Through the informal exchange during a working day, new cooperations and partnerships can develop, which would otherwise not be possible.
Coworking also stands for the “The Future of Work”. In addition to networking with other companies, the unique vibe in coworking spaces promotes innovation and productivity. The design of coworking spaces is often driven to inspire and provide new ideas and creations. Product and innovation teams, of large tech companies, in particular, benefit from this and can break out of the old, traditional corporate structure and ways of thinking. The stimulating working environment is also a big plus for motivating existing employees and attracting new ones. IT and tech companies are in a perpetual “war for talent”. Finding top talent is extremely difficult. Individual factors such as the workplace and other benefits can make the decisive difference. Coworking represents a modern lifestyle that attracts millennials – the generation that will constitute more than 50% of the global workforce by 2020. Having an innovative ‘Silicon Valley’ vibe can be a top draw for this generation.
An additional, particularly attractive coworking advantage for tech companies is cost savings. Tech companies of all sizes can choose spaces to suit their needs in coworking spaces and scale their teams flexibility at any time. In contrast to a traditional office, coworking space members save 20-40% of their expenses. Memberships are often “all-inclusive packages” and, in addition to avoiding setup costs associated with traditional offices, they also include all taxes, cleaning. Internet services, coffee and snacks, printing, and other cost benefits.
The advantages of coworking for tech companies are concrete and numerous. Tech companies that have already recognized this trend and belong to the global coworking community include Microsoft, Booking.com, Samsung, Siemens, and DB, to name a few. They use the workplace of the future to be agile and productive. If your company hasn’t tried the benefits of coworking yet, you should at least consider what you’re missing.