Companies are incorporating coworking into their business strategies in two ways.
While the coworking movement has its origins among freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, it’s increasingly relevant for a broader range of people and businesses. Coworking can actually become a part of your company’s strategy, and it can help your workers – and your organization – flourish.
First, they’re being used as an alternative place for people to work. City Office has seen an increase in the use of the space by larger organizations that want to remain innovative. City Office and other coworking spaces provide companies another space to meet the customers where they are – which is extremely important in gaining an edge over their competitors. Organizations are also utilizing coworking space to allow their distributed workers space to be more productive and focused than they are in public spaces like coffee shops. Some organizations are able to attract better talent who demand flexible workplaces and hours.
Over the last decade, workplace flexibility has become an important focus of many working people — especially millennials, who are now the nation’s largest generation in the workforce, according to Pew Research. Millennials are increasingly demanding flexible work schedules to achieve a better work-life balance. Spending time away from the office at a coworking space can also spark new ideas.
Second, the lessons of coworking spaces can be applied to corporate offices. It’s important for organizations to encourage flexibility and support for their mobile workforce, but it is equally important to create the right kind of work environment inside the walls – but this doesn’t just mean creating open plan layouts or adding a coffee bar. Many companies are increasingly adopting the practice of providing seats in shared settings, used for either collaborative or quiet work.
Many companies are also trying to enable connections, and help people to interact and build community outside of work meetings – and they are looking to coworking spaces for guidance. Many coworking spaces, like City Office regularly offer networking events, training programs, social events.
Some companies are even taking it to the next level – the founders of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rich Sheridan and James Goebel, recently expanded their office space by 7,000 square feet to allow start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs to work alongside Menlo programmers to spur community and innovation.
Written by Neena Hogle, City Office – Bay City, MI 48708