If you work in a corporate environment as the owner or manager, you may not think you can participate in Charlotte’s vibrant coworking scene. It’s true that coworking spaces began as hubs for remote workers, startups, and digital nomads. In the last few years, however, a growing number of corporations have found their home in coworking spaces.
If you already have a corporate office, a coworking space can provide a welcome change of scenery or a more convenient location for your employees, especially if your employees can work with some autonomy. Some companies are eschewing the corporate campus altogether in favor of using coworking spaces. Maybe you’re looking to save money, reset your company culture, or be more accommodating to your employees. Even if you are just tentatively interested, it’s good to know the facts about coworking and your corporation. If your circumstances change, you’ll be prepared to make the best decision for your company.
What are the benefits of coworking for a corporation?
First and foremost, shared office spaces can save your corporation money. If your company has its own large office, you are probably paying an arm and a leg for the overhead costs of running it. On top of rent, furniture, electric, maintenance and other variable costs can really add up. Coworking memberships cover everything under one flat fee. There are no surprises for updating your internet or cranking up the AC in July. In a coworking space, you also aren’t paying per square foot for amenities your employees don’t use all the time, like a large conference room or cafe area.
Most corporate office spaces also require long-term leases, sometimes longer than you can foresee for your budget and growth. Coworking spaces offer flexibility with short-term leases. As your company evolves, you may find you have different needs in terms of space and amenities, and being handcuffed to a corporate campus will only weigh you down.
Saving money isn’t the only benefit, though. It’s easy for large companies to fall out of touch on isolated campuses. In contrast, coworking spaces are professional melting pots. New faces bring news and ideas from all corners of the entrepreneurial community. In a shared space, your corporation can stay updated on your community. You won’t lag behind in innovation or miss out on new opportunities (hello, SWOT analysis). You can also help your company by helping others. Coworking spaces are full of young, green entrepreneurs who could greatly benefit from your corporation’s knowledge and experience. The most successful companies aren’t just making money, they’re involved in their communities and influence the city’s culture. Growing goodwill with the up-and-comers can boost your success in the long run.
A final benefit won’t be found in your bottom line, but is just as important: employee happiness. Workplace expectations are changing, especially as millennials overtake the market. Offering your team the option of working in a coworking space, either part-time or full-time, can rejuvenate your company culture. Empowering your employees to work autonomously has been shown to boost productivity and employee retention. Even if your corporation can’t make the switch to full-time coworking, give your employees the option to switch it up a few days a week. The laid-back, startup vibe of a coworking space may spark new passion and ideas in even the most jaded corporate employee.
How would my corporation use a coworking space?
Most coworking spaces offer a variety of membership levels. Private offices, dedicated desks, and floating, or “hot desk” memberships are all options to consider. If you have a team that has to work closely together throughout the day, or handles sensitive information, a private office may be the best option.
For more independent roles, a cluster of dedicated desks in a collaborative area would be a good fit. That will allow them to meet and integrate with other members of the space, while still being a cohesive unit within your company. A hot desk membership would be great for an employee that travels often or is otherwise away from the office. The best hot desk candidate is already mobile in their work, not bogged down with multiple monitors or too much paper.
If you have remote workers in different cities, a coworking membership can give them access to the technology (like smart TVs ready for video conferencing) and community they may be missing out on as remotes. Your employees may be spread out across a space- at their own desk, typing away on a couch, or even in another state- but you can reconvene when you need to in a tech-optimized conference room.
Ready for a change?
Here at The Launch Factory, we have everything from one-person startups to employees of large, national corporations. Even if you already have a corporate office, or aren’t sure how your company can benefit from coworking, it’s worth looking into all your options. Sometimes your employees and business just need a refresh. The innovative, high-energy environment of a coworking space could be just what you need. Your team (and your finance department) will thank you!
Now through January 31st, 2018, we’re offering one month of free when you sign up for a year of coworking or a dedicated desk membership. Come in for a tour and see what we’re about at The Launch Factory Charlotte!