Coworking and collaborative spaces used to be the stuff of startups but that reputation is quickly changing. More and more, we hear of large corporations signing onto coworking space as an add-on to their existing dedicated offices. So what exactly is going on here? Who are the people occupying shared space? and what does added collaboration this mean for the startup ecosystem?
STARTUPS & ENTREPRENEURS
Firstly, a special round of applause is due for all of the brave new startups out there seeking a foothold in industries dominated by large corporations! We often see these business at Campfire because, especially in their nascent stages, they require a workspace that doesn’t compromise their liquidity. Flexible monthly leases enable small companies to be more versatile with their finances to avoid being rent burdened. It also means mean that startups can have more freedom to adjust their workspace as needed. They can grow their space when they grow their team without too many incidental costs (such as large lease break fees or rent loss compensation for year long leases because they need to relocate to a bigger or smaller space).
Additionally, they can enjoy the benefit of high quality communal resources such as meeting rooms, breakout areas, and the network of community members. Ultimately, coworking spaces are empowering more startups to start up by lowering opportunity cost and offering flexibility that traditional office space leasing doesn’t offer.
So what do large corporations gain from occupying coworking space? More and more, corporations are starting to see the benefits of joining a coworking space. Just like in the case of startups, coworking spaces lower business opportunity costs. For large corporations, this arrangement allows them set up remote offices more easily, as well as test out new markets without establishing a full blown office there. This also enables them to tap in to a larger talent pool and facilitates the management of a remote team.
Beyond costs, another added benefit of occupying a collaborative space is access to the startup ecosystem. By working side by side with startups, large corporations can have a more intimate relationship with up and coming startups. Corporations can tap into promising startups earlier by tapping into their pulse even at nascent stages. Many companies now leverage the communities at coworking spaces to set their sites on future collaborators. Really and truly, collaborative spaces are physical places to facilitate these kinds of connections.
NGOS & CHARITABLE ORGANISATIONS
Non-governmental organisations are a special subset of the coworking demographic. For the most part, NGOs need to be pretty large before they commit to securing their own private offices. For this type of organisation, operations are typically run in alternative spaces such as: community centres, schools, living rooms or other creative alternatives. Coworking spaces have provided a middle ground between these arrangements and making a financial commitment to an offices space. Very quietly, collaborative spaces have supported the growth of community builders while building communities themselves.
NGOs and charitable organisations can benefit from conscious businesses that converge in coworking spaces through mutually beneficial partnerships. These organisations can offer companies in the coworking ecosystem a convenient way to contribute community service. Additionally they can a unique perspective on a demographics that generally get less attention. The emergence of collaborative spaces has increased the possible operating venues for NGOs and charitable organisations which have enabled added exposure and once again – facilitated fruitful collaborations for everyone involved.
The popularity of collaborative spaces is certainly trending upward and the reasons are clear. They are enabling people and business to do more with each other. Furthermore, they are breaking barriers between organisation types and industries! By providing a physical space for collaborative relationships to form and develop, they’ve also inspired a new paradigm of possibilities for collaboration. It’s clear that these spaces have actively contributed to shaping companies to become better embedded in their local communities, to be more in tune with developments in the startup world in a more personal way, and brought about new partnerships that are novel and innovative.