Shared Workspaces : They’re Onto Something

WeWork creates attractive shared workspaces. The company, valued at $15 billion USD, leads the “co-working” movement. They include details in their spaces like chic interior design and craft brews (yes, both coffee and beer) that not only appeal to freelancers and startups, but also draw bigger clients who have traditionally used formal workspaces in the past. Traditional employers work side-by-side with the newer generation in the technology sector.

  • While General Electric builds new headquarters in Boston, 20 employees operate in a WeWork space nearby.
  • In Manhattan, KPMG takes nearly 75 WeWork desks, split between providing business services to startups and advising corporate clients on technological innovation.
  • Galvanize  in San Fransisco and Centrl Office in Portland, Oregon are two more co-working spaces that both rent desks to Silicon Valley Bank. Silicon Valley likes this format, because bankers work beside tech startups who then become clients. They simply open an office door and say “Hey, we need a bank account”.

So why opt for a shared workspace? Why are they so successful?

Flexibility, for starters. Companies can easily move in and out, which means the focus can shift to business expansion rather than juggling real estate operations.

And employees seem to like the shared workspaces; offices can be located strategically to facilitate meetings conveniently. People feel empowered by opting into a workspace instead of just showing up at a designated spot, and it produces a sense of community. The chic spaces even boost recruiting.

Some companies aren’t necessarily snapping up memberships, rather, they adopt principles like  simply trading assigned desks for access to a variety of shared spaces.

Read the whole story at Bloomberg News