Corporate Coworking – any real estate professional who doesn’t embrace it will be irrelevant or gone in 3 years

best corporate coworking
Image credit Harrison Boyce http://harrisonboyce.com/photos/

Corporate Coworking – any real estate professional who doesn’t embrace it will be irrelevant or gone in 3 years.

We all drank Coke Light (NO SUGAR) or Decaf Coffee (NO CAFFEIN) before – also tried the fat free Greek yogurt (NO WEIGHT GAIN). Essentially consuming the cool thing without the BAD thing. Perfect!

Corporate Coworking is the cool thing without the bad

The cool thing without the bad thing – It’s how big brands reach the masses who collectively want to be different – and who have the money. No one wants to be boring. We all want cool, the new thing, be at the forefront of what’s going on.

It’s how small trends get commercialized into an entire industry replacing what was there before. We all crave it. And we crave it especially at work. Corporate coworking is the cool work-mode without the bad side effects of regular coworking.

3 more analogies if you are up for it: It’s the indie movie made into a blockbuster (SAFE TO WATCH), it’s the Starwood Resort at the Maroccan Beach (NOT DANGEROUS) it’s the organic ketchup (HEALTHY!) – it’s how America works and how America SELLS. [disclaimer: I have fun finding those examples]

Who is adopting corporate coworking concepts?

Everyone is doing it already. At the very least has something in the works. No one talks about it, because everyone wants to use it as competitive advantage to get the talent they don’t get because they want to work at a startup style space. Coworking is like AWS for real estate: on demand, scaleable and easy to adopt.

Reality is: there is not a single Fortune 500 company that we didn’t hear about at least considering it (most are very actively considering it).

Thinking about our own space – The real estate broker community LOVES to visit us in the large (500+ people) coworking spaces – you would think they want to meet with coworkers. Nope. They meet the operators who are much more likely to open another similar size facility faster than any of the other companies in there. Essentially corporate coworking will become the modern version of real estate management. Not ready to believe?I immediately hear our coworking friends preparing to protest  – but most people would agree that there are downsides to coworking which are essentially the strengths of corporate offices.

What corporate offices do better than coworking spaces

Here are the 5 things corporate coworking can do that coworking can’t:

  1. Culture: Larger companies want their own culture, not a watered down version multi-culti mix. We want to display sales stats or tech uptime on large 50 inch boards – that’s not public information but our employees should see it. Or you might want to have catered lunches – some random other members starting to mingle quite fast with your employees, not working in regular coworking.
  2. Infrastructure: I almost had this as first point, but culture is always first. As a matter of fact infrastructure almost always meh in coworking. No triple redundant internet, no hardwired phone lines, no interference optimized fast WiFi, etc. Larger cowork spaces do this already of course but they also have corporate companies as tenant.
  3. Meeting rooms: There are never enough meeting rooms and the way to book them is messy in coworking. Calls are done on the street, in the kitchen, on the toilet. Doesn’t work for larger companies. Need more space.
  4. Security: Companies are responsible for security of their data. That means they often need to control access to the space, video cameras and wireless passwords as well as the IT gear themselves.
So ok, that’s the bad things about coworking and why it sounds like we all want to go back to cubicles. But hey, here are the 6 good things about coworking that corporates are JEALOUS of:

What corporates are jealous of in coworking spaces

  1. Workvibe: People want to work there. It looks creative, it looks like its a buzzing office although I’m just working with 5 coworkers, there are tons of people there. Never boring!
  2. Open layout: Theres more open space to walk around or hang out in the kitchen. Normal small suite offices are depressive.
  3. Staff: There’s always a community manager I can talk to about the coffee taste or the stain on the meeting room table. In a regular satellite office, who cares about that, it would be on my own to-do list.
  4. Short term leases – Right now the office has 5 or 10 people. In 6 months maybe 20 or 100? We don’t know. That’s why we want to rent month to month. We need to be able to scale up and down like our servers on AWS.
  5. Collaborative culture: I can invite people, investors come over, potential new hires see a cool office. People want to hang out and stay. Wouldn’t happen in my old office Suite 205 which had 4,000 sqft.
  6. Availability: It’s available in EVERY CITY. Immediately. In a central location.

What will happen next?

So corporate coworking is a thing. What’s next? What does this mean for landlords, brokers, real estate management firms, coworking spaces, companies?

  • Landlords will hire coworking operators to run new pilot buildings as coworking as a service model.
  • Brokers will match Landlords with coworking operators and operators with corporate clients.
  • Real estate management firms: No one expects the CBRE’s of the world to build coworking spaces. They need credible sub-brands that people can trust not to fall back into corporate gears.
  • Coworking spaces: Coworking operators are able to charge for their insights into how their stack works, how they organize their operations and essentially how to set up and position new spaces.
  • Companies: Will orient themselves on coworking brands to find the space, quality and size they’ll need.

 

greetings from Brooklyn!

 

P.S.: If you ever want to stop by our space (it is actually the one in the header picture of this post), let us know and book a visit in our showroom! People have described it as a quite suitable space for corporate coworking. Here is a sneak peak:

corporate coworking example

 

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