Let’s face it — the growth of coworking and flexible workspace across the U.S. has been amazing, increasing, on average, by 26% each year since 2010. That’s a jump of more than 600% in just nine years! (1) And more and more, that growth is being fueled by bigger companies — “enterprise clients” — whose leaders have discovered that coworking can absolutely meet their needs, too.
One of the biggest advantages is the power coworking has to attract and retain top talent. Workers tend to love these less traditional environments because they allow them to work during times that best suit their lifestyle and project requirements. They also give people the ability to choose a work environment in which they’re most productive. And, they provide settings to interact with like-minded people, which studies have shown to boost creativity, productivity and overall job satisfaction. In fact, the prominence of coworking is one of the driving forces behind why London is now the top destination for the Generation Z workforce. (2)
The big fish have taken notice.
About three years ago, Microsoft began not just allowing — but encouraging — 30 percent of its New York City sales force to use coworking locations. They wanted infuse more of a startup “vibe” into their culture. Similar arrangements have since been set up for employees in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Portland, Ore. (3)
More recently, two other giants discovered flexible workspace can be excellent trial grounds for new ideas and products. IBM found a partner that allowed it to create an environment to test its cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) concepts and products. This included space for training and education, giving employees hands-on learning in a “safe place” to develop their skills while they worked alongside independent cognitive and data science experts. (4) Talk about smart!
Then Verizon jumped in, partnering with a New York City shared space provider to create its “Open Innovative Lab,” a coworking facility for employees AND outsiders — like start-ups and academic partners. (5) Verizon created it to test the limits and possibilities of its new 5G network, and has since added similar spaces in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge, Mass. (6)
That’s three of the 30 companies who make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, if you’re keeping track! Many other global icons like Facebook, Starbucks, Salesforce.com and Bank of America have joined their ranks, adding some type of flexible office space component to their business operations.
There’s no sign of this slowing down. A 2018 survey by CBRE — the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm — estimated that 65% of large corporations will include some type of coworking in their workspace plans by 2020. (7)
“The tightening and highly competitive labor market, the rise in gig and remote workers, and the belief that a flexible workspace environment boosts both creativity and productivity is increasingly appealing to Corporate America,” said Chief Economist Andrew Nelson and Vice President Ron Zapille, co-authors of Colliers’ 2019 U.S. Flexible Workspace Outlook Report. “Corporations are also finding coworking to be a cost-effective and flexible way to expand and contract their space as needed.” (8)
For example, some of that spatial diversity comes in the form of “surge space” for companies who need to expand or contract quickly, create “touchdown space” for traveling employees, or “incubator space” for new products and project teams. Other times, it’s ideal for offsite conversations about sensitive topics, such as mergers and acquisitions or succession planning.
Lastly, flexible workspaces have nearly twice the presence in “tech-heavy” markets like Boston, Seattle and San Francisco — making HANSA’s ramp-up in resurgent downtown Buffalo very well timed!
To learn more about how HANSA can provide the perfect solution for your growing business, drop me a line at laura@HANSAworkspace.com.
About the Author:
Laura Jimenez is the Community Manager for HANSA, set to open in April 2020 at 505 Ellicott Street in the heart of downtown Buffalo.
(1,7) “Let’s Talk About Flex: the U.S. Flexible Office Market in 2019” CBRE, Sept. 6, 2019
(2) “Coworking Spaces Help London Become No. 1 Destination for Generation Z Workers,” Global Workspace Association, Oct. 23, 2019
(3) “WeWork Will House 300 Microsoft Employees in New York City,” Fortune, November 4, 2016
(4) “IBM and Galvanize Launch New Cognitive Curriculum on IBM Cloud for Developers and Data Scientists,” IBM Newsroom, March 20, 2017
(5) “Verizon Opens 5G Incubator in the Heart of NYC’s ‘Silicon Alley,’ Announces Initial Participants,” Verizon Communications, Inc., Dec. 12, 2017
(6) “Why Fortune 500 corporations made 2017 the year of the coworking space,” NewWorker.co, Jan. 14, 2018
(8) “U.S. Flexible Workspace and Coworking 2019: Established, Expanding and Evolving” Collins International, January 2019.