When most people think of coworking office space, they usually think of a large open space filled with millennials, freelancers, one-person or two-person small businesses and start-ups looking to get off the ground.
Some small business owners and corporate business executives might be a little concerned by the fact that their employees are hanging out with other businesses’ employees and holding sensitive telephone conversations just a few feet away from a potential competitor or someone looking for a new idea. Along with worrying about how employees are using their time, corporate privacy, intellectual property loss and potential security issues are some of the reasons why many corporations have been reluctant to place their team or a sub-team from utilizing coworking space.
The problem is that forward-thinking team managers see the benefits of using a coworking space for creative teams to thrive, despite the perceived risks that may or may not exist. These are the managers who have found ways to get the benefits of coworking while reducing the risks and downsides. They are setting up their own private coworking spaces and utilizing hybrid coworking that they control or have influence over.
In the private coworking scenario, corporations can take team space on or off their corporate campus to allow for more open and collaborative space for a specific team or teams. Off-campus space that is located in a serviced office space, can be very beneficial for the team – because members are not feeling that corporate is breathing down their necks at every turn. Why team space within a serviced office or office business centre? Because a team can be easily moved into a serviced office space without having to open an office from scratch. All of the infrastructure is in place and all the team needs to do is to bring their laptops and choose where the desks and work surfaces should be.
The hybrid coworking space can often be the most productive and collaborative friendly option for corporations looking to gain from the innovating coworking experience. In the hybrid coworking centre, a company sets up its own coworking centre, but invites other businesses to come work in their space as if it was a traditional coworking space. To make this coworking hybrid work, it is even more important that open office space is located away from the corporation’s main campus and there is no direct influence, implied influence or branding of that space.
So, what kind of teams should use either private or hybrid coworking office space? Teams that are testing a new concept or working on new product ideas that require little distraction or over-the-shoulder watching by “the suits” at head office. This is especially true of hybrid coworking spaces that are also populated with others who do not work for the company.
The concept of coworking is that there are no long-term commitments on leases and capital cost expenditures on furniture and office equipment. This allows teams to work short-term on a project or to test a new geographic market with minimal risk. Coworking spaces also work well as short-term project centres, especially coworking spaces that have non-company people working there that can give team members feedback, fresh perspectives and suggestions for improvement.
There is no secret that the way corporations and large companies work is far different from the management style of entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses. Putting a corporate team into an environment that is shared with those groups, can eliminate the corporate “stiffness” from the team and help improve creativity that is needed to make them the most effective and creative in finding solutions and ideas for a project.
Another reason for hybrid coworking is that some forward-thinking managers and progressive corporate types see coworking spaces as a potential opportunity for scoping out freelancers and entrepreneurial individuals who may be ideal for their next project or outsourced talent requirements.