FOUR MODELS OF CO-WORKING | CO-WORKING SPACES
There are a number of examples where companies have successfully employed coworking. Four core models are emerging which can be applied by organisations seeking to exploit the benefits of coworking. These are
- Internal Collaboration (Internal coworking space for employees only)
- Coworking Memberships (External coworking memberships for employees)
- External Coworking Space (Collaboration space for employees shared with external organisations/ individuals in an external coworking environment)
- Internal Coworking Space (Internal coworking space open to external organisations/individuals)
1. Internal collaboration
An internal innovation hub is typically created exclusively for employees within a company’s own office, providing flexible, creative space to suit a variety of work settings. Internal coworking spaces are set up by organisations seeking to improve collaboration and knowledge sharing, encourage innovative thinking, and inspire a cultural shift. This model also enables companies to signal to the new generation of employees that they are open to more flexible forms of working.
2. Co-working memberships
Another option for companies seeking flexibility and ease of implementation is to purchase memberships in external coworking spaces. This allows companies to offer a variety of locations to their employees and accommodate any temporary increases in workforce. External memberships also provide a range of work settings and help companies to tap into new networks and keep a pulse on market developments without any costly modifications to their existing real estate and potential disruption to the wider company culture.
SPACES, the Netherlands, UK, US & Australia Coworking Memberships
Spaces is a coworking provider offering office space, memberships, and meeting rooms. Spaces was founded in the Netherlands and currently also operates in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, London, New York, Melbourne, and Sydney. The way people work is changing. Employees travel more; they want more flexibility; and are looking for space where they can comfortably work and socialise. Companies are looking for efficient, productive, and connected environments. Spaces is like a “work club”, where you can pop in to work, hold a meeting, connect with people, or just enjoy a coffee. Spaces’ clients include a range of organisations–financial institutions, ICT companies and legal advisors; established tech companies like Facebook and Uber as well as smaller operators.
Key benefits of coworking
• Staff attraction and retention
• Proximity to entrepreneurs and SMEs
• Wide range of options–from individual memberships to designed private offices which can preserve brand identity
• Access to shared facilities and desirable locations.
Potential challenges of coworking
• Managing a cultural change
• Possible tension between staff if not all employees have an opportunity to use coworking spaces
• Security concerns; although this challenge can be easily overcome
• Aversion to change by leadership
3. External co-working space
Another option for organisations that wish to experiment with collaborative space is to work alongside a specialist provider to create a dedicated or ring-fenced external coworking area. This model results in minimal disruption to the existing space and allows companies to test coworking with specific areas of the business before introducing more widespread change. It provides all the benefits of internal and external innovation and is associated with a lower risk of disruption
4. Internal coworking space
Companies create internal co-working space open to entrepreneurs and start-ups, often for free. Start-ups are usually selected via an application or interview process, but in return are provided with mentoring services. Building relationships in this way can help mature companies secure access to breakthrough technology or ideas at an early stage, while maintaining control over the space.