Coworking has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon that is attracting some of the largest corporations in the world. The continued growth of corporate coworking has made headlines throughout the industry, as companies such as IBM, Bank of America, Salesforce, Mini, Jaguar Land Rover, Shell, and many others are partnering with WeWork and other major operators to house staff members and build their brands.
So what can you do to better position your business to attract bigger companies? This is not to say that members such as freelancers and entrepreneurs will be any less inclined to join your space, but corporate clients bring a financial backing and long term commitment that will be a major factor in your growth.
As with so many other questions in coworking, the answers begin with your location. Your location within a given market is the most important asset, and the physical location within the building immediately follows.
As we’ve noted in the past, you want to make sure you’re located near amenities such as public transportation, dining and entertainment options, or parking if that’s the most used means of getting to work daily in your city.
When specifically targeting large corporations, they may prefer a high floor with a grand view. After all, that does lend to a bit of a more high-end feel. It’s important to provide ample open space and accessibility to large conference rooms as well. We’ll touch on that in a little bit.
Keep Branding to a Minimum
Even though a corporation chose your workspace to house some (or many) of their employees, they may not want to openly associate with another brand.
Implement subtle ways to brand your space, maybe at reception, but leave the majority of the open communal spaces unbranded.
One of the qualities that corporations are seeking is unique tailored services, especially if they differentiate your space from the competition. For example, everyone will offer printing services. What if you offered 3D printing? Or what if you created a child care area? Or if you’re in a warm city, what if you offered meeting space in some sort of green outdoor space?
When corporations are looking to place large numbers of employees into a coworking space, they come with individual and unique needs. The more niches you can afford to cover, the more boxes you’ll check for large companies.
Design for Interaction
While it’s important to build community among freelancers and other individual members within your space, they aren’t necessarily required to work together on a daily basis. Corporations will absolutely need their employees to communicate and interact consistently throughout the day.
With that in mind, if your design facilitates interaction, it will be a major draw. Explore ways in which more open seating is feasible. Talk to members and see how they feel you can enhance community. Structure desk space in a way that ‘forces’ members to ‘collide’ every so often during the day. You’ll want the corporate feel in which teams don’t have to split up, but still associate with the rest of the members. Otherwise, it will just create isolation and they should have just looked at a traditional space instead.
Ample Conference Room Space
This applies to both the amount of conference or meeting rooms you provide, as well as the size of one or more of them. If you can manage to offer a 20 person meeting room, that is a huge differentiator between your space and the vast majority of competitors. Also, maximize the technology within these rooms. Soundproofing is very important, as is the proper lighting and monitor set up for video conferencing.
And keep in mind, no matter how great your space looks, layout wise and design wise, having shoddy Wi-Fi will mitigate all that. If your connection isn’t optimized, everything else about the conference rooms and open space becomes secondary.
To learn more about how Yardi Kube is the platform of choice to help drive your business into corporate coworking, please click the link below.