Large companies from those serving in information technology, banking, financial services and insurance companies are increasingly opting for coworking spaces to cope with rising rentals in prime property markets across Nairobi and other major cities as well as tap into many other advantages that come with adopting the coworking culture.
Companies, like LC Waikiki, world’s leading fashion retail company and Carlsberg, world’s leading brewer Liquid Telecom, are great examples locally that have opted for different packages that come with joining the co-working spaces as they form part of the Nairobi Garage Business Network.
Other companies like Google opt to have co-working spaces within their premises Google’s Isreal campus is co-working integrated with real office space, with seven out of eight floors housing staff members, while the remaining floor is dedicated to ‘Campus Tel Aviv’, a dedicated hub for entrepreneurs and developers.
Others opt to partner with existing coworking spaces for example in 2017, IBM partnered with We Work the partnership saw over 600 employees of IBM moved to a 10-story building, which will become IBM’s corporate office in New York.
But what exactly could be driving this new trend? Why are larger companies opting for coworking spaces as opposed to following the traditional office space trend?
One reason that is driving this trend is that Coworking offers these organizations a chance to carry-out recruitment and employee retention processes, particularly for millennials who value a different work/life balance than may be offered at corporate HQ.
Another reason for big companies is in putting employees into the entrepreneurial atmosphere of coworking spaces. This helps them spurs innovation through the great networks they create with the different start-ups or organizations they tend to interact with daily in the space.
With an increasing number of companies looking to move base and set up more regional offices, investing in a new property or committing to a lock-in period is not a feasible option. For these companies, working from a co-working space is a ready-made solution.
Another reason could be that coworking helps with B2B Sales. Some corporates have great offerings tailor made for start-ups. And as any good salesperson knows, one of the best ways to get clients is to have in-person conversations with potential leads. Coworking spaces offer just that opportunity for sales people of corporates within the spaces. The corporations that reach out when the startups are still small possess a distinct advantage.
Another reason could be that larger corporate are moving to co-working places to connect with start-ups. Let’s face it, startups can scale very quickly these days and therefore there is a need for these corporates to be there from the beginning.”
In conclusion, we can’t predict the future, but one that thing that seems certain is that the coworking movement is only just getting started. Its spirit of innovation, cross-seeding of ideas, and community involvement is so infectious that everybody wants a taste.