Australia’s coworking scene just got bigger as corporations have started to see the benefits of coworking and are slowly adopting the practice. What used to be a haven for freelancers and independent contractors is now becoming the new face of corporate employment.
The Demand Just Got Bigger
As corporations begin allocating part of their workforce into coworking spaces, the demand for these spaces has shot up. Coworking franchises in different cities are experiencing higher membership rates with some of them operating at full or almost full capacity. In the past year, the number of companies with more than 15 employees working in coworking spaces has more than doubled.
Companies would rent large coworking spaces to house whole divisions, often leaving no room for freelancers and other individuals. This has led to a proliferation of special sections of coworking spaces that differ to the standard shared office setting; whole parts of coworking spaces are cordoned and locked, often having their own IT networks and phone connections.
Even big tech giants Microsoft and Palantir rent coworking spaces at Sydney. The spaces rented by these two companies are under lock and key. Although the entry of big corporations has a negative effect on individual members, franchise owners of these coworking spaces are reaping big money. Initial investments in coworking franchises used to take two to three years to recoup, but with the greater demand for large flexible areas, return on investment rates have been cut down to less than two years.
Putting Employees First?
Corporations will always state that they have adopted the coworking practice to benefit their employees. However, you probably know that their primary reason is to lower overhead costs. By using coworking spaces, corporations can expand their operations without the inconvenience accrued from renting a bigger building or developing a standing structure. They can shift the location of their services for specific market needs or for local marketing campaigns. Though corporate employees in coworking spaces are more efficient, less stressed, and happier; these are just added bonuses. The driving force of most corporations is still cutting costs while maximizing profits.
Edging Out the Little Guys
The advent of corporate employees have pushed freelancers and independent contractors to smaller shared office spaces and even residential coworking spaces. Though a number of individual members still thrive in large coworking spaces, the number is dwindling as corporations allocate more of their employees and propose more agreeable terms to coworking brands.
Freelancers and independent contractors can still find online listings of shared office spaces, but the days when freelancers dominated the coworking scene is long gone. Thankfully, more coworking spaces are scheduled to open and even residential homes are turning into makeshift office spaces.
The face of coworking has changed drastically. Corporate employees are taking over space once ruled by freelancers and independent contractors. Coworking spaces have become a little colder and a little more restrictive. Hopefully, corporations will stop thinking about their overhead and realize that what makes coworking effective is the freedom given to its workers.