7 Types of Co-working Concepts for Corporates to Adopt

7 Types of Co-working Concepts for Corporates to Adopt

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Recently, Maite Moreno Bosch, CEO of consultancy firm Monday Happy Monday, studied how coworking principles are applicable to companies and their needs. Various companies have already implemented the coworking model with unique objectives, resulting in a range of concepts other companies may follow.


Spaces operate on a membership model with independent professionals and other entrepreneurs at work in the same physical space in the Traditional Coworking Model. Such is many of our offerings at Workwander (though we turned the membership element into something far more ad hoc and instant for everyday consumers).

This was adopted by Plantronics, an American electronics company producing audio communications equipment. When Plantronics redesigned its headquarters in Santa Cruz, California, one third of its 500 company employees could choose working everyday form home, going to the headquarters or joining one of three company selected coworking spaces.


The Business to Business model, also referred to as the 'Sharing without Relationship' model, occurs when two or more unrelated companies (that are also not in competition with each other) share the same space, such as 'GRid70' in central Michigan.

There, residents and employees from different corporations share trade secrets and forecast trends allowed by open door policy. For example, Steelcase gave advice to Wolverine (both corporations in the space) on controlling odours, and received research data by Amway about the emerging Indian middle class.


In the Friendly Corporations Model, two or more companies with relationships as partners or customers share the same space as a parent company. An example is AT&T, an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, when they recently launched three innovation centres. The centres provide a collaborative environment where AT&T and other technology providers may team up with developers to bring new services to customers.


Companies launch their own spaces and invite non-employees to work in these spaces in the Startup Model, also known as the Public-Private. One such example is Zappos, an American online shoes and fashion retailer. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, invested 350 million dollars for 'The Down Town Project', building a vibrant urban centre that mobilises the local Las Vegas community. The project inspired people from within and outside Las Vegas to live and work together to create value.

"Zappos is trying to build a whole community, a mini-city for encouraging people to live, work, and play, and everyone in the office area. The surrounding community is the campus itself. This is an idea that most companies can explore," Hsieh explains.


In the Private Model, companies open private coworking spaces solely for their employees to use., such as Coca-Cola's private space. This was opened to an initially reluctant employee base who were slow to embrace this concept as they were used to having fixed offices and working in silos. However, these employees quickly began to realise that corporate coworking was helping them understand events beyond the world of their brand, later becoming more creative and engaged.

This case demonstrates how even when companies are ready to experiment with new ways of working, cultural change is necessary and the coworking model proves able to contribute to such changes!


The perfect example for the Sponsorship model is the Google Campus London, which is when a company actively sponsors a coworking space. There, Google employees do not actually work but attend to capture ideas through events that are held there whilst serving as volunteer mentors to coworkers. Two of seven floors in the Google Campus London is reserved for coworking facilities.

"For companies looking to acquire a lot of talent, something like this is perfect," says Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub, a tenant of the coworking space.


The last of the seven categories is the Virtual model, a concept designed by Drew Jones, the author of 'The Fifth Age of Work', and David Walker. Nomatik, one such virtual model, connects teleworkers-employees and companies through a virutal platform. Nomatik aims to extend the coworking experience beyond the walls of a single coworking space.

The founders believe that coworking spaces are the future of work and every workspace around the world will greatly benefit from adopting the flow, the design, and culture of the coworking movement.


While 'types' is the term used in this article, 'phases' would be more apt — phases in the same process of opening businesses up, inside outwards and vice versa. Different companies benefit from adopting different coworking concept to achieve their ultimate corporate goals, but the consensus is the benefits provided by it!

Article adapted from Out of the Office - Love Where You Work! by Carlos Goncalves

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