Archives For Sharing Economy & CollCons

We’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the implications of mobile workplace solutions on people, businesses, and the commercial real estate industry. We have met with many stakeholders- including enterprise companies, employees, freelancers and telecommuters, and commercial real estate firms- all offering their insights and experiences that related to trends in workplace mobility which helped us solidify our vision for the future of work. With ShareDesk Optix we aim to deliver an integrated approach to delivering workplace solutions to enterprise companies. In the previous blog we briefly talked about these high-level trends (excerpt below). In this post we’d like to define some of these stakeholders along with high-level implications- we’ll explore them in more detail in future posts.

“Over the last decade, technological advancements have minimized the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional, fixed, office setting. At the heart of this change is the ubiquity of high-speed Internet access, mobile technologies and cloud-based collaboration tools. This is changing the nature of employee relationships and requires better technologies to create effective collaborations.”

Let’s take a look at how companies are managing their commercial offices today.  Keep in mind that the typical workplace utilization rate of a corporate desk or workspace is less than 50%, and to this day many employees sit in an office surrounded by empty cubicles, and experience the limitations of a fixed workplace. We should ask a simple question; isn’t real estate supposed to be an asset, an enabler of the business? Why has commercial office space, typically the 2nd highest operational expense on most companies’ balance sheets, become such a liability? Adding to the dilemma of underutilized space is the growing contingent of mobile workers, more companies leveraging project-based talent, and the globalization of business. This means that employees spend less time in fixed office cubicles, and more time with clients, and business partners in the field. They are connecting and collaborating with their colleagues where it is most suitable.

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Enterprise employees and mobile professionals have been tapping the benefits of mobile work most notably over the past decade- and today, almost 80% of US employees indicate a preference more flexible workplace options. Corporate executives have been measuring the implications of this shift and gained better understanding of the benefits of workplace mobility. What they’re seeing is that adopting a mobile workplace strategy benefits employees first, providing them with more control and flexibility and allowing them to be more productive with their time. They are seeing how employee satisfaction correlates with increased output and cost savings for the business.

Regardless of where an employee is located, the work they produce is what is most important not the office they work in; they are knowledge-based workers, not location-specific workers. So how are executives and managers thinking about facilitating environments that will enable their professionals to produce their best work? By providing the tools and resources required to allow the employees work where they need to, and where they are most productive. The best workplace is then one that revolves around the employee, and one that allows the employee to be agile and connected.

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Approximately 62% of companies have already adopted workplace mobility solutions with the bulk of the investment to come in the next twelve to twenty four months. This provides more flexibility for employees, around their schedules- whether it is scheduling a meeting with colleagues in their own company’s office facility or booking a conference room for a client meeting at a meeting facility, business center, or a coworking space nearby. Having the ability to connect and collaborate with colleagues flexibly and work-life balance. 

Corporate executives have seen that allowing employees the flexibility to work where they want does just that and allows businesses to realize significant savings as well. Companies like IBM, Best Buy, British Telecom, and Dow Chemical have seen teleworking and flexible workplace solutions leading to their employees being 35-40% more productive. Telus, a national Canadian telecommunications company is providing flexible workplace options to 30% of its 40,000 plus employees. IBM realized real estate costs of $50 million through implementing a mobile workplace strategy for over 100,000 employees.

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With ShareDesk Optix, enterprise companies will now have an integrated approach to tapping into the benefits of flexible work solutions. They are able to design and implement flexible work solutions and access over 1,500 locations around the world, and also access the tools to manage a mobile workplace strategy. Meaning more flexibility and productivity, and  more efficient utilization of companies’ commercial offices.

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Sharing, trading and barter are the backbones of commerce and although it’s hard to imagine, the idea of money as the only medium for transferring value is a rather new concept. The resurgence of these trends in the exchange of goods and services should come as no surprise then, the only difference being that we now call it something different, collaborative consumption.

The Internet has turned the world into a bazaar, where we can convert our excess capacity into cash on virtually everything we own, from old power tools to office space. We recently shared a video with some of the hard numbers in the sharing economy, such as:

  • Most of us have about $3,000 worth of unused items in our homes
  • 70% of people surveyed said they would rent out those items if they knew how
  • 4 out 10 say they would like to start their own business

 

Affordable office space is the first step in helping those kids, or entrepreneurs-to-be, start up their companies. At ShareDesk, we make it easy for companies to rent out their idle workspaces to mobile professionals. You can advertise your underused real estate or access a network of over 1,400 collaborative workplaces in 65 countries.

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If you are wondering why you would want to share something as private as a workspace, here are a few convincing financial incentives:

1. Lower expenses for mobile professionals – Real estate and hardware are often the largest expense items in a startup’s launch budget. Sharing office space means you could land your first client before signing your first office lease and that makes everyone, from the landlord to the investors, much more secure.

2. Professional environment for entrepreneurs – Many entrepreneurs end up doing their pre-launch work from home and in public spaces like coffee shops. A professional environment is much more efficient for getting your work done without distractions while it offers all the resources you need at your disposal.

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3. The incalculable boon of conversation – Analysts point to the aspect of networking in business incubators as one of their most powerful features. A gathering of people facing the same challenges and working in close contact is a recipe for brainstorming innovation. Many of those who have tried office sharing find that it operates like a mini-incubator, bringing you in close contact with other entrepreneurs in your area. Even if they aren’t in your industry, the networking effect has substantial and measurable practical value.

4. Culture – Perhaps the most significant effect of sharing office space is joining a culture that revolves around people and experiences. Working in flexible workplaces allows you to work in places where you find the best cultural fit. You can look beyond the physical characteristics of a workplace, and join a workplace based on industry relevance and cultural fit. It also opens a window for you to see how much your own unused capacity is worth as a new revenue source, such as renting out part of your apartment to Airbnb or helping people in your community with tasks and errands on TaskRabbit. This allows you to be part of a community of likeminded people, that connect and share and embark on new experiences.

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One thing is for certain, as more people take part in the sharing economy, the benefits will become clearer, and we will see ‘sharing’ as a powerful social and economic force. We are living in a different world now. We are connected more than ever thanks to mobile devices, and internet connectivity. You can exchange ideas, assets, and resources quickly, and at lower costs. On the same note, where we work makes a big difference on our productivity and lifestyle. We believe that the is a better way to work, a way that is more flexible and focused on the individual. We want to make work a better experience people by opening access to collaborative workplaces.

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The 2nd Global Sharing Day is taking place on June 2, 2013. This year’s theme will be food! Yes, food! There is way too much food being wasted every single day, while at the same time hundreds of millions of people do not have access to an adequate supply of food. We need a solution, a collective action to help make a positive impact and change to reduce waste and share food.

The 2012 Global Sharing Day reached more than 60 million people in over 147 countries around the world. This year’s projection looks even better as the organizers of the event partnered up with change-makers; The Big Lunch, MealSharing and StreetPin, along with an additional 184 partners to “bring you the BIGGEST sharing event yet”.

 

Do you want to take part? Here are some useful links:

If you are interested in joining the event here are some useful links you can check out:

More information on last year’s event:

Here’s a video from the past Global Sharing Day: Benita Matofska speaking at the Global Sharing Day Parliamentary reception on 14th November 2012

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Some weeks ago we talked about how coworking was making our cities smarter. On the same degree, I think that the whole Collaborative Consumption movement will make the way we produce things much smarter than it currently is. Continue Reading…

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Here’s an awesome video with some facts and numbers about the Sharing Economy.

Some of them are astonishing:

There are 1 billion cars in the world, and 740 milions of them is occupied by just 1 person.

Our houses are filled with $3000 worth of unused items on average: unsurprisingly 69% of the owners would share these items if they could make money out of it.

But most important, 8 out of 10 people says that:

“Sharing make us more happy!”

Continue Reading…

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On Nov. 14th 2012, a series of global events is taking place to celebrate one of the most awesome human behaviour: Sharing!

Launched by by the People Who Share, the Global Sharing Day (#globalsharingday) is a ensemble of local events, organized in hundreds of cities worldwide and involving thousands of people and organization.

Here’s an overview of some interesting activities you can do on that day. Feel free to add your event in the comment below the post :-) Continue Reading…

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