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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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During most of 19th century, the performance and quality of our cities were measured by the development of conventional infrastructure; including roads, railways, bridges, industrial production and other physical facilities. During the recent decades a new trend has emerged; shifting the attention towards other factors, such as the ability of a city to provide knowledge communication and social infrastructure. Continue Reading…

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Will cannot emphasize this enough..

Coworking is not just about desks; It’s about people.

In the last couple of days, I’ve been working at Mutinerie, a coworking space in Paris, and the statement above has never been so true as in this case. Aside the warm welcome reserved to me by the “Chef Mutin” Sanya, the atmosphere you can breath here is fantastic: quiet, relaxed, and easy going.

The space is filled with the diverse range of professionals: from the developers typing code who were sitting on the right side of the ping-pong table, where I was working, to film makers, project managers, graphic designers, to the executive “suits” type :-) .

Cecile, Pascale and Helene

Cecile, Pascale and Helene

Community Lunch

I was lucky as Friday there was a “Community Lunch” taking place, prepared by Natalie and Daniel. We had a delicious tartiflette avec salade (tartiflette is a traditional french dish with potatoes, bacon, onion, cream and cheese, all backed up in the oven) plus a dessert with cinnamon flavored oranges and biscuits. As Antoine, one of the space managers, points out, it’s a spontaneous event, it’s not something planned in advance.

Natalie, the lady behind the initiative, is a former design teacher. She had to stop working after a health problem, but she’s now committed to go back on the job market, and wants to give her own career a turn. “I’m now writing design software books and manuals” she says “but I’d really love to go back and work as a designer, my first dream”.

Natalie

Natalie

Natalie chose to work in a coworking space because it’s easier for her to get along with other people rather than alone, also from a professional point of view, since she’s thrown right in the middle of the Paris freelancing scene. The other reason she chose to cowork, as she says, “It gives me a chance to provide good food to the community“.

The whole experience was awesome: almost everyone stopped working, leaving their desk and coming to the café/lounge in the near of the space, sharing the meal with the community.

During the lunch I had a talk with Antoine.

Antoine

Antoine

“The best thing you can find here is the people. It amazes me each time. There’s no day that pass without somebody starting a new partnership with someone else. It may be just some design collaboration, a logo in exchange of some help with PR, but it’s always wonderful to see people helping each other

~ Antoine – Mutin Palabreur at Mutinerie Coworking Space

As he points out, every community in early stages needs a place, a center to converge to, but after the seeds are planted, the place itself doesn’t make any difference.

It’s all about culture” says Antoine “we could well move or expand in another part of the city, but the culture we’ve created it’s going to move with us. That’s our most solid foundation, our cornerstone“.

The experience at the Mutinerie was awesome. If you’re passing by Paris and need an internet connection, a desk and some nice people, this spot definitely worth a try. Just thought I’d share my experience here.

Do you have a great coworking story to share? Drop me a line and tell us about it: cassi@sharedesk.net

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RocketSpace, a San Francisco based accelerator for technology and new media startups currently hosts over 120 companies in its Four-story offices in SOMA, San Francisco.

RocketSpace was launched in early 2011 by technology exec Duncan Logan, who was frustrated by his search for flexible office space at the time. In less than two years RocketSpace has blown up to be one of the hottest platforms for tech entrepreneurs who want to access a space that provides much more than just a desk and great coffee.

We connected with RocketSpace Founder and CEO Duncan Logan to hear how he turned a bootstrapped coworking space into a ‘Hit Factory‘ for tech startups. Here is the interview in its entirety: Continue Reading…

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Welcome to the second episode of the Bootstrapping Coworking series.

Today we’ll have a talk with Swantje Wendt, owner of Nadelwald Co-Sewing space, one of the most original coworking spaces in Berlin.

Launched almost one year ago (if you are reading us from Berlin, be sure to not to miss the birthday party on September 22nd) Nadelwald is a wonderfully furnished facility in the Neukölln neighbourhood which allows people to rent sewing machine equipped desks.

Originally thought as a spot for fashion designers, it’s now become a place where DIY lovers come to learn how to produce their own clothes and accessories.

To put it in Swantje’s words:

no more shopping guys — Let’s do something by your own.

Continue Reading…

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Welcome to the brand new “Bootstrapping Coworking” series.

Here we want to share the knowledge and the direct experiences of those that succeedingly launched a coworking space: from the idea inception to the final opening and subsequent promotion, we’ll try to cover every stage of the process.

For the first episode, we had a talk with Alessandro Di Tecco, an Italian UI designer.

In April 2012 Alessandro launched The Collective, a stylish coworking space in Verona, one of the most beautiful town in northern Italy (UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Continue Reading…

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Did you know that giving away the stuff to you neighbors is cool, and it can positively affect the entire community you live in?

Two weeks ago we talked a little bit about the CoSume Project, a collaborative marketplace where you can share, borrow and buy stuff with your friends.

In the meanwhile I’ve tried out another cool Collaborative Consumption application, called NeighborGoods, which allows you to share and look for stuff in your neighborhood. Continue Reading…

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The Sharing Economy is rising, and it’s considered to be the “next big thing” in the economical world.

Many applications and platforms are already trying to tackle the needs of the new “collaborative consumption” movement, such as ZipCar, Side.cr or Zaarly. Continue Reading…

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We have all read that working in a Coworking space will improve your personal productivity: the enviroment keeps you focused, without all the distractions that drags your attention away when you work from home.

But a Coworking space could even maximize your business opportunities as well.

A good example are Brad and Slava, from Gotham Bicycle Defense: their product, a theft-resistant bike light, was completely developed in a coworking space from Boston, from design to early prototyping.

As they say the Cambridge Coworking Center (c3) was more than just a workplace, it has infact been a true launchpad for their creation. Continue Reading…

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If you are thinking about coworking in Turin, you’d probably like to stop by Toolbox, one of the coolest coworking spaces in town.

And starting from today, you will have one more reason to do so, infact not only Toolbox is opening a brand new open space area associated with a flex desk plan which only costs 100€ a month, but today is launch day for “FabLab Torino”. Continue Reading…

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