12 years ago, we set out on a mission to pioneer creative, collaborative workspaces for entrepreneurs, independents, startups, and mid- to large-sized companies in the Twin Cities. Providing amenity-rich, flexible, scalable workplace solutions to members and member companies has been the cornerstone of our business and key to the success of our community.
What has changed?
Not our mission. In fact, what we do, why we do it, how… these remain largely unchanged. However, demand has shifted significantly towards companies who want to elevate their hybrid work cultures with low-risk, high-value products and services designed to meet the increasingly diverse needs of employees. And to do so without having to sacrifice 15% of their bottom line with office overhead.
With ⅓ of employees wanting to work remotely full-time, ⅓ preferring the office and the remaining demanding a hybrid solution, companies are in a difficult position. And many leaders have been languishing with these decisions because of the ongoing uncertainty of our economy. Way too often, companies declare they are hybrid, introduce the technology, but devote no meaningful time to designing the employee experience.
A well-designed hybrid work solution factors in culture, values, work preferences, and the important role in-person engagement (even if only occasional) has in driving retention, professional development, innovation, and business planning.
Since our beginning, the “co” in “coworking” reflects collaboration, colocation, connections, and cooperation. Coworking remains a critical solution for helping organizations grow and scale by enabling them to create productive, adaptable and affordable workplaces. The biggest shift lately is the move larger companies are making away from traditional office leases to coworking companies with built-in, all-inclusive, and on-demand services that would cost too much to replicate on their own.
The traditional HQ office lease may be dying a slow death as organizations are reluctant to absorb the risk associated with long lease terms, uncertain market conditions, partially or wholly empty spaces and shifting work preferences.
In 2023, coworking will provide the same benefits as in years past, but to organizations that may not have previously understood the opportunities provided to them by companies like Coco.
Let’s look at a very common scenario…
Test Company, a hybrid company, just launched its state-of-the-art office in Minneapolis. For the past two years, employees have worked entirely online. Now, those who are local, are required to come into the office at least one day per week. They can choose the day, and don’t have to be there all day.
When they get to the office, there may or may not be colleagues onsite from their team and they spend the entire day on Zoom. They increasingly don’t see the value of being onsite and resent the commute and lost productivity (remember when employers used to worry about productivity??). Welcome to the unfortunately, very typical, hybrid work culture.
What about costs? The build out cost for Test Company’s new space was in excess of $500K and they are locked into a 15 year lease at $12,500 per month. This, of course, does not include any costs associated with parking, coffee, printing, and the long list of amenities today’s onsite employee expects to find any value in commuting to an office.
Here’s how that scenario would play out at Coco:
Test Company, a hybrid company, just announced that it would host all in-person work activities at the downtown Minneapolis location of Coco, on the historic trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange Building. Local employees have the option to cowork 24/7 and are required to participate in all-in days, company meetings, and professional development events.
When they get to the office, there may or may not be colleagues onsite from their team, but they have the benefit of a community of like-minded professionals from many other organizations. Networking is less intentional and much more serendipitous. Community extends far beyond the confinements of online engagements and connections become more meaningful.
Employees design their day by taking advantage of coworking spaces when they are not in meetings, and of their private office or meeting room access when they need to focus or gather with others. They impress clients and interviewees in high-end spaces with bean to cup specialty coffee, snacks, and comfortable seating that they don’t have to clean or maintain.
On-demand meeting spaces are also available for 1:1s, strategic planning, training, and team-building. Holiday parties, chili cook-offs and employee celebrations are not only easily facilitated at Coco, they are hosted in some of the most inspiring spaces imaginable.
What about costs?
There were no build out expenses for Test Company and in fact, they were given design credits to tailor their dedicated spaces to their specifications. They have a one-year contract with Coco and if needed, they have the option to scale dedicated spaces and coworking memberships up as demand increases. Monthly costs may vary as Test Company is charged a base membership rate, which scales with the number of employees.
In 2023, our mission remains the same but our coworking products will evolve to meet the increased demand from larger companies. Here are a couple of examples:
Hybrid Team Access
A custom package designed to supplement and elevate hybrid work cultures with turnkey solutions to accommodate employees with multiple work preferences. Team Access can provide a company with many combinations of private office space, meeting rooms, coworking memberships, and events.
See for yourself – here’s an example of a Team Access membership proposal. Team Access memberships are tailored to the anticipated needs of each company.
Think Timeshare but without the shady long-term contracts and fine print. Simply put, office share members have 24/7 access to our common spaces and full-service amenities on top of access to a private office 1, 2, or 3 days per week. Offices come fully-equipped with desk(s), ergonomic seating, wireless and ethernet connections, natural light and lockable doors. Terms range from 6-12 months with the ability to scale upwards if your business grows and you need additional space.
In-person gatherings are more important than ever, even for fully remote companies. Coco offers hourly, half-day and full-day meeting packages for 2-25 people, and for as little as $70 per hour. The built-in benefit is meeting attendees have access to our common spaces when they get a break, in addition to our full-service amenities. You do not need to be a member to rent our meeting spaces and with two Minneapolis locations, you can plan your meeting in the location that is most convenient.
What is coworking in 2023? Now, more than ever, coworking companies are again shaping the future of how we work.