If you were to sit down with any corporate exec from any company...and you were to ask what has been the biggest priority for his/her management team since approximately 2008....what do you think they would say?
If you said cutting costs...you'd be right! Everyone from Wall Street to Main Street has had to prioritize cutting down all the superfluous trimmings that can make up the bottom of an Income Statement. For a few lucky ones, this might just mean cutting down corporate jet expenditures ("What?! We were going to go check on that client in Costa Rica!"....Needless to say that client has been "well checked on"...)
For most, though, this ongoing battle with the Income Statement has meant dire consquences for operating expenditures and...even worse....company jobs. As you know, small businesses often suffer the worse...going up in smoke....as the foreclosure cannons have been fired. While things are starting to look up, we are left with a cautious, even frightened economy....after all the rent doesn't pay itself!
So...to bring you back to your freshman accounting course....
high overhead + stagnant sales= ???....A problem! Yep I know...it's hard to believe... but those two together are the Batman and Robin of the expense world....they will take you down! So...what's the point of all this corporate jet, Marvel comics mania?? The point is that companies are beginning to look for any way possible to cut down on one of their largest expenses...overhead!
This is where our wonderful world of co-working comes in. Co-working is a funny term.. You might be thinking....hmmm....would I be co-working if I'm standing at a urinal and a co-worker is at the one beside me?? We are happy to say: NO! Kudos if you weren't thinking that at all!
Co-working happens when you share a work environment with other like-minded talented people, usually from a different company, and synergy occurs (1). This can mean increased productivity and infinite possibilities to create, collaborate, and find meaning in your work through other people.
The real kicker is that companies are starting to look for alternatives to brick and mortar! Why not send employees to member-based office spaces where individual desk space is all they need? The free coffee, lightning speed wifi, and conference room access are just the perks right?! Eating all the costs of operating a building and utilizing half the space just isn't conducive to the asset-light future in front of us! (Read Mary Meeker's Predictions for 2013)
This need to reduce asset load and the stress that comes with it, prompts companies and individuals alike to check out co-working centers. There are over 700 co-working centers in the U.S. and whether they take the form of a bar, coffee shop, or office space...they bring individual office space...and a rent-a-desk pricing model. In fact, our space here in Bozeman does just that!
There are so many advantages to co-working...in our next post we'll cover some of these and...what it actually means to rent a desk!
(1.) Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking