How the Collaborative Community is shaping companies (Landlords, Operators, Designers)

Campfire Wong Chuk Hang

We give a lot of focus to the connoisseurs of collaborative spaces but this time, we’re taking a different angle – let’s talk real estate.  The other side of the story involves a different set of stakeholder: the providers!  Let’s take from the viewpoint of the people that bring coworking spaces to life.

Landlords

Coworking spaces occupy a very specific sector of the sharing economy.  The question that a sharing economy solves is: Could there be a better way to allocate resources by sharing what we own?  In the case of coworking spaces, operators are able to revitalise otherwise under-utilised spaces to benefit startups and other businesses.  This new way of thinking about spaces, creatively coming up with new and unorthodox uses of space is changing the way commercial landlords view their assets!

Why not make better use of resources we already own?  Especially if its revenue generating?  Coworking spaces means landlords can boost their occupancy without spending loads of additional capital!  Depending on the traction of the space operator, they could impact foot traffic in the neighbourhood!  In case you’re looking to rejuvenate a neighbourhood, increasing traffic is key.

Operators

Traditionally, operators were responsible for managing the space, ensuring that the space is well kept and up to date.  This task included renovations and maintenance work within the traditional scope of office space. With the emergence of the collaborative working trend, operators now have the added goal of  adding value beyond simplyproviding a working space!  Essentially, operators are the ones that transform spaces into places of interest!

When thinking about their space, operators generally think about:

  • Is this going to be a great place to work in?
  • Is this going to be a great place to work for?
  • and what kind of value does it bring for the community? the neighbourhood?

At the end of the day, the value proposition of a coworking space is the crux of the business!  They can create value through offering added service like reception and handling mail, having special amenities like a professional studio and beautiful event space, and in the case of Campfire, an in-house barista!

The Designers

Before collaborative workspaces, there were collaborative offices!  The evolution of office design is an interesting story that parallels the historical development of the economy.  To keep a long story short, the way we think of about work has changed over the years.  Naturally, our office layouts have changed to match our needs and the changing nature of our tasks and desired outcomes.  Today we arrive at a highly curated combination of both open and closed spaces.  The new style can be observed at the offices of google, facebook, microsoft, and amazon.

The input of office and interior designers in shaping the landscape of our workspace is massive.  These individuals influence our physical space – which in turn influences our mental space as well!  The flow of a coworking space can impact productivity, focus and stress levels.  Additionally, furniture designers contribute to the construction of our environments through ergonomic design.  Furniture and decor that works well facilitates better work!

Conclusions

Even though these key people aren’t generally given the spotlight, it’s good to keep in mind the bigger picture.  That more than what’s advertised, there are many people to thank for the coworking spaces that we enjoy.

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