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Corporate Coworking – Managing the Great Transition

Screen Shot 2017 08 18 at 2.40.38 PM Corporate Coworking   Managing the Great Transition

Coworking began as a framework for freelancers and startups to gain access to a productive work environment. Fast forward ten years…

Corporate firms look to embrace the coworking ethos in order to revitalize company culture and employee experience.

Introducing Corporate Coworking – a framework for the ‘great transition.’

As a coworking workplace strategy firm, we at OpenWork Agency focus on helping organizations transition into the future of work. Moving from ‘old ways of working’ to ‘new ways of working’ is a journey, not a simple 1-2-3 process. Our transition services help firms assess the working styles of current employees, as well as the workspace options available to them- both on campus and off campus. With an eye to maximizing both workspace utilization as well as employee engagement and productivity, our transition program is comprehensive, creative, and data-driven. Our goal is to help client employees find the right workspaces for them and their teams, and to empower them to do their best work.

I. KICK-OFF WORKSHOP – Corporate Coworking Strategy

This is a one day workshop that takes clients through industry data around coworking and the shared workspace industry, underscoring the high levels of employee engagement and productivity reported in these types of work environments. Situated in a coworking space near a client’s location, the goal of the workshop is to bring the right mix of people together to explore ‘new ways of working’ together. This includes personnel from facilities management, human resources management, a few senior leaders with budgetary authority, as well as a few young (Millennial) employees.

II. WORK STYLE NAVIGATOR – Employee Coworking

As a follow up to the workshop, we administer our proprietary WSN survey, which helps employees clarify which ‘type’ of worker they are and which types of spaces are most appropriate for their style of work. This data allows firms to sharpen their workplace strategy and begin the road to individualization of work styles.

III. STRATEGY ROADMAP – HR Strategy embraces Corporate Coworking

Based on results from the WSN survey, as well as feedback from the workshop, we put together a strategy roadmap that outlines a few viable workplace strategy scenarios that get clients to ‘new ways of working.’ Each firm is different, and there are no off-the-shelf solutions. We provide unique and company-specific recommendations that take into account company culture, history, industry, and work styles.

IV. SPACES – Send Employees to Coworking Spaces or Build Coworking Space On Company Campus

For firms ready to make the jump, we assist in both the placement of employees into appropriate off-campus coworking spaces and in the development of on-campus coworking environments.

Download our Corporate Coworking: Transition Services Brochure

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openwork agency logo square 300x300 Corporate Coworking   Managing the Great TransitionThe OpenWork Agency is a boutique workplace strategy consultancy with roots in the coworking industry. We help companies create more flexible and social work environments so they can better attract and retain top talent and empower them to collaborate and innovate more effectively. We have over thirty-five years of combined coworking operating experience in our team, and have backgrounds in corporate real estate, enterprise hardware sales, corporate culture consulting, and marketing prior to our involvement in the coworking industry. Our experience ranges across the value chain of the industry, and we offer a suite of services that addresses key changes occurring both in the corporate real estate sector as well as inside organizations as they adapt to the changing world of work.

coworking for employees and freelancers

Coworking is for company employees, too.

Companies and employees have both begun to hear the buzz around coworking…

corporate coworking fork 726x1024 Coworking is for company employees, too.

And now there is a experimental methodology for companies interested in stepping into the coworking waters.

OpenWork Agency has recently published an article outlining a program that helps company employers incorporate the coworking model into their existing workplace strategy. Read it here: Coworking for company employees: What/Why/How. It explains the ‘Corporate Coworking’ program, an initiative that helps employees gain access to the network of coworking spaces in their area as well as provide options for employers to consider building their own coworking space inside the company building or across their corporate campus.

With employers beginning to embrace coworking, it will help them attract and retain young, Millennial talent as employees (and contract workers). Coworking is helpful at empowering the modern workforce to work according to their own natural rhythms.

We want to be tour guides, and provide a roadmap for helping companies go from the past (industrial) model of work to the future (sharing economy) model of work,” explains Drew Jones, management professor, author, and former partner and co-owner at Conjunctured in Austin.

‘Corporate Coworking’ Tweets:

 

 

kc-corporate-community-alliance

Grassroots community, the Kansas City Startup Village, coworks in one of Sprint’s corporate creations – in an uncorporate collaboration.

David Walker

Co-Founder at Conjunctured
David believes in mindful openness, heart trust, empowered expression, friendship leadership, and community camaraderie.

He is the co-founder of Conjunctured, Austin’s original coworking community. Conjunctured supports the business+heart+cultureeco-system and holds space for a more connected and harmonious co-existence.

The idea for the event came up when Erik Wullschleger, general manager of the Sprint Accelerator powered by Techstars, grabbed coffee with Marcus and fellow Kansas City Startup Village co-leader Adam Arredondo.

“We have this really cool space and want to put it to work, so why not move KCSV for a day?” Wullschleger said. “Whether it’s our network or a physical space, as a corporation we have an opportunity to take big resources and repurpose them for the community.”

Last Friday, the Village was welcomed into the space for a day of co-working with Sprint employees, local government officials, Silicon Prairie News and, just as importantly, each other. To get into a new environment and new thinking, but also to run into people they otherwise would never, or rarely, see.  Article: KCSV co-working day at the Sprint Accelerator may be just the beginning

Why this is a big deal:

  • Large corporation partners with local startup community in a big way. This may be the accidental development of one of the world’s first corporate+community coworking ecosystems.
  • Repurposing of space for greater impact. This space was purposed for a Sprint initiatve. But now it has been co-purposed for the Kansas City community. An innovative way in sustainable space scalability.
  • Anytime corporations open themselves up to the public, they help contribute to the positive evolution of the corporate world. Independent, free thinkers have long been disenchanted by the corporation. Not all companies operate like Initech, but the anti-corporate independents of the world don’t know this because most corporations are too busy keeping to themselves. It’s refreshing to see two disparate forces coming together.
  • As the collaboration continues, I’d imagine Sprint would start opening itself further into the greater KC business community. I’d imagine Sprint would start letting their employees cowork together with the greater community, embracing an open rather than closed model. There are plenty of ways the two communities can leverage each other to create a cohesive business community where corporations, freelancers, and entrepreneurs are all allied together in Kansas City.

And this is actually quite poetic when you learn the next unfolding fact. There’s a global coworking conference called GCUC. The conference has been hosted in Austin since its founding in 2010 and has moved for the first time this year to….Kansas City. Serendipity! I’ve been to every GCUC since its beginning, but I may not be able to make this one. In my absence, I hope someone leads a discussion panel on Corporate+Community Alliances. And certainly, invite the Sprint & KC Village crews to share what they’ve experienced first hand – creating an ecosystem where a global technology corporation and a grassroots entrepreneur community are able to cowork together.

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed. – William Gibson

Far Beyond the Cubicle

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Drew Jones

Head of Consulting at Conjunctured
Drew Jones, Ph.D is an organizational consultant, educator, and writer. He is a Lecturer of Management, Organizational Behavior, and Corporate Social Responsibility in the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State University, in San Marcos, TX. He has consulted with firms in the software, food and beverage, construction, advertising, sports management, coworking, and for profit education industries. He has published two books (The Innovation Acid Test: Growth Through Design and Differentiation, Triarchy Press 2008), including the first book about the coworking movement (I’m Outta: How coworking is making the office obsolete, with Todd Sundsted and Tony Bacigalupo, NotanMBA Press 2009), and has a third book (The Fifth Age of Work: Redesigning Work for a MobileSocial World, Night Owls Press), coming out Fall 2013. He has been involved in coworking since 2007, as a coworking space owner, partner, academic researcher, and consultant. He is a partner at Conjunctured Coworking.
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Latest posts by Drew Jones (see all)

By Drew Jones On Thursday of last week I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel discussion about the future of work and corporate coworking at Workspring in Chicago. Using my new book, The Fifth Age of Work, as a jumping off point, we had a panel of some really amazing folks threading together questions from the audience. John […]

Source: DJ Daily Drip

Guest Post: Thoughts on Corporate Coworking

David Walker

Co-Founder at Conjunctured
David believes in mindful openness, heart trust, empowered expression, friendship leadership, and community camaraderie.

He is the co-founder of Conjunctured, Austin’s original coworking community. Conjunctured supports the business+heart+cultureeco-system and holds space for a more connected and harmonious co-existence.

The following is a guest post from Dennis Tardan, an outspoken and passionate member of the Conjunctured community. We’ve had conversations at length about the ideas inherent within our Corporate Coworking initiative and the dialogue has resonated so much with him that we invited him to share his thoughts here on the blog. Thank you Dennis! 

I am a communication coach.  As I navigate the corporate work environments around the world, I find there to be a distinct drop of energy whenever I walk onto the offices, onto the floors, into the cube farms of my varied clients.  These clients range from the largest corporations on the planet to small and medium-size firms who have created a physical footprint where what they define as “work” is accomplished.

I know this is not the intention.  But it is the reality.  I don’t know how long it takes for the spirit and the energy of the original venture to begin attenuating but I’ve seen it happen over and over.  It drains until there is a general malaise that is to some degree or another soul-sucking.

You hear people talking about “having” to go to work or “working for the weekend” or “so very glad the day is over” and other endless permutations and combinations of TGI whatever.  Some of that is just the wail of the human carp, a hybrid life-form that it is so easy for us to morph into in challenging times.

However, I’ve come to believe some problem is structural and environmental.  The office/open office/cube farm formats that organizations enshrine as work places in an attempt to have some control over the time and energy of their workers, I believe is not conducive to the creativity and collaboration necessary for companies to thrive in the 21st century.

We need better solutions.  Corporate Coworking is one of those ideas that I believe can be applied to many office environments to release pent up creative energy and help workers and management at all levels innovate through increased collaboration and communication.

Historians of the 20th century who study the industrial progress and innovation of the post-World War II boom in the United States understand how much innovation came out of having “water-cooler conversations”.  Over and over, people of different disciplines and levels in the corporate hierarchies would meet at the actual water cooler.  They would chat and informally discuss a problem or challenge they might be having.  Just sharing the situation and getting an outside perspective, time and time again, would lead the sharer to thinking of a solution or a to going in new direction.  Eureka!  They would return to their offices, or drafting boards, or manufacturing floor with an idea that was a game changer.

The “water cooler effect” has been studied and documented.  Now, by integrating the concept of Corporate Coworking into already established work environs, desperately needed creativity, collaboration and innovation can experienced!  Want to know more?  So glad you asked.   Drew Jones, David Walker and Thomas Heatherly are taking their Conjunctured Coworking concept to the corporate world.  The world will never be the same!

If you’re interested in doing a guest blog post on the Conjunctured blog, let us know