Coworking space culture is slowly shifting as larger corporations have started moving into these offices.
Office Hub, an online marketplace for flexible office spaces, showed an 105% increase in the number of businesses that had 15 or more employees searching for coworking spaces from 2017-2018.
Grant Philipp, Office Hub’s founder and chief executive, said that the definition of “coworking” had been stretched thin due to large operators using the term to sell the majority of their spaces, whether they are actually coworking or not.
“But then you’ve got [major coworking operators] WeWork and Christies and all these guys saying coworking is a closed office in a shared space, but it’s not,” said Philipp. “That’s a serviced office.”
Colliers International property expert Rowan Humphries said that the majority of space in new coworking developments consisted of private suites due to larger companies having staff in these spaces.
Major businesses like Microsoft can only have their employees in coworking spaces because they are not predominantly open-office plans. Now, some discrete offices have lockable doors, their own IT networks, conference rooms and more.
Coworking allows big businesses the chance to increase or decrease their office footprint in response to market conditions.
For example, Microsoft has a space that is ran by WeWork in the Sydney CBD in addition to its actual Sydney headquarters in North Ryde.
“[Serviced offices] have evolved to be a lot more to be a bit more like coworking and coworking has evolved to be a lot more like a serviced office,” said Humphries.