Why not start with unnecessary square meters if you must cut back on wasteful spending? This is the question that many companies must now ask themselves.

The facts speak for themselves : on average, according to a study conducted by OpinionWay in February 2022, one employee in three believes that at least 50% of company offices are empty. Space that is not only unused but, above all: expensive for companies.

This is why companies need to rethink and revitalize these spaces. On the one hand, to make them attractive again, and on the other, they could even become a source of additional income for companies.

To this end, many companies are now turning to “workspace management” and deciding to share their spaces with their ecosystems. This is done by opting for corpoworking.

Let’s look at a trend that favors the human factor and well-being at work by experimenting with new practices!

What is corpoworking? Definition and deciphering of this trend!

Corpoworking is a new and fashionable way of organizing and transposing the codes of coworking to companies. This neologism, created from the fusion of the words “corporate” and “working”. Is becoming increasingly popular with companies.

It refers to companies that set up flexible and collaborative workspaces. Similar to coworking, but within their premises.

It is, therefore, similar to a third place, where employees of the same company from different departments and sites work together. But also people from outside the company, such as service providers, freelancers, and even young start-ups! However, it should be noted that corpoworking spaces are not open to everyone and are subject to authorization from the host company.

Therefore, corpoworking offers a new work dynamic between employees of the same company and external workers.

For example, the Orange group was the precursor of corpoworking by creating “La Villa Bonne Nouvelle”. A 350 square meter space in the heart of the Silicon Sentier district in Paris. Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the site has a capacity of 50 workstations, which some 60 occupants share. And the results are convincing!

Since its creation, the efficiency and productivity of the employees have been recognized and praised. 92% of the latter praise the site for the mix of occupants. Also, for creating an accurate emulation, strengthening the team link, and a more substantial commitment to the work and the corporate culture.

Why is corpoworking attracting more and more companies?

Corpoworking is a response to the changes in work organization and offers companies many advantages! Here are some of the most popular.

1.  A workspace designed to facilitate cross-functional collaboration and learning

It is no longer a secret that diversity breeds performance. That’s why companies are opening up their teams and minds.

This is the very essence of corpoworking. These are open and shared spaces, unlike the traditional organization of companies, where the layout of partitioned offices does not facilitate inter-departmental cohesion.

On the contrary, corpoworking not only makes it possible to erase the borders between the different professions of a company and to favor collaboration and transverse cooperation. But at the same time, it also brings together skills previously compartmentalized within departments.

In turn, this stimulates learning and the emulation of ideas. Which are promoted through targeted events, meetings, debates, co-lunches, and aperitifs that encourage the development of a network.

As a result, employees are more motivated and productive.

2.  An innovative way to reduce fixed costs and bring vacant workspaces back to life!

In a context where real estate represents the second largest expense item for companies, after payroll, the optimization of square meters is, therefore, a significant challenge for managers.

At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the implementation of telework and anchored the practice in the norms. This leads to a lot of vacant space in companies daily, which they pay a high price for.

As a result, companies are increasingly attracted to corpoworking to reduce these fixed costs and optimize their real estate. This is an innovative way of optimizing and remodeling unoccupied square meters by renting or lending them (according to the company’s wishes) to external entrepreneurs, freelancers, and start-ups searching for a sharing spirit.

3.  An innovative layout that improves the Quality of Life and Working Conditions (QWL) !

A CSA study conducted in 2022 among 300 managers and 500 employees of companies with more than 50 employees provides a new perspective on the perception of managers and employees on the evolution of workspaces.

The study reveals that more than 90% of employees know that designing workspaces is essential to their well-being.

It is no longer a matter of course that employees are now paying more attention to workspaces that promote friendliness and creativity. This includes natural light on the premises, thermal comfort, sound insulation. Also, careful decoration and quality, and modular furniture on wheels.

At the same time, if we find open spaces on the one hand, on the other, we must discover spaces for concentration and, therefore, silence or collaboration in small teams.

This is how corpoworking spaces are built. The idea is to use the codes of interior design to offer employees warm and friendly areas to improve the QWL.

Consequently, in this period of war for talent, workspaces, and, more specifically, corpoworking, it is perceived as a lever for attracting and retaining talent by 72% of the managers surveyed. This percentage is confirmed by 75% of employees who believe that the premises contribute to their desire to stay with the company. And 71% add that it is an essential or decisive criterion for choosing their future employer.

4. A work organization that enhances the employer brand!

Let’s remember that it is always rewarding for employees to see their company revise its HR codes, modernize and take the path of innovation by optimizing its workspaces.

There is no doubt that this is a considerable advantage for the employer brand, which thus benefits from more notoriety thanks to the implementation of corpoworking.

The company also shows its employees that it understands the challenges of workspace management and flexible working.  

At the same time, this third place can be a fundamental communication tool, hosting press conferences, inspiring personalities during a seminar, filming, etc.

5. A workspace that provides the embryonic ecosystem necessary for business growth!

It is now well known that a company’s ecosystem considerably impacts its ability to innovate.

Indeed, as soon as a network of actors combines their strengths. For example, financial, human, creative, and technological. They can bring more value to the end customers.

This is why creating a corpoworking space allows you (indirectly) to accelerate your company’s growth, develop a collective dynamic, create synergies between internal and external players, improve, and thus, weave links that promote your competitiveness.

What are the obstacles to the development of corpoworking, and how can they be overcome?

1. Corpoworking is based on the principle of the flex office and has some of the same drawbacks!

Remember that corpoworking reflects the flex office since there are no dedicated offices. It is therefore important to bear in mind that its implementation brings with it a new challenge for companies: that of having to manage shared spaces.

In each corpoworking space, there will undoubtedly be workstations perceived as “better” (brighter, more ergonomic, quieter, etc.) and others perceived as “worse.”

Therefore, one would think that between adults, the equitable distribution of workstations would take care of itself, but unfortunately, this is not the case.


✔  Our advice for overcoming this obstacle :

To avoid that daily, it is a frantic race for the best place and escapes possible conflicts, there are turnkey digital solutions, such as Sharvy, facilitating the management of your shared spaces.

Therefore, when you create a corpoworking space, it is wise to define an administrator, in other words, a person in charge of the area and possible incidents. Within the Sharvy application, the administrator creates the coworking space. The available workstations define the teams and integrate the company’s employees and the external people authorized to integrate this space.

Subsequently, users can reserve and/or release a workstation at a given time, according to their needs. This way, managing the various corpoworking spaces is facilitated and optimized. 


2. Corpoworking raises the issue of data confidentiality within the company

When a company creates a corpoworking space, it should be remembered that outsiders (clients, service providers, freelancers, start-ups) will enter the premises and rub shoulders with employees.

While this encourages creativity, the emulation of ideas, and collaboration, the other side of the coin can also pose problems regarding data confidentiality (if this issue needs to be tackled head-on).

Therefore, it is legitimate that creating a corpoworking space, and therefore of shared spaces, raises many questions. The most obvious is whether shared workspaces, such as corpoworking, are incompatible with confidentiality ?

Of course, the answer is no! However, how can we ensure that sensitive, company-specific data does not leak out?

✔  Our advice to overcome this obstacle :

The confidentiality rules must be defined upstream to avoid possible data confidentiality problems. For example, it is wise to invest in IT solutions, such as private Wifi in the corpoworking space and a dematerialized cloud.

At the same time, remember to manage accesses – entrances and exits – finely (via access control) and to classify the company areas to which outsiders do not have access rights. 

Finally, don’t forget to create “confidentiality bubbles”; in other words, set up meeting rooms and/or acoustic booths within the corpoworking space so that your employees can isolate themselves to telephone or discuss more confidential matters. This is the case, for example, for a lawyer who cannot afford to telephone in an open space or access certain information on a shared Wifi.     

3. The corpoworking space cannot manage itself!

The animation of the space is an essential part of corpoworking since it is not enough on its own to transform the experience into a success!

Consequently, the challenge is creating links and synergies between internal and external players and encouraging collaboration (which is difficult to achieve on its own).

To achieve this, there are two types of events :

  • Internal “corporate” events : (like breakfast, co-lunch, workshops, etc.). This type of event creates links and livens up the daily life of the occupants to encourage cohesion and meetings.
  • External “corporate” events : (seminars, round tables, conferences, etc.). These events stimulate creativity and encourage the sharing of knowledge. Everyone pools their experience and expertise. These events aim to develop a portfolio of prospects, build customer loyalty, or develop your company’s reputation.

However, this part cannot be self-managed, and it implies specific measures that sometimes slow down companies’ launches.

✔  Our advice for overcoming this obstacle :

Consequently, it is essential to appoint a person in charge of the animation and the community, manage possible conflicts, and maintain a good atmosphere within the corpoworking. Their main task is to ensure that the occupants develop a sense of belonging and attachment to the place.

At the same time, setting up a corpoworking facility requires honest reflection on the goals pursued and the ROI to optimize the resources invested. Therefore, this person can also take responsibility for monitoring these objectives.

In conclusion

Although corpoworking is still marginal in Europe, it offers innovative avenues for companies to explore! Moreover, with the widespread use of teleworking and the correlation of falling office occupancy rates, it has become crucial for companies to make the most of new square meters. To achieve this, corpoworking is a promising solution, improving not only the employee experience and the Quality of Life and Working Conditions (QLWC) but also the employer brand!

Have a question? Check out the following FAQ!

On average, what are the rates for a corpoworking space?

The rates for corpoworking spaces are defined by the company itself and are generally per workstation. In France, the average price of a workstation in a corpoworking area is around 250€/month.

However, these rates vary according to local demand, location, time of year, commitment length, services, and equipment provided.

What are the advantages for people from outside the company to join a corpoworking space?

Remember that these people are often self-employed, freelancers, and/or young start-ups. In correlation, it is an opportunity for them to benefit from a space with all the necessary amenities to do their work correctly. For example, with printers available, computer screens, video projectors, a small kitchen, etc.).

At the same time, these spaces are generally cheaper than professional offices, and the contract has a low commitment over time. Finally, some of the above benefits also apply to those outside the company. For example, developing a network, receiving advice and good practices, and exchanging and collaborating with other professionals in the same way as in a coworking space.

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