Interesting GigaOm article on the advantages of companies paying for or subsidizing the cost of employee use of coworking spaces.
5 Benefits of Sponsoring Employee Coworking suggests these advantages:
- coworking is like a non-stop trade show
- coworking provides office structure without office stricture
- coworking encourages work/life balance
- coworking is creative
- coworking is human
Our research leads us to believe larger corporations will eventually embrace coworking, but it will take time. Almost all the corporate lawyers, HR and facilities professionals we've interviewed have expressed concerns about encouraging employee coworking, with the security of confidential information being a key issue.
Cost is also often mentioned, usually with a comment about Starbucks being free (at least for the company).
Despite the lack of support from central groups, we expect departmental and business unit managers will increasingly allow employees to expense coworking facility costs - especially for employees that travel extensively. The cost is too low and business logic too powerful for this not to happen.
This "back door" use of coworking facilities will eventually lead to formalized policies and procedures for using 3rd party spaces at large corporations. We call this the "Salesforce.com effect" because of their success bypassing central IT and purchasing groups and growing their cloud-based business by selling to end-users and department managers.