Corporate remote employees, we recently reported, are increasingly joining the mix of freelancers and entrepreneurs at coworking spaces. But apparently that’s not the only new group making increasing use of the movement. Spaces have long been home to fledgling ventures with just a few employees, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting, that more larger startups are sticking with coworking even as they grow beyond the traditional small size associated with shared space.
Emily Maltby reports on a new style of jumbo spaces being set up to accommodate these larger startups, including the Cambridge Innovation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts and RocketSpace Inc. in San Francisco:
In recent years, though, some new ventures have bucked the traditional model by creating pay-as-you-go setups for sizable start-ups.
Some of these spaces have vast, open floors that can be partitioned according to the size of a company, or enclosed offices with adjustable walls. And they often provide communal reception services, copiers and conference rooms—or even amenities like showers and massages.
Many entrepreneurs are turning to these spaces as a way to save on overhead as they expand, as well as maintain the communal feel of the business incubators where they launched their companies.
Though staying in communal space may be good for the budgets of these adolescent startups, and may be comforting to entrepreneurs used to the supportive community aspect of coworking, experts apparently warn their may also be downsides for businesses that fail to cut the apron strings and move out on their own. These include, the “difficulty of keeping secrets from rivals. And some critics worry that coworking for too long may hinder businesses from developing an individual identity,” writes Maltby.
Other startups in the space stealing your employees could also be an issue. “You have human-resources issues…. I don’t want another company to romance my guys away,” George Deeb, founder of start-up consulting firm Red Rocket Partners, told the WSJ.
Should firms with dozens of employees rather than a handful stick with communal office space?
Image courtesy of Flickr user novemberwolf.