The first co-working space was founded by two Austrian entrepreneurs in 2002 in Vienna. By 2019, that number turned into 19,000. Moreover, if we include the so-called flexible workspaces, the number rises to almost 50,000 around the world. This is, clearly, a trend on the rise; freelancers contributed $1.2 trillion to the economy in the US in 2020 alone. Plus, new startups join the ride and need their spot for the computer and the coffee mug. So, the question multiplies and lingers, unanswered: how to retain your company’s identity when in a shared space? Read on as we unveil the answer in the following paragraphs.
Preserving Your Uniqueness In a Shared Space
According to recent statistics, the number of co-working spaces is expected to double and reach 40,000 in 2024. Moreover, it is not just a trend embraced by freelancers, startups, and small companies. For example Microsoft moved 30% of their New York employees to a local co-working space. The software titan is even planning on funding several co-working spaces called Microsoft Reactor.
These statistics show that co-working spaces are here to stay. Therefore, embracing them will be a matter of time. When the time comes for your brand, how will you preserve the sense of belonging in your personnel inside a shared workspace? Well, according to the expert Amy Picanço (founder of Aym Design), the main idea is to apply the brand positioning to the shared workspace; in other words, taking the working space as a part of the brand distinctiveness.
Tell Your Company’s Story Through Branding
In this endeavor, function, ergonomics, style, and branding, need to act together to reflect your company’s principles and values internally and externally. Moreover, Picanço adds, all these factors must act together to tell a story; the unique story of your brand. This involves actions ranging from creating custom shirts for your business all the way to chair selection and decoration. For starters, your company’s logo, digital character, and marketing material should be present at all times. In this sense, if your company is deeply related to the color orange, for example, that should be the color for your desks, chairs, and other pieces of furniture.
Perhaps, the only caveat in this sense is not stepping in the way of flexibility, adaptability, and networking which are a co-working hub’s best attributes. To achieve this optimum balance between a relaxed, shared atmosphere, and your own company, it is important to create an inviting environment in which the branding is clear (color palette, marketing material) and doors remain open for socializing with like-minded people from other projects.
Avoiding A Clash With The Ethos Of The Co-Working Environment
Although branding is important in your business’ welfare, it is important not to step on other people’s territory when in a co-working hub. This statement includes rules of etiquette and good behavior such as keeping the voice down on the phone and using headphones at all times. Also, it includes rules of design and tidiness not to impact negatively on other fellow co-working-hub workers. In this vein, keeping a tidy, well-designed space is paramount to encourage your own personnel and not stepping in the way of the ethos of your co-working environment. Finally, it is important to take constructive criticism positively and also to follow the rules of the space you share.
In a world with a growing population and a generation that embraces remote work more than ever before, the co-working hub trend will continue to rise and expand. Knowing how to manage your brand in those scenarios is and will continue to be an important asset for any modern entrepreneur. Start branding in your co-working hub today and make the best environment possible for your people; the future is already here.