Co-working spaces are going corporate

17 Apr 2016, Lucy Racheva   Read the original article

Enterprises are starting to fill desks at trendy shared offices.

WeWork is a shared-office company valued at $15 billion. It attracts not only freelancers and startup workers, but also enterprises.

Big companies such as General Electric, KPMG, Merck and the Guardian have been already moved part of their workers in WeWork offices.

It is a useful way for companies to manage real estate costs, according to workplace strategy experts.

It costs the typical U.S. company upward of $12,000 a year for each worker it provides office space. Co-working spaces can be more expensive than traditional office space on a per-square-foot basis but make it easy for companies to move in and out, letting execs focus more on expanding their businesses than managing their real estate operations.

Co-working companies are welcoming the corporate interest. WeWork has raised $1 billion from investors to fuel expansion around the world, and renting space to large companies that need lots of desks is a good way to expand quickly. 30% of WeWork's 45,000 members work for companies that rent more than 10 desks, and large employers make up its fastest-growing market.

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