Coworking is a fascinating concept, and has certainly generated a strong buzz. We explored its impact on Asian real estate markets such as Singapore and China, and it is also one of the top 10 global corporate real estate trends for 2016.

While some sceptics question the “big business” suitability of a workplace model derived from start-ups and freelancers, the truth is that coworking – done right – can be a great lever for businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

JLL’s global coworking report discusses how corporations can select the right model to meet the needs of their business, and make coworking an integral part of their real estate strategy.

Still wondering whether coworking is worth your organisation’s time? Here are just a few (of many) factors that may change your mind:

#1. Make your employees love you that much more

In a recent JLL survey of office workers, one in ten (11%) Asia Pacific[1] employees reported not feeling engaged at work.

Introducing coworking as an extension of your company’s workplace strategy will likely yield a tangible, positive effect on employee engagement levels – from our preliminary survey results, employees who have access to a myriad of work environments rated coworking spaces as the top driver of engagement in the workplace.

#2. Up your game, and talent will come knocking

In a talent landscape increasingly populated by millennials and Generation Z, corporations should be seen as mavericks of change – these two demographics are made up of highly aspirational employees, and organisations which provide exciting vistas and new ways of working will gain an edge in the race for talent.

#3. Catalyse innovation and creative collaboration

Coworking brings your organisation into closer contact with start-ups, entrepreneurs and freelancers, and allows for an unhampered exchange of ideas with these stalwarts of innovation. This will also spur businesses to step outside of the “corporate box” and disrupt typically hard-set industrial paradigms.

Of course, challenges abound as well:

Security is a key corporate concern – billions of dollars are being spent every year to safeguard business intelligence, and the possibility of corporate espionage is something that keeps C-suite executives awake at night.

The solution is that organisations should select and adapt the appropriate coworking model for their businesses, keeping in mind the variable levels of risk associated with each model. This security challenge is also an impetus for a forward-looking revamp of corporate security policies outside of a “walled tower” framework – killing two birds with one stone.

Cultural fit is another common concern. A coworking model which works in the US may not be the best fit elsewhere, and a culturally-informed lens is crucial for effective workplace transformation in a culturally complex region such as Asia Pacific.

All in all, coworking will certainly help businesses, but the million-dollar question is – how should we go about it? To…

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