by Marcus Moufarrige, COO at Servcorp.

With the astronomical valuation for We Work and innovative workspaces emerging in cities all over the world, it’s evident that coworking is a hot topic right now. Servcorp has been innovating in flexible workspaces and virtual offices for more than 35 years and has been competing with Regus in this space for more than 20 years.

The new wave of funky, urban warehouse-style shared space is a fresh incarnation of a business that has been around for a long time. Whether or not this contemporary manifestation will work as a business model is yet to be seen and the proliferation of so many coworking spaces means that some are sure to fall by the wayside.

As with any industry that becomes fashionable, quantity does not necessarily mean quality, and finding a coworking space that represents your business appropriately may be critically important to the success of your company. Not everybody wants ping-pong tables, scooters and kegerators in their place of business. Coworking has a number of different niches and Servcorp is very happy to be in a class of its own – at the high-end part of the industry.

At Servcorp, we have faith in the model and are testing out the concept with confidence across key locations around the globe. Although we’ve served coworking in its elementary form for at least a decade, this year we’ve decided to magnify our coworking facilities to fulfil the 5-star niche and meet the needs of young start-ups and companies alike.

We’ve staggered the launch of Professional Coworking throughout the year, with the first installation in the Yusen Building in Tokyo, followed by an establishment in the acclaimed MLC Centre in Sydney, Mayfair in London, and another imminent opening in the One World Trade Centre in New York. We’ll continue our expansion throughout the coming months, perhaps closing off the calendar year with Professional Coworking available at our iconic Osaka and Paris locations.

The future of coworking at Servcorp will be significantly dependent on the demands of the market, and its impressive evolution pioneered by progressive technologies and modern communication systems. We will extend the notion of community and collaboration by amplifying the elements that result in a successful, coworking environment. A recent 2015 Harvard study diagnosed 3 attributes that emit a thriving coworking environment: 1) a setting that amplifies one’s professional identity, which in turn gives their jobs more “meaning”; 2) a setting that gives them control; and 3) one that enables a communal ambiance and delivers a sense of belonging.

My vision for Servcorp’s Professional Coworking revolves around the augmentation of these positive attributes and to deliver the facilities that will allow for complete collaboration with other professionals.
Global networking will be accessible from their fingertips via a dedicated app – Clients will be able to scroll through professionals in a “habitual” proximity – those in their immediate reach, and others who may be present in the same online forum within the Servcorp network. We’ll “match” professionals based on their networking and professional value, and make recommendations on who they should connect with locally, interstate or overseas. They’ll be able to identify shared interests and hobbies, which will assist with introductions. The app will further enable seamless engagement with other professionals, whether that be conversing via the app, conferencing facilities or arrange a meeting place to network in person.

This will mean clients can truly use the “collaborative” aspects to coworking to their full benefit. And we’ll make it easier for them to execute this efficiently by helping them identify the right professionals to connect with.

Think of it as a global marketplace for businesses. Much like our current global IT infrastructure and network we’ll invest millions into the technology required to meet this vision. And will provide the best infrastructure to help our clients grow and expand their business. To succeed, we need to be more than just a provider, we need to be a business partner to make this coworking model work.

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