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A new American Express Open Forum post surprised everyone outside of the big corporate world when they revealed that only 65% to 60% of office space is NOT being utilized by large technology companies like HP or Oracle. It is obvious that is a large waste of money because of utility cost, maintenance, cleaning, etc. but the story focused on why this is happening. According to American Express companies are reacting and saving around $10,000 per employee and increasing job loyalty by allowing workers to work remotely or in alternative work environments. Here are a few ways they are doing this.

 
Change Work Location: Coworking
Benefits:
  • Dramatically reduces size of campuses or eliminates the need for a campus all together
  • Team members gain new skills and perspective by working with outside workers
  • Encourages interaction between members
If employees are further from the corporate office then coworking spaces continues to grow as an alternative, especially for workers under the age of forty. The Open Forum article refers to Jellies or simply shared office spaces where several companies work under one roof but the coworking world has become the term that represents these two alternatives. Coworking spaces bring in people from different skill backgrounds and size of companies (freelancers, startups, Fortune 500 remote workers) to work side by side. This way of coworking creates a dynamic atmosphere where ideas are easily shared and productivity rises.

To help facilitate large companies that are interested in letting their employees work in coworking throughout the US LiquidSpace is developing partnerships to match the two parties under one agreement. HR and project managers may also contact a local coworking facility directly and they can be found on LooseCubes.com.

Change HQ Design: Desk Sharing / Office Hoteling / Drop-In
Benefits:
  • Reduce the need for large campuses and cut expenses
  • Encourages interaction between team members
  • Employees have a variety of work options

Companies are finding several new ways that allow employees to connect but work how they want. Many are reducing their campus size and having company operated open desk space like on a college campus or library where employees can come and work without having ownership of a specific desk. The employee may instead have a locker or cubby to store stuff for use when they are there. The employee is then free to work at home, coffee shop, or however they wish but they always a place to work and meet at campus.

Denver has campuses for many large tech firms like IBM, Oracle, Covidien Health, Brocade, Iron Mountain, Arrow Electronics, Yahoo, Google, and others. If you have worked with them or other large companies have you noticed any changes in the way they let their employees work?