How does a Co-working space attract and retain talent?

How does a Co-working space attract and retain talent?


The investment in coworking spaces cannot only be seen as an alternative to bureaucratic and conventional leased offices. In fact, it is much more than this! Nowadays, and especially in the current context, there are thousands  of companies that prefer a cowork, as a strategy of attracting and retaining talent: due to the comfort, the energy, the ergonomics of these spaces, the networking opportunities, the possibility to participate in events, amongst other advantages.

In an interview for a Human Resources Magazine, Carlos Gonçalves, CEO and founder of Avila Spaces , shared how  Avila Spaces, with its own style, promotes talent engagement by different companies.

When was Avila Spaces born and how did it evolve? The company was born as Avila Business Centres in 2004. From the very beginning, we have been committed to a customised service which has long been missing from many companies in the market.  We have decided that our clients should be treated as family members, and our space should be welcoming and informal without losing its premium environment that has always characterized us. Our concept has worked very well, and many of our first clients understood the message: while the other office spaces were cold and institutional, we offered a customised service, a "cozy" space and we were always concerned with the clients’ needs.

From your perspective, and with your experience, what are the main factors that prompt a company to opt for a coworking space? It is very interesting to realise that  coworking spaces are increasingly sought after by Human Resources Departments of small and big companies, within the framework of strategies for attracting and retaining talent. 
More and more companies are hiring coworking spaces to allow their employees to work from there for a few days of the week or the month. 
Following an international trend, flexible labour policies envisage professionals to work outside the company's headquarters, not wasting time in traffic, working closer to home and to their children's school. In practice, it is an excellent alternative to "home office”, which often leads to isolation and poor productivity.

Can you share some success stories in particular? For example, Cabify which opted for coworking as an alternative to conventional leasing; Airbnb or Pepsi Co, which have created jobs for some professionals to work remotely. More and more companies are hiring corporate coworking spaces, providing comfort and a better balance between personal and professional life for their employees.

What do you think justifies this significant increase in demand? Above all, companies want to offer welfare to their employees, because they have already realised that if it doesn’t happen, they will look for a job elsewhere. However, a coworking space for businesses is not a mere place with shared tables. It is much more than that. It provides comfort and all the conditions for clients to stay focused on their work without having to worry about maintenance, the organization of the space, telephone service, correspondence management, and other services.

Is it true that a cowork is a space with excess of informality? There are more and more corporate coworking spaces, where informality co-exists with professionalism and respect for other professionals. Our mantra is "Work. Relax. Enjoy.". Avila Spaces is a space where people are focused on their work, but they can also have fun at any event or during the happy hours on Friday afternoon.

What trends do you expect in terms of workspaces? There is an increasing respect for the diversity of professionals. The trend will be for corporate coworking spaces to create multiple work environments to meet different needs. An outgoing professional prefers to work in an open-space, but a more introverted person prefers a private space. It is essential to ensure the professionals’ privacy. Therefore meeting rooms and phone-booths are increasingly present in  coworking spaces. All these details will help people feel happier and more productive in their workspace.

About Avila Spaces
Avila Spaces is the most awarded business centre in Portugal as well as an innovation leader in the flexible workspaces market in Portugal. The Cowork and Business Lounge offer a premium environment with state-of-the-art technology where companies can grow sustainably and dynamically. In 2010, Avila Spaces revolutionized the virtual office market when it launched a pioneering platform internationally - myOffice app.

Founded in 2004, Avila Spaces currently has more than 600 national and international clients and it has been a member and a representative in Portugal of the largest Business Centre network in the world - eOffice International Network. This network has more than 300 locations and it is managed from the UK.

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