CO-WORKING SPACES ARE SHARED PLACES DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE INNOVATION.
THEY'RE NUMBERS HAVE BALLONED IN RECENT YEARS.
COMMONGROUNDS WORKPLACE IS GROWING FASTER THAN MOST IN THE INDUSTRY.
I SPOKE TO THE CEO, JACOB BATES.
HE SAYS WORKPLACE AS A SERVICE** IS THE FUTURE.
23:45:42 "We're standing inside Commongrounds. This is what we define as our common area"
Jacob Bates is the CEO of Commongrounds.
Since launching in 2015, this Carlsbad location has tripled in size. The shared work space company has locations in San Jose, Long Beach, and Denver.
23:47:29- "so over here we have a little bit of an open desk environment where members may rent a desk and come in and use it as they need to.
Bates calls it a human- centric design.
23:47:45 " what you're seeing over on the left there are conference rooms which are booked through our proprietary CG plus app."
Commongrounds is also part of the growing "share economy", think uber, lyft and dockless bikes and scooters…
It's workspace on demand with all the modern amenities Bates says at a fraction what a tradition office space would cost.
23:38:38-57 "when you take into consideration your rent, your operational cost, your capital to improve this space, your capital to buy furniture and fixtures, IT, your lights, a reception, different mail services …. The savings is actually significant."
Forbes estimates by 2020 there will be more than 26,000 co working spaces in the US.
Commongrounds plans to be part of the growth. Recently the company raised more than 100-million dollars from investors. There's plans to open 8 new locations, within the next two years… including one in downtown San Diego.
23:13:12-38 "We're dealing with a spectrum of all different kinds of companies that have just started with a couple of people… to fortune 1500 company who has a very large global presence but is looking at this type of environment as a way to attract and retain talent as a way for removing some of their proprietary leases off their balance sheets and using it as a tool for strategic growth."
Shared workspaces are lauded for being cost-saving, flexible environments that encourage innovation.
On the day we toured, members had an opportunity to present and get feedback on their business pitches.
00:17:50 " we are looking for 100-thousand dollars for a 20 percent stake in the company."
Bates served as a "Shark," playing the role of a would-be "investor".
23:20:28 "I think there's a lot of entrepreneurial spirit in San Diego and we need to capture that and embrace it more than we have in the past."
Commongrounds also supports the "innovation economy", a phrase often used to describe tech companies. The most recent Connect report finds it makes up more than 55-billion-dollars of San Diego's economy.
Bates says Commongrounds can help tech companies with one of their biggest challenges… The demand for skilled workers.
A recent harvard business study found tech-savvy millennials favor co-working environments. Community and work life balance were some of the reasons cited.
23:17:45 "we also love San Diego from a work life aspect. I think it provides an environment for people to really enjoy themselves… and I think it's an attractive environment in the war for talent."