Coworking: a real estate solution

adapted to your needs?

" Coworking is only for start-ups and freelancers "

This remark may have made sense a few years ago. Today, coworking meets much broader needs.

Since the Covid crisis, we are witnessing an acceleration of real estate transformations. Companies of all sizes must now offer a variety of workplaces and spaces to their employees.

In this respect, 30% of managers propose or plan to propose coworking spaces(source: Parella x CSA 2022 barometer). Among employees, about 25% benefit from it and 20% would like to have access to it.

Coworking: a real estate solution adapted to your needs?

In addition, some companies have chosen to locate their headquarters there.

In order to analyze this specific use, we focus in this article on the offer of private offices that most coworkers now offer.

Although coworking is on the rise, it is not suitable for all situations. Here are a few keys to help you determine if this real estate solution meets your needs and those of your employees.

The rise of coworking

The rise of coworking is not a coincidence and can be explained by 2 main reasons:

  1. The real estate market and the job market
  2. The evolution of uses and work methods

A not insignificant flexibility

The difficulty for companies to anticipate the evolution of their workforce, in an uncertain economic context (Covid, war, ...), both up and down, reinforces the attractiveness of coworking spaces. Indeed, the latter allow for moves in and out in a very short time (about 1 month). The lightness of the contractual aspects facilitates the establishment, almost overnight, of companies in these spaces.

A rise in entrepreneurship

Also, the boom in entrepreneurship since 2010 (+80% between 2010 and 2021 source Insee) and companies in the tech sector partly explains the popularity of coworking in France and in the rest of the world. These companies see their workforce doubling annually and have difficulty to fit into the established rhythm of the commercial lease (3, 6 or 9 years firm).

Design - Workspace - Coworking

Thibaud Poirier for Parella

New expectations in a hybrid world

In addition to the market context, the evolution of uses and work modes is clearly materializing in coworking spaces. The health crisis has accelerated the implementation of hybrid work and has given rise to new employee aspirations. They expect more collaboration, sharing of experiences and skills, flexibility and mobility.

These recent, profound and lasting changes for most companies have been anticipated by coworkers. According to the Parella 2022 barometer, 73% of executives perceive the benefit of offering spaces "better than at home." Coworkers' typical layouts are inspiring more and more users in their own design projects. For this, taking into account the needs of employees is necessary.

When should I consider coworking?

The eventual choice of coworking must respond to a multiple strategy of the companies (real estate, financial and HR strategy in particular).

We observe 3 contexts in which locating headquarters functions in a coworking center makes sense:

A premium location for the entire company

Companies with a substantial budget can opt for private workspaces in a premium setting, as much for the location as for the care given to the furniture, the diversity of spaces and the qualitative services offered and managed by the coworker.
In this context, this premium coworking space can become the head office of the company where all the collaborators would be grouped in one place.


Parella accompanied a company in the finance sector in the context of a takeover of another company. Our client was already occupying space in a premium coworking facility in the center of Paris. Satisfied with this experience, all the teams were grouped together in the same coworking space to encourage synergies. This choice allows them to take advantage of a work environment that meets their business requirements and to welcome their clients in the best possible way.

A buffer space to accommodate enrollment growth

If you are short of space in your current office, and do not yet have a clear vision of your medium to long-term real estate strategy, coworking centers can help you accommodate your growing workforce.
It is also a good solution as a temporary space during works on your own site.


We assisted a client who, following the merger of several start-ups, was faced with the challenge of bringing the teams together and creating a common corporate culture. As each entity's contracts were about to expire, coworking appeared to be a temporary solution. This while waiting to frame the ambitions and needs of the long-term project. The speed of the transaction was a strong point. Our client took advantage of this temporary solution to test the uses. This made it possible to determine the "long-term" layout of the future premises.

A complementary offer to provide a diversity of workplaces

Following the forced telework during the Covid crisis and its constraints (loss of social link, degraded working conditions...), the subscription to coworking is of more interest to the HRDs to answer the punctual needs of the employees, in particular in the following situations

  • A significant distance between home and headquarters
  • The need to work in an adapted place between 2 professional meetings
  • In telecommuting, a preference for these third places rather than the home to separate work and private life
  • In addition, a space better equipped and more comfortable than the home to work efficiently
  • Easier to receive clients outside of one's own premises
  • For the company, the possibility to enlarge its professional network and its visibility thanks to its coworkers
  • To create project spaces.

Coworking - Space

Thibaud Poirier for Parella

Attractive offers with specificities not to be overlooked

We accompany our clients to help them analyze the advantages and disadvantages of coworking, compared to a "classic" commercial lease.

A central location

One of the added values of coworking lies in its attractive location because it is very central and therefore accessible to the greatest number of people. In Ile-de-France, 75% of coworking spaces are located in Paris, 2/3 of which are in the Central Business District. In addition, the international deployment of coworking spaces is attractive to large groups wishing to expand abroad.


Location and accessibility remain the number one choice criteria for 51% of managers and 54% of employees (source: Parella x CSA Barometer, end 2022).


Coworking offers are often praised for the flexibility they allow.

  • Flexibility on the duration of the contract

For the majority of coworking spaces, the minimum commitment period (1 to 6 months) is reduced compared to the classic commercial lease model (3 to 6 years).

  • Flexibility in managing workforce growth

The regular movement within the coworking space, generally allows to find easily space within the building.


In return for this flexibility, restrictive clauses can be integrated into the service contracts. For example, the possibility for the coworker to substitute one office space for another.

The turnkey

In addition, the coworking service offers users a turnkey solution.
This solution is interesting if the existing arrangements proposed by the coworker already correspond to your needs. However, a reorganization and personalization of the space may require an accompaniment that you should anticipate in your budget.

In addition, coworking offers an already established image. Although in vogue, it does not reflect the specific identity of the user. The latter may wish to personalize his spaces in line with his DNA and his corporate culture. However, the user cannot "brand" the building to his image because he shares it with others. Moreover, the coworking, because of the turnkey, impose constraints limiting the personalization.
If you want to have a headquarters that embodies your DNA and culture, it is better to prefer the "classic" lease of a building, with a custom design approach that will enhance your brand: our Global Design approach (learn more)


Coworking solutions are generally sold on the basis of dense layouts:

  • A surface area per workstation below the ratios observed in private office projects and smaller furniture (1m to 1m20 wide)
  • There are few meeting rooms in the private areas. However, you can use the credits, which you benefit from according to your contract, to use the common rooms of the center.

Thus, the costs increase exponentially when your project requires adaptation to your specific needs. Bringing more comfort to your employees will be an investment to be taken into account.

Coworking - Spaces - Teams

In conclusion

The recurring changes in working methods and employee aspirations are having an impact on companies' real estate strategies. In response, companies are looking for flexibility in their choice of location and diversity in the work spaces they offer.

If coworking is an attractive solution, companies must first ensure that this real estate option actually meets their challenges and the needs of their employees. Coworking can make sense in a short-term strategy (1 to 2 years). However, there may be limitations in the long term (financial cost, lack of comfort due to the density of the spaces, limited degree of personalization) and push towards the "classic" lease of a building.

The diversity of coworking offers and the plurality of issues specific to each company require an analysis and framing work in order to avoid mistakes.

In 2022, Parella, a player dedicated to users, accompanied several clients in defining their real estate strategies. Are you facing this challenge? A Parella expert will be able to accompany you and advise you in identifying the best solutions according to your challenges.