Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces
Coworking spaces appear special. As experts who have researched employee thriving for years, we were astonished to find that members report thriving levels near 6 on a 7-point scale. We had to recheck the statistics because this is at least one point higher than the average for office workers.
It passes. What makes coworking spaces, where freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work in a shared, communal atmosphere, so effective? What about traditional offices?
We interviewed coworking space founders and community administrators and surveyed hundreds of workers in the U.S. Our poll found three determinants of success:
Coworkers value their work. The people we polled said they found purpose in being able to contribute their complete selves to work. They have several options.
First, coworking spaces have members from a variety of enterprises, ventures, and projects. Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don't need a work identity. Working with others doing diverse jobs helps strengthen one's work identity. Our responders were given the chance to regularly describe what they do, which can make what they do seem more fascinating and distinctive.
Second, meaning may come from working in a culture where helping each other is the norm, and there are many opportunities to do so. The range of workers in the space means coworkers have various skill sets they may provide to community members.
The social goal of the Coworking Manifesto, an online declaration signed by 1,700 working places. It outlines the coworking movement's values, including community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. Global Coworking UnConference reinforces these principles. In many circumstances, a person isn't just working; they're part of a societal movement.
More job control. Coworking spaces are 24/7. People can work long days when they have a deadline or want to show progress, or they might go to the gym during the day. They can choose to focus in a quiet room or collaborate at shared tables. They can work from home if they need to meet a repairman or help a family member.
Coworkers value liberty, but they also value structure in their careers. Too much autonomy hinders productivity because people lack routines. Having a work community helps coworkers build structures and discipline that inspire them. Paradoxically, certain structure allows independent employees optimal control.
They're community-minded. People prefer working in a communal area over working from home for free or hiring a nondescript office. Each coworking space has its own character, and management work hard to fulfil members' demands. Grind is a New York and Chicago coworking network. Anthony Marinos, who supervises Grind's marketing, community management, and member services, said, "We're all about the human factor." We're a workspace and hospitality company. Our staff knows all Grindists by name and occupation, and we facilitate introductions.
Socializing isn't forced or mandatory. Members can select when to interact. They like coffee shop conversations because they come there for that purpose, and when they want to be alone, they are. Some people engage with coworkers less than others, but they nevertheless feel a strong sense of community. Coworkers know they can interact when they want or need to.
How does this affect traditional businesses? The coworking movement began with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, but it's now important for many people and companies. Coworking can be part of your company's strategy, helping your employees and business develop. Companies are using coworking in two ways.
First, they're a place to work. Michael Kenny, Managing Partner of San Diego-based Co-Merge, said, "We've witnessed a tremendous surge in enterprise personnel using the space." Teams use on-demand meeting spaces. We have users from worldwide enterprises with hundreds to thousands of employees who utilise the space to allow their distributed workers to be productive and to attract personnel who want a flexible workplace.
Second, corporate offices can learn from coworking spaces. Creating the correct internal work environment is just as crucial as encouraging flexibility and supporting your mobile team. This isn't just about open layouts or coffee bars.
People need to provide purpose and meaning to their work. Many firms are embracing the best planning practise of providing a 1:1 ratio of desk seats to seats in shared areas utilised for collaborative or silent work.