If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted, it’s the importance of coworking spaces for employees of all kinds. Over the years, research has been carried out into the best ways of helping employees to thrive at work, and the best results were associated with coworking spaces, which came out far ahead of traditional offices in terms of worker satisfaction and productivity.
So, what are coworking spaces? And what makes them so effective when it comes to helping workers to thrive?
Coworking Spaces – A Definition
A coworking space is defined as a membership-based workspace in which groups of remote workers, freelancers, and independent professionals come together in a communal, shared setting.
What Sets Coworking Spaces Apart From Traditional Office Environments?
People using coworking spaces, above all else, view their work as important and meaningful. Freelancers and independent professionals choose projects that they care about, and when they come to a coworking space they can bring their whole selves to the spaces. Since these spaces are made up of people working on a wide variety of ventures and for different organizations, there is no internal politics or direct competition. This means there’s no need to adopt a different persona in order to fit in with the group.
Not only that, but it is the norm in coworking spaces to help other members and for each person to offer their own unique skillsets to assist other members of the community with their projects. Coworking environments operate on the values of collaboration, sustainability, and community which lends an air of social integration to space. As a result, those operating in coworking environments feel part of a community, and a valued part at that.
The Community Difference
Connecting with other people is a key reason why workers choose to work in communal spaces instead of renting their own office or working from home. All coworking spaces come with a unique vibe that meets the members’ needs. Members of these spaces may join as an individual but they become part of a larger community.
Members are able to choose their level of interaction with others. They can enjoy discussions with others in social spaces or tuck themselves away to focus on a project in a secluded space without interruptions. Yet, even those members who rarely seek community contact still have a strong sense of community identity since they have the potential to interact whenever they need or want to.
Adopting Coworking as a Company Strategy
More traditional companies these days are beginning to recognise the benefits of the coworking movement when it comes to helping their businesses survive. Coworking spaces are now being seen as alternative places where people can work, especially when flexible working is a requirement. Coworking spaces are also invaluable to companies that have implemented remote working, for example as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flexibility and control are becoming more important than ever in the workplace, and this can be more easily achieved in a coworking space than in a classic office environment, so it comes as little surprise that their use has expanded exponentially in recent times. It’s likely that the reach of these environments will only expand further in the years to come.