By: David-Alan Venable
On the fence about whether or not you should join the coworking movement?
Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces, an article published earlier this month by the Harvard Business Review (HBR), reports on recent studies aimed at understanding the recent success of communal workspaces.
According to the research, the success of coworking spaces is generally credited to a few major factors that truly improve the working experience:
- “People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful.”
What exactly does that mean? Per HBR, things like internal politics have a huge impact on the way individuals identify with their work. Having very little expectations in dress, role, and professional personality, people can work genuinely and organically in coworking spaces. Working in such a diverse environment also prompts members to have seemingly stronger occupational identities. HBR additionally states that a more “meaningful” sense of work comes largely from the opportunity to help others, which is a common attribute among coworking members.
- “They have more job control.”
As part of coworking communities, members maintain a strong control over things like when they work and where they choose to do it from. A typical work day may be broken up into two, four-hour intervals with a three hour gym-and-lunch session in between. Most coworking spaces give their members access to the office all hours of the day or night, as well. At coworking spaces, “job control” is an egregious understatement!
- “They feel part of a community.”
In corporate settings or cubicle dominated workspaces, employees tend to feel isolated and seen as numbers rather than individuals. In coworking spaces, members feel apart of a community that is both resourceful and reliable. Knowledge and advice is passed along in daily conversation between members. Office neighbors from many occupations and expertise offer diverse viewpoints and strategies on business, innovation, and productivity. In coworking spaces, camaraderie and networking are daily advantages that prompt a greater sense of integrity.