When you picture a coworking space, you may envision bright lighting, modern couches, free coffee and tea and collaborative working desks/tables. In a lot of cases this may be an accurate description. However, coworking environments have a lot more to offer than simply fancy decor and great coffee.
The coworking space is a revolutionary idea that has transformed how, when, where and why people work. It went from a nonexistent concept to a full-blown industry that has disrupted the real estate industry and the way people work. Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members from a variety of different ventures, companies, and projects.
Coworking is today’s normal and appears to be second nature to millions of freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs, and startups today. Yet, believe it or not, it hasn’t always been this way. The first official “co-working” space opened just fourteen years ago this month in the city of San Francisco. According to the Coworking Resources Network, by 2022, the number of coworking spaces worldwide will increase to 25,968 spaces. This is larger than a 2.5 million percent increase in 17 years! So what is all the hype about? Why for all this rapid growth?
In contrast to a traditional workplace environment, little direct competition or internal company politics in cowork spaces enable members to be their authentic selves. They don’t have to try to put on a work persona in order to fit in or achieve recognition which helps them focus on their vocational pursuits. These individuals report that having a community to work in helps them create structures and discipline that motivates them to achieve and succeed. With substantial autonomy, they can choose to be social or keep to themselves while knowing there is always the potential for interactions when they desire or need them.
According to Harvard Business Review, people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counterparts. 84% of people who use coworking spaces are more engaged and motivated and 89% reported feeling happier. These high statistics are largely due in part to members seeing their work as meaningful, being part of a built in community and flexibility with more job control.
Working in a culture where it is the norm to help others, gives meaning and purpose to people’s work. A variety of people with numerous working ventures means that coworkers offer unique skill sets they can share with and offer to other members. These spaces provide an environment where members can receive guidance, encouragement and support. Many spaces host networking events, seminars, training programs and social events which create a creative and united environment. This community helps members to stay inspired, productive, and motivated.
Who doesn’t want a built-in network community to collaborate with and share ideas? Modern shared workspaces provide an opportunity to form and develop long-lasting relationships. Thanks to the networking community of like-minded individuals, they are more likely to view their work as meaningful. This sense of unity builds self-confidence and improves mental health.
Last but certainly not least – additional amenities! Coworking spaces will often offer a variety of spaces for both collaborative and quiet work. This includes common spaces with couches and tables as well as quiet areas with private meeting rooms for confidential meetings and appointments. Additionally, coworking spaces can provide complimentary office supplies and resources at your fingertips. Finally, let’s not forget about the endless supply of coffee, tea, and free treats!