The idea of a co-working space seems to be taking off quickly across the country. More and more office buildings are renting out shared space offering freelancers, entrepreneurs and companies the ability to take part in collaborating with like-minded individuals across a range of different industries.
Co-working spaces build a sense of community among the workers, allowing them to thrive in an environment that is more relaxed and flexible than a traditional office environment. Research has shown that workers in a shared space are up to four times more likely to succeed in their endeavors. Not only is the work environment more flexible, but the coworkers have a higher level of interaction with other people within the office.
Workers do well in shared spaces because they are often occupied by a variety of workers. So they can benefit from the diverse range of skills across the co-working community. Each worker has the ability to seek out advice and help from other workers across the office. This builds a sense of cooperation and kinship as well as improving work identity, factors that can significantly drive success in business.
Traditional offices are often a hotbed of workplace politics. Co-working spaces differ from the traditional corporate office because the variety of projects and business types occupying the space tends to minimize direct competition. Instead of competing on the same project, the occupants work together as a community, helping one another through collaboration and sharing expertise.
People in co-working offices very often have to describe what they do to others within the shared space which can lead to a strong work identity. When people continually describe what they do to colleagues, it makes them feel their jobs are more interesting and exceptional. And if they are the ones being sought out for their expertise, this can strengthen pride in their own work.
Workers in a co-working environment feel as if they’re part of a community rather than getting lost in the crowd at a large corporation. This cooperative spirit helps create a sense of structure while the flexibility of shared spaces gives them a feeling of more job control.
The NYC coworking space Workville provides a large space in midtown where workers can share offices. They also have outside spaces and a café to work or conduct meetings. Workville believes that a community of workers with a variety of skill sets leads to more success than a traditional office model and allows for more autonomy.
More and more corporations are now beginning to adopt the workspace model. The design of co-working spaces allows people to create their own unique work environment. Even in a large corporation, this can drive success where a sense of community and purpose is vital for employees to thrive and bring creative ideas to their work.