Shared workspaces are growing in popularity. The 2018 Global Coworking Survey estimates that there are about 1.7 million people working in coworking spaces now. Find out how this way of working may also benefit your business.
Did you know that shared workspaces may actually change your company’s level of success for the better? As a matter of fact, a study published by the Harvard Business Review revealed that people who work in coworking spaces report a sense of thrive “at least a point higher than the average” of employees who do their jobs in regular offices. Of course, by now you are probably wondering: what do shared workspaces have that traditional workspaces don’t? We explain.
Shared workspaces reinforce the importance of community
The 2018 Global Coworking Survey revealed that, when choosing a coworking space, the decisive factors that are taken into account are the existence of a community, the interaction with other workers, and a “social atmosphere”.
Regardless of your business size or model, the fact that shared office and coworking spaces are built with companies from different fields – that are not in direct competition with each other – results in a more easy-going work environment, given the fact that employees don’t feel the need to put on “a work persona”.
This diversity also enables people to see their work as meaningful, since there are many opportunities for businesses to help each other grow.
Shared workspaces increase the likelihood of partnerships
Knowledge sharing is among the top 3 reasons why people look for coworking spaces, according to researchers at the University of Michigan. The continuous interaction with people from different backgrounds, experiences, and fields of expertise may increase the motivation and productivity of your employees.
A survey conducted on the subject of coworking spaces found that, since they began to work in a shared workspace, the vast majority of respondents felt:
- Less lonely;
- More engaged and motivated;
- An expansion of their professional network which later turned out to be “an important source of work and business referrals”.
Shared workspaces suit the needs of every employee
When shared workspaces first emerged in 2005 under the term ‘coworking’ they brought the opportunity of creating “a third way of working”. At least that’s the opinion of Italian scholar Alessandro Gandini, who reviewed the rise of coworking spaces in the modern world. This third way of work would be a combination of freedom and independence (typical of freelancers and entrepreneurs working from home) with a strict workplace and schedule (typical of regular offices).
Another study found that coworkers have reported enjoying a greater level of autonomy while the sense of community reinforces motivation and discipline. By greater level of autonomy we mean a flexible work schedule – or at least, a higher level of control over when to work, rest or take a break in comparison to regular offices. According to the study, this flexibility is among the main reasons why people thrive in coworking spaces.