By 2020, if things continue as they are, 40 percent of the workforce in the U.S. will be freelancers, temporary workers, independent contractors and solo-entrepreneurs. Almost all of them will be working in coworking office space. Coworking office space refers to shared space where people who work there are most often working for different organizations, or for themselves, but creating synergy between each other.
Benefits of Coworking Office Space:
A recent survey found:
Among these independent workers,
- 70 percent feel healthier than they did when working in a conventional office.
- 68 percent said they were able to focus better.
- 64 percent are better able to complete tasks on time.
- 60 percent are more relaxed at home since coworking.
- 92 percent were satisfied with their coworking space.
- 91 percent enjoyed better interactions with others.
- 50 percent report higher incomes.
Harvard Business Review reports that people who work this way, in coworking environments thrive more in their work than those in conventional office environments. What makes coworking spaces work so well? The answers may have important implications for conventional office philosophy and design.
The factors that go into success for the coworking environment may provide important metrics for the assessment of a successful office environment. The HBR survey of several hundred workers in coworking spaces around the U.S. revealed important factors that predict “thriving.”
The key business metrics for coworking office space are measures that predict “thriving” and positive impacts of coworking spaces on productivity and satisfaction.
- People who use coworking office space see their work as meaningful. Those who work in coworking environments are free to choose the projects they care about. They can “bring their whole selves to work.”
- Coworking spaces are filled with members who work for a range of companies, ventures, or projects. There is no direct competition or internal politics. There is no need for a false work persona.
- Coworking has become something of a culture that has been developing a social mission. An online document called the “Coworking Manifesto” is signed by members from 1,700 working spaces. An annual “Global Coworking Unconference” (GCU) (pronounced “juicy,” held in 5 location around the world) brings a sense of identity, participation and mission to the coworker.
- Coworking spaces are normally available on demand 24/7. People have nearly absolute power to decide when they work and how long. They can choose to work in collaborative spaces or private spaces. They can even work from home. However, the coworking environment provides a community and a specific location for work, that provides a sense of structure and discipline hat motivates the workers.
- Feeling part of a community is a chief reason why people pay to work in a community space rather than in isolation or at home.
If you were to measure the power of coworking space, use measures that assess:
- Workers’ attitudes toward the meaningfulness of their work.
- Feelings of competitiveness among co-workers.
- Involvement in the “culture of coworking.
- Use of office space in off hours and irregular ways.
- Feeling that the office space provides a motivating sense of community, structure and discipline.
Increasing numbers of employees of larger companies are choosing to work in coworker environment, rather than telecommuting from home or working in the corporate offices. Employees of Visa, large financial institutions, and journalists from newspapers like the Chicago Tribune are among them. The innovation team from Richo worked out of coworking space for several months to explore some new products, including their “Smart Presenter,” paperless meeting solution. Some companies, like Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan have actually enlarged their offices so that start-up companies and early-stage entrepreneurs can work alongside their staff.
Coworking Methods Applied to Corporate Environments:
The lessons of coworking spaces can be applied to corporate offices.
- Encouraging flexibility and support for a mobile workforce.
- Creating the right kind of social work environment inside corporate office walls.
- Enable people to craft their own work environment in ways that give them purpose and meaning.
- Establish a balance of desk seats and shared settings for collaborative work and quiet work.
- Enable people to make connections and build working communities beyond formal meetings.
Please contact us to learn more about coworking office space.
Here is a look at a coworking office space in Seattle Washington:
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