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Shared Workspace Revolution: The Rise of Coworking Explained

May 10, 2017 By

More companies and remote workers are starting to embrace the idea of coworking. But why? In this post, we’re explaining the shared workspace revolution.

Gone are the days of fabric-sided office cubicles or they will be soon. The new trend in business offices is a more open and blended experience.┬áNo one likes being cramped in a small space with phones ringing all around them. Fluorescent lights and a culture of company competition aren’t always good for your health either. To combat this, coworking was born. Coworking spaces aim to turn one space into a creative hub. A coworking office is a shared workspace for many different businesses.
Let’s learn more:

How Do Shared Workspaces Work?

The strategy and idea behind coworking is an open office where people bounce ideas off others. Instead of everyone being in the same industry, people come from all types of companies.
The mix of companies lessens in-workplace competition and provides fresh perspectives. If you’re a non-profit working in a community workspace, you can talk to a business owner for donor ideas.
It’s like a small community, expect instead of bake sales for the schools, you each have your own projects.
Many of these workspaces provide coffee and snacks, like a corporate office. Wifi is available and you can upgrade your plan for amenities like an on-site storage cabinet.
Membership plans differ depending on your office. Some places offer drop-in plans while others have a tiered membership system based off needs.
Starbucks named itself the “third” space. A place to go when you want to escape spaces one and two (home and work). These workspaces, then are the fourth space.
Going to a coworking space is like going to a coffee shop that only admits professionals.

Who are Coworking Spaces For?

Some spaces are niche spaces meant for a certain industry sector. Others accept all kinds of workers spanning the job industries.
Freelancers and those who work from home are some who benefit highly. Being in a place with other professionals cuts down on distractions that can keep them from their work at home.
While it seems counter-intuitive, the social aspect of these spaces helps productivity. It seems like it would be distracting, but instead, people get inspired by others.
Socializing keeps people happier and balanced, leading to more work productivity long-term. Especially for those who would be alone at home all day.
Commuters and people who don’t like their workspaces on-site can work in shared spaces too. Community workspaces for these folks act like a breath of fresh air from office politics or morning traffic.

What are the Benefits?

In a Harvard Business Review study, researchers found impressive benefits from these spaces. Some of those include:

  • Increased thriving
  • Strengthened work identity
  • Less competition
  • More creativity
  • More Collaboration
  • Hours that are flexible

What does “increased thriving” mean? Those who are present consistently in shared workspaces report getting more work done. This is a complicated way of describing work performance.
In their study on employees thriving, those who used a coworking space ranked a point higher. What coworking did for them specifically is unknown, but it worked!
With so many different job descriptions in one office, each person feels unique. Being the only one from a certain company or sector gives them an identity that isn’t “employee”.
People like to feel special. Thanks to coworking spaces, we now know that it makes people work better.
Less competition also helps with employee identity. When people are free from office politics, they are less likely to feel like they need to be a certain way. In shared workspaces, they can take the energy they would have spent on appearances and put it in their work.
Since most workspaces include people from different sectors, brainstorming becomes more diverse. Imagine being a web developer working in the office with someone who works in the industry you’re designing for.
These shared workspaces make individual talents and intelligence public resources. Brainstorming becomes a creative process instead of a dead end for the same ideas.
These workspaces can even lead to collaborations between businesses. A freelance writer could trade a blog post for help with a website. A non-profit could get a large corporate sponsor by the water cooler.
The opportunities are endless!
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you work best when you’re on-the-clock or do your best ideas come to you randomly?
The ways people work and like to work are different. Many coworking spaces are open around the clock to account to accommodate these differences.

Shared Space Community

If you become a member of a co-working space, you walk into an immediate community. But what if you’re that person coming to the office at 9 pm?
Or you haven’t quite bought into the idea of coworking but you’re curious and want to talk to real people? You have options too. Many shared workspaces offer networking events for these reasons.
The types of events they sponsor depend on the venue and can change. Some offer training workshops for specific skills. Others might offer a weekly happy hour for purely social purposes.
If you’re new to the shared workspace scene or want to get your foot in the door, try attending one of these events.

Shared Space Amenities

What do these workspaces offer to their members? It differs by location.
If you’re in the Jersey City area you can expect:

  • Private desks
  • 24/7 access
  • A stocked pantry
  • Conference rooms
  • Wifi
  • Events
  • A mailbox
  • Standing desks
  • Printer access
  • And more!

Some of these features you can expect at any location. Wifi and printers come standard and most places host events as well. Before you sign up for a membership, check the amenities that space offers.
You’ll want to pay attention to tiered membership pricing. Some places only offer certain amenities to high-paying members.
If there is a coworking space in your area and budget range, it’s worth going and taking a tour. You could also drop in if you want a more immersive experience.
With all the benefits that shared workspaces offer, you have nothing to lose from trying one. You actually have everything to gain.
To learn more about the perfect coworking environment or to join a coworking community, contact WorkSocial today.


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