There seems to be something special about coworking spaces. As researchers who have, for years, studied how employees thrive, we were surprised to discover that people who belong to them report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular offices, and something so unheard of that we had to look at the data again.
What makes coworking spaces – defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting – so effective? And are there lessons for more traditional offices?
Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who work for a range of different companies, ventures, and projects. Because there is little direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in.
We work in a culture where it is the norm to help each other out, and there are many opportunities to do so; the variety of workers in the space means that coworkers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members.
Coworking spaces are normally accessible 24/7. People can decide whether to put in a long day when they have a deadline or want to show progress or can decide to take a long break in the middle of the day to go to the gym. They can choose whether they want to work in a quiet space so they can focus, or in a more collaborative space with shared tables where interaction is encouraged. They can even decide to work from home, without repercussion, if they need to meet a repairperson or deal with a family member need.
Coworking spaces have become more and more popular over the recent years. Employees seem to thrive when they use spaces, much more so than those who use a typical office. Coworking spaces are meant for anyone to use; anyone from any department, project, or company. There is also a lot of working together with these spaces. We, most of the time, want to help each other out and coworking areas give you the ability to do so easily. And not only is it easy to help others out, but you can do it any time of the day or night that you would want to. These spaces are mean to be used or accessed 24/7. With our current world, there is a lot of freedom with work. People have been remote only since the pandemic, others have worked in a hybrid environment, and some are in person completely. But coworking spaces give people a chance to change their environment and continue to do their job. This article has a good basis for some of the research behind coworking spaces. It helps introduce benefits to spaces like these and breaks down how and why they work.