Coworking: Why It Works

 

Coworking has taken the world by storm by introducing new ways to work and being an integral part of this current shift in office design and culture. Research from Deskmag, Gensler and beyond have published the sheer growth of coworking spaces over the past few years, so it’s no secret that flexibility and cost-efficiency is rewarded with popularity. However, it takes more than just lower rent prices to become leaders within the workplace world. With such a variety of coworking spaces across the globe all supposedly offering something exclusive, how do you know which one right for you and your business?

 

"Focus, Collaborate, Learn & Socialise."

 

Design

To get ahead, office design needs to be structured around the four work modes: focus, collaborate, learn and socialise. One open-plan room just won't cut it now people have had a taste of the bold and inventive workplaces springing up.  

The Collaborators: The pioneers of walking meetings - these individuals don't like settling in one place, moving around the office to constantly change up their scenery. Communal, collaborative areas combined with reliable connectivity and cloud storage and desktops give these wanderers the freedom to travel anywhere without losing access to necessary data or  network drop outs. 

The Focused: The individuals who prefer lower noise levels and privacy. Communal spaces tend to hinder their productivity, so strategically positioned alcoves, soundproof chairs and small cornered off areas are features that kick privacy up a notch without completely isolating them. Offering them a private network with an assigned usage to each device means they won't get slowed down by bandwidth hogs.  

Community & Events

Most coworking ventures promise this, but what kind of community do they offer? For some, their global community is their pride and joy, their free 5pm beers and pizza networking events 'connect' people together. For others, community is taken more seriously, with strategically planned events, targeted guest lists, and educational topics which enables like-minded people to learn and connect with each other in order to make a difference.  

Coworking spaces are similar to campuses if done right. They offer coffee, food, regular events throughout the day, even gyms and showers - members can get everything they need from one place. 

Technology

 Wi-fi - check. Meeting rooms with conference facilities - check. What about tech support, security or interrupted connections? Most 'serviced' and leased office spaces don't provide enough to help a business to succeed. With workplace technology constantly evolving and advancing, coworking spaces are too by offering members the opportunity to progress and bring their businesses into the modern world.  

"technology stands above the rest."

Coworking spaces have a mission: to create a workplace people will want to work in, as opposed to an office they’re forced to work in. Next time you visit or spend time in a coworking space, have a look around - notice the design elements, facilities, location and overall environment that’s been created, guaranteed everything has been done for a purpose. So, why do coworking spaces work? They offer a space that is specifically targeted to each member, to advance work performance, their social life and their business.

 

The lines between professional and personal lives are becoming blurred, offices and companies that act on this will be the ones that go the distance. Co-working ventures have a mission to create a workspace people want to work in, not one they're forced into - to do so, they must put the needs and wants of the members first in terms of facilities, design, location, and community. While private offices are beginning to take the hint, only co-working has the adaptability to create adventurous, stylish spaces which break the rules and spark ideas.

Catherine Robinson