For many of us, the idea of thriving at work sounds like an impractical dream. After all, navigating internal politics, fighting for scarce resources and opportunities, and the belief that we need to work later and later in order to be respected, is leaving more and more of us feeling exhausted.
What could be a better way to thrive at work? With telecommunicating and freelancing on the rise, coworking spaces where people from different organizations share an office environment are becoming increasingly in demand.
According to Professor Gretchen Spreitzer from the University of Michigan’s Center for Positive Organizations, people in these spaces are more likely to report they are thriving than people in traditional work spaces. Here’s why:.
People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful
Unlike a traditional office, coworking spaces consist of members who work for companies of different industries, ventures, and projects. Because there is minimal direct competition or internal politics, they don’t feel they have to put on a work persona to fit in. Working amidst people doing different kinds of work can also make one’s own work identity stronger.
This may also be a result of working in a culture where it is the norm to help each other out. The variety of workers in the space means that coworkers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members.
People have more job control
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 deal with a family member who is in need.
However, while coworkers value this autonomy, they also equally value some form of system in their professional lives. Too much autonomy can actually immobilize productivity because people lack routines. Coworkers reported that having a community to work in helps them create systems and discipline that motivates them.
They feel part of a community
Connections with others are a big reason why people pay to work in a communal space, as opposed to working from home for free or renting a nondescript office. Each coworking space has its own vibe, and the managers of each space go to great lengths to cultivate a unique experience that meets the needs of their respective members.
However, socializing isn’t mandatory or forced. Members can freely choose when and how to interact with others. They are more likely to enjoy discussions over coffee in the café and when they want to be left alone elsewhere in the building, they are free to do so.
To sum things up, even though the coworking platform has its origins among freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, it’s increasingly relevant for a broader range of people and organizations. In fact, coworking can become part of your company’s strategy, and it can help your people and your business thrive.
People need to be able to craft their work in ways that give them purpose and meaning. They should be given control and flexibility in their work environment— many companies are increasingly adopting the best planning practice of providing a 1:1 ratio of desk seats to seats in shared settings used for either collaborative work or personal work.
Companies are also trying to enable more connections, helping people to interact and build community beyond work meetings. Coworking spaces are one place to look for guidance, as they regularly offer networking events, training programs, and social events.
Are you looking for a coworking space or you want to know more about the concept? Visit one of our 7 locations in the Metro and get a free day pass!