The Power of Coworking Communities: Why Do They Matter ?
Coworking may seem like one of the latest fads, but unlike popular belief, it has its origins in the mid-’90s, and the earliest coworking space resembled a modern age hackerspace where generally makers or people with common interests meet. But it’s not the physical space that holds the magic, but the people in it who make coworking spaces thrive. According to the Global Workspace Association report, freelancers and employees may come fleeting to any coworking space for its amenities, but in the end, it’s the community that keeps them right where they are. Such is the power of coworking communities, and rightfully so. Why? Because there are many benefits of working alongside like-minded coworkers who share the same passion and drive in their work as you do, and might even contribute to your work qualitatively, if it’s related. In the ongoing pandemic, one of the worst problems that remote workers struggled with was loneliness at work since they are locked away in their homes. Technology did help in keeping all of them connected over video calls throughout, but there’s nothing like live, brainstorming, and weighing out options.
Now, many may consider the coworking community as a rather ‘squishy’ concept that the millennials seem to care about, but it goes on to shed light on one of the basic instincts of humans, i.e. we are social beings. We bloom at places that provide us with the right interaction to collate, share, and gain perspectives on different ideas. The very idea of coworking spaces stands on the crux of harnessing the same, and the ones which do enjoy a sustainable advantage over others. Communities can help in building rich, collaborative work relationships, enhance work satisfaction and value in any workplace setting, and coworking spaces take it a bit further by their open, work-life oriented designs. Both Coworking Resources and Coworker reports show that there are more than 20,000 coworking spaces worldwide and the number is going to double by 2024, as the conditions get even more favorable for enterprises and startups to switch to coworking post-COVID-19.
1. Coworking communities can encourage personal growth
There’s a reason why humans have kept close to other humans since the stone age. ‘Strength in numbers’ also counts the minds along with the manpower, that can work collectively on each other’s strengths as they hunt, build tools, or harvest food crops. Similarly, in a coworking space, people make an effort to know each other and bring up valued, meaningful interactions between each other that work both ways in terms of knowledge enrichment. Unlike a traditional office setup, these efforts aren’t forced or coaxed in the form of social or work-related events.
2. Community can yield a sense of purpose and collective identity
A recent study by Harvard Business Review says that coworkers (be it freelancers of full-time employees of an organization) identified more with their companies than with a coworking setup because:
- There’s no magic in the coworking space, and instead it provides all of their amenities and convenience they need – thus keeping no clashes with any organization’s belief or culture.
- Working around with other individuals like them shaped their perspective of the enterprise they work with, especially when the company’s morale aligned with that of the work atmosphere in the coworking space, overall building a solid work experience for the workers.
3. Coworking communities can actually increase overall productivity
You may have heard that productivity is contagious and according to Forbes, employees have felt the difference themselves when they were working in large, open, aesthetic workplaces filled with like-minded coworkers. It is the sense of community that can make an individual feel more motivated and engaged, thus focusing better at the task at hand; especially if they’ve been dealing with getting lonely working on remote. In several instances, coworkers often talk about the unique collaboration that occurs in a coworking space that sets them right to be more themselves while being creative and accomplished.
4. Coworking communities can help you network
The possibilities of having creative and target-oriented people in one room are endless. For a beginner it may bring opportunities from all directions without even trying hard, as your work speaks for you. Not only would it help you to spread the buzz but also absorb and connect to the latest trends, and requirements in the industry straight from the professionals in the field, in a more natural way. Imagine bumping into someone from the industry you’re trying so badly to get into, near the coffee machine or meeting such a diverse group of people regularly that broadens your mind and consider opportunities that you’d have never thought in a different scenario. It’s amazing that when the sense of urgency which comes enforced in a staged, pre-decided meeting gets removed, it starts the beginning of progressive relationships that can help your business to move forward.
5. Coworking communities can give direction to small businesses
The moment you say yes to coworking spaces, that’s the time when you’re given access to high-achieving, top professionals and the way they execute things everyday. This, itself can be a huge learning curve for a small startup with potential. Unlike popular belief, the discussions in coworking communities are hardly about billion dollar investments, but on personal success stories that can also come with insights to getting out of a tricky situation effectively, the logistics, or even at times a good mentor. You know how they say, once you’re in, you’re in!
6. Coworking communities can yield more work satisfaction
Overall the personal interactions and the better clarity of your work can help you stay enthusiastic and cheerful in your workdays, be it a Monday or a Thursday. It drives confidence and optimism, especially for the creative professionals who need to find daily inspiration to be at their best. What better than brainstorming and hanging out with similar, artistic people like you?
In the End:
We know what you must be thinking. What about the distractions in coworking spaces? What do I do if I don’t want to be rude but then need privacy at work? Remember, coworking spaces work when you know your strengths as well as your requirements to get work done. There are many coworking spaces that have many nuances when a coworker wants to be left alone while they’re working in an open space – like using small items that tell others. Coworking spaces offer so much more than sensible, financial benefits to companies and one of the biggest and most-undermined is the community. You’re not bound to get stuck in the traffic rush every morning, slog from 9 to 5 at work, or work at someone else’s pace. Coworking spaces literally free you from the rat race.
Find out more on how Zioks is one such coworking space in Kolkata that works on the principle of building a collaborative, stable coworking community and nurturing the same. And if you’d like to learn more on how to select the right coworking space for you, you may find their blog an interesting read.