What to look for in a Coworking space
10 years ago, freelancers and startups started using coworking spaces as the alternative to a classic office environment. Today, even big companies explore the benefits of shared working environments and move their employees to coworking spaces. Companies from the Fortune 500 list see coworking spaces as places where they can find new talent, reducing real estate costs and focusing on innovations.
Coworking spaces offer new opportunities for innovative development and exchange of ideas. Big corporations consider coworking spaces an opportunity to get closer to innovative startups. Thus, if your startup company wants to be noticed, coworking spaces make it possible to build new promising connections. Such coworking companies as The Alley and Galvanize not only offer the necessary resources and working environment but also integrate incubators into their strategies of development. They build partner relationships with corporations so that the latter can stay up-to-date about the latest innovations and potential shifts in their industry. Successful companies are always interested in potential acquisition targets, and coworking spaces allow them to find them, monitoring competition and attracting fresh talent at the same time.
As the specifics of work change and the demand for new technology grows, coworking also evolves so we can expect it to look completely different by 2020. Some new trends are already apparent, and it’s important to keep up with the latest tendencies that are going to change coworking as we know it during the next few years.
People love coworking spaces for a reason, in fact, there are many reasons why professionals choose coworking over traditional office workplaces. First of all, coworking spaces are a great solution for experts who work in a few different industries. They don’t need to worry about the internal policies of a certain company or its corporate culture. They also can meet people from other industries and share experience, which makes coworking a more meaningful approach than classic workplace models.
People with different skills and knowledge can help each other achieve various atypical goals.
There is also another important feature of coworking spaces which can be called a structured autonomy. They are open 24 hours a day so people can work when they want and when they feel the most productive, instead of sticking to a rigid schedule. Andrew Wechsler, an HR manager from Masterra, notes: “Coworking spaces give people flexibility, which is, perhaps, the most attractive feature of such a model for the majority of workers from various industries. At the same time, membership also implies a certain structure that ensures discipline and motivation while members can make decisions regarding their schedules.”
The diversity of professionals offers many opportunities for learning as well as opportunities for a personal and professional growth. All the members of coworking communities have their own networks of contacts so they can introduce you to other experts in their industry, which means even more benefits. Many coworking centers throw events which are both professional and social, encouraging people from various areas to build new networks and to share their ideas.
According to research, people who work in coworking spaces evaluate their thriving at the level of 6 points on a 7-point scale. Such a number is higher than that of the employees who work in offices. Thus, many experts started studying this question, looking for explanations. What makes coworking so good for remote workers, freelancers, and other independent specialists from different industries?
First of all, working with people from other industries, they feel more confident about their own work identity. They get more involved in the working process and feel more determined, working on projects that are really interesting for them. They feel more unique and don’t need to put on a different persona to meet the requirements of a certain company, fitting in certain corporate standards. They also become a part of the community of people who share their views.
1. Small coworking spaces use coworking tools more effectively
Most coworking tools were designed for spaces that have 20 to 200 members. If you have several spaces with 500 members each, it means that you should look for new solutions. For example, Apple Airport Express works well with 50 people, but at some point, you will start using Cisco routers and manage members in Salesforce.
2. Coworking is the modern facility management
Although many people still think of coworking communities as of hippie communes, facts prove the opposite: Coworking operators have top locations in big cities, crowding out big corporations. Thus, coworking is more than just a lifestyle.
3. Technologies matter
The adaptability to the newest technologies is a factor that determines the success of any coworking space. It’s not enough to just provide members with fast Wi-Fi, technology must be integrated into the service, making membership more efficient. The member experience to a large extent depends on the level of automation.
4. Flexible space encourages collaboration
First of all, coworking spaces are catalysts, not containers. The whole space must promote the idea of collaboration. As big companies are using coworking spaces to reach out to startups and independent professionals, they must be able to cooperate without sacrificing their corporate culture. Thus, there must be some space where you can work on certain tasks with your team, and other zones where you can relax or communicate with other members.
Coworking spaces constantly evolve as people from various industries discover more benefits of this model compared to the classic offices. Independent contractors, freelancers, and developers become a major part of the workforce. As a result, big corporations consider coworking spaces as an opportunity to stay in touch with talent and emerging trends in their industries. In turn, coworking spaces need to embrace these shifts in their business, understanding their role in the global market and keeping up with the latest trends in this area.
BY: Berta Melder