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?The effectiveness of coworking can be boiled down to 3 primary reasons:
People see their work as meaningful. People find meaning in the fact that they don’t have to hide behind their work. Coworking, unlike a traditional office, consist of members who work for a wide variety companies. This reduces the amount of direct competition, so they can be themselves in the work environment. Because there is little direct Meaning may also come from working in a supportive environment. Coworking creates a culture where it is the norm to help each other out, and the variety of workers in the space means that coworkers have unique skill sets that they can provide to other community members. Lastly, the coworking movement aspires to certain values, including community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. So in many cases, it’s not simply the case that a person is going to work; they’re also part of a social movement.
People have more job control. Coworking spaces provide a higher level of autonomy for all members; they can choose how, where, and when they want to work. Members can decide which is the best environment for them to work in, whether it be a quiet place to focus, or a more interactive area to collaborate. They are free to express their specific work styles rather than being chained to a desk. Coworking spaces are also normally accessible 24/7. People can decide how to structure their day, whether they want to come in early, take a long break, and are not constrained to traditional work hours.
People feel part of a community. Being connected with others is one of the main reasons why people choose to join a coworking space, instead of working from home or in a traditional office. Working around others increases motivation and discipline that would otherwise be lessened by working alone. Also, coworking spaces strive to create a unique vibe and experience for their members. It’s about much more than providing an office, it’s about the human element. Hospitality and support are ingrained in the culture. However, engaging in the community is not forced. It is the choice of a member whether to socialize or not, and how and when they want to interact with others. The power of choice ends up strengthening that sense of community.
While these reasons may have given you insight into why coworking is popular and effective, the best way to understand to understand the benefits is to experience it for yourself.