The days of going to work in an office from 9-5 are slowly coming to an end. The rise of the digital workforce and more advanced communication tools have led to a steady increase in both employers and employees existing in the traditional workplace redefining the future of work. With more big-name companies letting their employees work from home than ever before, the shift in workplace culture has led to a discussion regarding what makes us more productive and satisfied at work.
In the mid-1990s, the coworking movement was born. Freelancers around the world started coming together to create community-centric spaces that offered support and productive places for self-employed individuals to work. In recent years, the movement has blossomed, with over 10,000 established spaces worldwide. Proven to be an effective way to embrace change while also boosting innovation, the concept has piqued the interest of the corporate world. For corporate entities that are looking to transition into the future of work, it may be time to embrace coworking.
1. Coworking provides organic networking opportunities
Allowing your employees to leave the nest, if only just on a part-time basis, can lead to expanding your network in more ways than one. Companies that utilize coworking spaces are immediately introduced to wider networks of diverse individuals with varying skill sets, mostly with their own personal brands (and offer them with resources to get started online whether it be finding reviewing the right platforms (i.e is it better to use Wix, Blogger, Wordpress, etc) how to select the right options to make it easier for them to build their site, which can potentially lead to fruitful partnerships and professional opportunities.
In addition to providing a ready-made stimulating environment, almost all coworking spaces offer membership perks, such as free access to community meetups, as well as guidelines on events, and networking opportunities. These events often cover a broad range of industry topics creating making room for corporate employees to tap into new opportunities and industry trends that may have missed while limited to their dedicated office.
2. Shared workspaces increase work/life balance and employee retention rates
Investing in your employees is one the most effective way to improve retention rates. In the past, corporations were more focused on pushing employees to meet quotas and increasing revenue at the expense of worker well-being. The recent rise of the benefit corporation has resulted in major companies beginning to treat employee satisfaction and community engagement with just as much seriousness as they would increase their profit margin. Allowing your team to work from a coworking space, passionately collaborate and build connections even if it’s just a few days a week, is an effective way to promote work/life balance. More autonomy within a company builds trust between employers and employees, which makes workers less likely to leave a job.
3. Coworking increases learning and productivity
Changing corporate workplace culture will take time, and embracing shared workspaces is an excellent way learn how to be more human-centric by immersing yourself and your team in a proactive community. Since the coworking movement was built on a foundation of trust, collaboration and community, and these value systems led to a new way of thinking in today’s work culture that even the most traditional businesses can learn from. Employees that co-work have reported higher levels of productivity, due to a combination of being exposed to a new team of diverse and inspiring co-workers, as well as the stimulating environment so often provided in coworking spaces.
4. Investing in co-working can cut costs without compromising quality
While allowing employees to work at coworking spaces at least 1 to 2 times a week has various social benefits, there are some serious financial incentives as well. Today, some corporate entities have scrapped the office altogether, either by letting employees choose from where they want to work on a daily basis, work on side projects or even build their personal brands, and others packing up their entire team and moving into a local coworking space. These companies have seen significant savings simply by reducing overhead and maintenance costs. Shared workspaces are cost-effective on a practical level, while also freeing up more space for financial resources to be invested in building a strong company culture.
While your company might not be ready to abandon the office altogether, there are still plenty of ways that your businesses can benefit from coworking. Start by investigating your local coworking scene, finding the best team that works for your and your team. While it takes time and patience to change a company’s culture, chances are you will be dedicated coworking members in no time.
Diversity Specialist at FriendTap LLC