What Organisations can learn from Co-working spaces
For some time, large companies have realised the connection between the flow of new ideas and innovations, and the essential drive to remaining competitive.
In a form of reverse engineering, they have also come to realise that better ideas may exist outside their own organisations and have started paying attention to local co-working communities, comprising entrepreneurs, start-ups, and independent professionals, to help supply these gaps in their knowledge and find those new ways of thinking.
Co-working is not only relevant to local, independent professionals but is now influencing these large companies to incorporate the notion of co-working into their own business strategies and practices, because co-workers seem happier and more motivated – and there is research from the USA to prove it!
Happy workers are more productive, better engaged, and more highly energized in their work. Co-workers see their own work as more meaningful, and develop stronger work identities. Within the communal group they are free to apply their unique skill sets to problem solving for each other, with co-working members buying into the key values of collaboration, learning, and sustainability.
Large companies are acknowledging that community working can generate better performance by providing the environment where people can thrive. And people thrive when they have a good level of autonomy, can receive and share relevant information by working in silos, and levels of incivility are almost non-existent.
What matters is to recognise that people thrive in good collaborative spaces, and while co-working is synonymous with autonomy, it actually adds a level of structure and a degree of control to a co-worker’s every day working.
Co-working spaces are also attractive to large firms who have distributed workforces or want to attract employees demanding greater work-life flexibility.
Working in a co-working space helps support a strong team ethic as members can be their best selves, feeling happier, more motivated, and committed to working with people like themselves.
But how do large companies find happier people who perform better? By working with a co-working space or creating a working space which closely resembles a co-working space.
Gerry Westwood, Room40.uk.com.
Why People Thrive in Co-working spaces – Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice, Lyndon Garrett. Harvard Business Review Sept 2015.
Creating sustainable performance – & Christine Porath & Gretchen Spreitzer. Harvard Business Review Feb 2012
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