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Virtually every business has one thing in common: the desire to increase employees’ productivity. From educational seminars to meditation breaks, sometimes companies look outside the box when trying out new ways to help their employees become more productive. But what if the secret to increased productivity is seemingly simple as the actual space itself?
Coworking, which is the practice of multiple unrelated companies utilizing the same building and community spaces for their office needs, has been on the rise for the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. And it’s true: multiple studies now show coworking spaces are making employees more productive.
Apart from the more technical reasons that coworking is becoming more and more popular (the matter of flexible office spaces and lease terms, as well as things like shared reception services and conference rooms), it’s clear that the environment itself offers benefits to encourage employee productivity.
Many people who choose to work in coworking spaces attach a lot of meaning to what they do. Freelancers, who make up 54% of coworkers as reported by Deskmag, are often working on projects that they specifically chose, so they’re naturally more invested in their work.
It’s not just freelancers, though; remote working has been embraced by a wide variety of companies. Lots of companies are embracing flexible office spaces to attract and retain talent in their field. For instance, working from home is a major perk for many people. But for many workers, it’s hard to focus at home. Enter coworking spaces. Large enterprises can actually benefit from having employees out in the coworking world, as the shared environments can breed unique approaches to solutions and offer different perspectives.
Because coworking spaces are occupied by individual users like freelancers as well as members of all sorts of different companies, workers tend to report feeling less internal competition and pressure. As a result, less energy is expended on stress to meet expectations and more energy on creativity and work! Those working in shared office spaces have the opportunity to strengthen their work identity as an individual, instead of just being a cog in the traditional office machine.
One of the biggest reasons for increased productivity in coworking spaces is right there in the name – the coworking! Sharing common areas and access to amenities like cafes and gyms encourages community-building. Plus, it often becomes the norm for the culture in coworking spaces to network and encourage each other.
Sushil Prabhu, CEO of Open Crowd, a blockchain tech company that works out of TechSpace, puts this phenomenon quite eloquently: “The beauty of TechSpace is not just saving on the operational costs. It’s the excitement. When you’re four or five people in a garage or in a small office, you’re looking for excitement. You can only create so much between four and five people. If it’s not in your company that day, you can get that energy from somewhere else and I love that.”
This shared energy is an important ingredient in the creation of a community. Freelancers and small companies especially benefit from access to other people. Often, because the socializing is between different companies, it feels less like a work obligation to chat. Naturally, this can create a more genuine connection between people. An authentic communal environment in a shared office leads to happier employees, and happier employees tend to be more productive.
Yet another reason that coworking spaces are well-liked is the flexibility of the model. Coworking spaces often do not lock companies or individuals into standard length leases, which are often three years or longer. While this originally appealed to tech start-ups and freelancers, any type of business can appreciate not having to lock up capital on a lease.
If companies need to scale up or down and lose or gain space, it’s much simpler in a coworking building than a traditional office. At TechSpace, for example, certain walls are built to be easily taken down if more space needs to be opened up.
On the other hand, while flexible office spaces are helpful to aid productivity, the ideal amount of structure is often just as necessary. One of the pitfalls to working from home is a lack of structure. So many distractions around you make it easier to lose focus and get off track. In a coworking space, members get the benefit of a dedicated physical space alongside the existence of a community that can help keep each other accountable. With the operator handling logistics like reception, mail, conference rooms and more, an ideal balance can be achieved.
Ultimately, you can see the influence of working on productivity right there in the numbers. The research conducted by Deskmag and Deskwanted – see below – speaks for itself, though it doesn’t have to. Harvard Business Review has also studied how employees thrive. They discovered that those who work in coworking spaces report an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is a full point higher than those who work in traditional offices! It’s clear that everything from the ease of collaboration, ability to better express one’s identity, physical flexibility and scalability, and a general distancing from the constraints of traditional offices all work in concert to help boost company productivity.
Even the biggest corporations, from Google to financial institutions in the United States and abroad, are exploring coworking spaces. Clearly, the coworking innovation is an office experiment with successful results. A community that builds up authentically between people, coupled with the space for quiet and focused work, and a well-designed environment of flexible office spaces meets people’s needs in a way that naturally fosters productivity.
Is coworking right for your start-up, growing business, or multi-national corporation? Book a tour at a TechSpace near you to find out!