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Co-Working Space Lessons for More Traditional Offices

Potential Lessons for more Traditional Offices

“So what are the implications for traditional companies? Even though the co-working movement has its origins among freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, it’s increasingly relevant for a broader range of people and organisations. In fact, co-working can become part of your company’s strategy, and it can help your people and your business thrive. An increasing number of companies are incorporating co-working into their business strategies in two ways.”

“Firstly, they’re being used as an alternative place for people to work. Michael Kenny, Managing Partner of San Diego-based Co-Merge, told us, “In the past year and a half, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of the space by enterprise employees. We have seen teams come in to use various on-demand meeting rooms. We have users from global companies of size ranging from several hundred to several thousand employees who use the space not only to allow their distributed workers to get productive work done, but also to attract employees who demand flexible workplace and work time.””

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“Grind is also witnessing growth in the number of remote workers who are becoming members. “We haven’t had to reach out to larger organizations, they actually tend to just come to us,” Anthony Marinos says. “We’ve had employees from Visa, journalists from the Chicago Tribune, and even people affiliated with large financial institutions all work out of Grind.””

“Spending time away from the office at a coworking space can also spark new ideas. Rebecca Brian Pan, the founder of COVO and former chief operating officer of NextSpace, explained how Ricoh’s innovation team worked out of NextSpace Santa Cruz for several months to observe how people work and where they hit pain points. Based on member insight and feedback, and their own observations, the Ricoh team explored several new products that could help members in their daily work and chose the most highly rated product to pursue. From this effort, Ricoh later launched this product globally as their Smart Presenter, a paperless meeting solution.”

(Why People Thrive in Co-Working Spaces – Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice and Lyndon Garrett)

Secondly, the lessons of co-working spaces can be applied to the more corporate offices. Just as it is important to encourage flexibility and support within your mobile workforce, there is an equally important reality of creating the right kind of work environment inside your own office walls. But this doe not simply mean creating open plan layouts or adding a coffee bar. There is much more to it than that.

In reality, people need to be able to craft their work in ways that give them purpose and meaning like described within co-working spaces. They should be given more control and flexibility within their work environment — “many companies are increasingly adopting the best planning practice of providing a 1:1 ratio (or close to it) of desk seats to seats in shared settings used for either collaborative work or quiet work.”

(Why People Thrive in Co-Working Spaces – Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice and Lyndon Garrett)

“Companies are also trying to enable more connections, helping people to interact and build community beyond work meetings. Co-working spaces are one place to look for guidance, as they regularly offer networking events, training programs, and social events. Some companies are going even, further, however. Rich Sheridan and James Goebel, founders of Menlo Innovations in Ann Arbor, Michigan, recently expanded their office space by 7,000 square feet so that so that start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs can work alongside Menlo programmers to spur community and innovation. In a way, the company is reverse-engineering its office into a coworking space.”

“Our research — which is ongoing — suggests that the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience are part of the reason people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counteraparts. But what matters the most for high levels of thriving is that people who cowork have substantial autonomy and can be themselves at work. Our advice to traditional companies who want to learn from coworking spaces is to give people the space and support to be their authentic best selves. The result will be employees who feel more committed to your organization, and are more likely to bring their best energy and ideas to the office each day. Even if it is corporate headquarters.”

(Why People Thrive in Co-Working Spaces – Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice and Lyndon Garrett)

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There are some very informative websites that discuss co-working and the benefits that come with the use of a co-working space. For more information, please follow the links below to these websites:

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