Most people acknowledge that the way we all are working has changed and the days of sitting in the office from 9 to 5, staring at spreadsheets are in the rear view mirror. Flexibility and collaboration are buzz words which fill the air when people talk about working arrangements and this is driving a shift in the way companies and individuals think about their workspace. More and more people are considering a shared working environment - whether it is a serviced office or co-working space - as an ideal solution to their workspace needs, and there are some significant benefits for workers.
Unlike traditional offices, members of shared working environments generally come from a number of different companies and are working on a range of projects at any time. Because there is little competition or internal politics, people generally find it really easy to fit in and make connections within shared working environments. A person’s ability to ‘fit in’ can be underrated within a corporate environment, however the issues which can be created by staff who don’t feel they are apart of the team can be significant in terms of performance, politics and staff retention.
In shared workspace, it is the norm for people to develop an understanding of other people’s work and reach out to assist when it is appropriate/required. The combined skill set within a shared workspace can be much more broad than in a traditional corporate office based not only on the technical knowledge accumulated, but also the different life experiences which members bring to the table. The variety of skills present in a shared workspace represent a significant knowledge bank for members to tap into.
Working in a specifically designed shared workspace offers members a great deal of control over the way they work and how they get things done. Members can choose whether they want to work from a quiet space so they can focus, or in a more collaborative environment with shared tables where interaction is encouraged when it suits. They may also be supported with the tools required to work from home when they decide to, ensuring that this experience is as productive as possible. This simple factor of control can make people feel much more empowered in their roles and can lead them to feeling much more positive about what they are doing.
In an ideal world, people need to be able to craft their workstyle in a way which gives them purpose and fits around the rest of their life. They should be given control and flexibility in their working environment to enable them to be as productive as possible. There is significant research which suggests that the combination of a well designed working environment which is supported by a team dedicated to providing a great work experience can greatly improve a person’s engagement with their surroundings and what they are trying to achieve at work. Shared workspaces provide exactly this mix of a space specifically designed for work and a team of people to assist in getting things done allowing members to not only survive the working week, but to thrive.
If you have had positive experiences working from a shared working environment, feel free to share them below.