Apart from coworking spaces offering a flexible work environment and variety of tools under one roof, what really distinguishes coworking from a brick and mortar space is its community. A coworking community is as diverse as the people in it, and their shared experiences in a compact ecosystem bring about positive results.
When groups of remote workers, small teams, independent professionals or freelancers come together in a shared workspace, an effective and skilled heterogeneous community is formed, nurtured by the hosts.
The nurturing part is the key.
How do you enhance people’s experience within the community ?
How do you bridge between different mindsets and industries to create complementarity and value? Those questions are central and not easy to solve. Even WeWork, the shining star of coworking, is failing to achieve this in some of its spaces around the world.
Community is important to look at from a sociological perspective, as it consists of various components. One of these is the social structure which is formed by interpersonal interactions. These interactions create a stable patterns of relationships. Within a community, cultural bonding is also created through shared beliefs which shape collective identity and a sense of belonging. Furthermore, the territorial component of a community provides a common habitat. Keeping in mind the sociological essence of a community is essential for understanding how humans (the core of any community) interact with it, and are emotionally attached to it.
Community Binds Like-Minded Individuals Together
When people from various fields come together in a coworking space, there is a scope for cross-sector knowledge sharing, networking and peer support. Since the trend of coworking spaces is aimed at the creative and tech sector, collaboration, learning and interactions easily take place with people from the same field.
Community Building Efforts For Your Growth
Good ideas thrive in a coworking space as the space helps to develop them. There is guidance and mentorship available from the hosts through networking and social events, training programs, and workshops. Individual assistance is also offered. Participation gives a voice to members and an opportunity to connect organically with people, exchange ideas, hire within the community, collaborate, brainstorm, or strategize.
Traditional Offices Incorporating Coworking Culture
Mainstream work culture tends to isolate the institution and the individual. At present, there are efforts to bridge that gap from various companies that have tried to adopt coworking principles in their spaces in order to encourage a fresh, innovative thinking approach amongst their workers. Since coworking spaces are more sociable and less hierarchical, some companies have adopted the coworking space as a business model to create a more involved work experience.
From a corporations point of view, coworking is beneficial as it allows them to approach talents, keep a close watch on startups scaling up in the hope of turning them into clients or partners, outsource to community members for specific projects, and developing their own employees further by putting them amongst more accomplished professionals from the same field.
Coworking space becomes then a thriving innovation exchange ecosystem through its focus on community. Intermingling among the community members and guests creates a lot of exposure and a chance to learn and be more creative in a multifaceted work environment.
Coworking Spaces Witness Growth Globally -
There is not enough data yet to set a clear correlation between value creation, productivity VS coworking and community, but we all can feel that something is happening out there.
Coworking spaces worldwide saw a steep growth worldwide, from 75 in 2007 to more than 7,800 in 2015, with a 71% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Around 37,000 coworking spaces worldwide are expected by 2018, representing CAGR of 68% over the next three years.
Over 10,000 coworking spaces opened by the end of 2016. 66% of profitable spaces planned to expand in 2014, compared to 78% in 2016. There has been a steady rise in the number of coworking tenants worldwide and is expected to reach 3.8 million in 2020-21.
How is this tied to community? Simple.
The recent Deskmag survey also indicated that community was a key decision making factor in choosing to work from a coworking space for more than 70% of people and #1 out of all data points. It is pretty clear that community is the driving factor behind this new industry.
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