Posted on September 26, 2017
Co-working has become a buzzword in office design. WeWork – a global co-working network that was set up in 2010 – already has 201 office spaces in 49 cities around the world. And they predict that by 2020, half of all businesses will work in a shared space. What started as an affordable way for freelancers, SMEs and startups to rent an office space is now being embraced by larger companies, like Google, Vodafone and Accenture, who want to reap the rewards co-working brings.
The Benefits of Co-working
The Harvard Business Review regularly carries out research into what makes employees happy at work and recently they found that people who work in co-working spaces scored 6 points out of 7 on a ‘thrive scale’, a whole point higher than people who work in traditional offices. But why?
For lots of reasons.
Employees report that working in co-working spaces makes them happier as they can “take their whole selves to work”. By mixing with other – often creative – people and sharing time, space and ideas, people can be themselves and the distinction between their professional selves and their real selves becomes blurred. There’s also no office politics to get people down, so work becomes a less stressful place to spend time.
It’s not just millennials who are demanding more flexible working lives and environments, employees of all ages in all sectors are seeking new work cultures. The flexibility of being able to work when you want to (as co-working offices are usually available 24 hours a day) is hugely beneficial. You can fit work in around your life if you need to be at home at a certain time or put in early mornings or late nights to hit a deadline. That flexibility means people feel they have more say over their own lives.
Space and Support
Co-working spaces are communal so they encourage people to interact and form relationships, unlike individual offices or the dreaded cubicle. The office becomes somewhere to work and relax, a more holistic place where you can get your head down in a quiet space or ask for support when you need to. It becomes not just a ‘work environment’ but an experience too – and a pleasurable one. And, as we all know, a happy workforce is a productive workforce. So the benefits of co-working spaces go way beyond the employee.
How can you embrace co-working in your office?
You can bring elements of co-working into your office design by integrating workstations, shared spaces and quiet areas that allow people to focus and get their work done, and interact, collaborate and relax too. In terms of design, the sky’s the limit. Some offices incorporate breakout spaces, a cafe, lounge, and quiet nooks – even a barbershop. It’s hard not to enjoy work and be more creative and collaborative if you can chill out, grab a tasty latte and even get your hair cut at work!
Now it’s over to you…
We love to talk design so feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us if you’d like to find out how we can help you re-design your office space.