The ever changing notion of coworking

The results of 2018 Global Coworking Survey represent a viewpoint of 1980 people around the globe. The survey provides a thorough analysis of the direction of the coworking movement which will reach 3.8 million members by 2020. 1172 respondents are the coworking spaces operators and 591 are coworking members, thus, the results of the survey reflect anticipation of both sides. As more coworking spaces like the Wing or Galvanize provide diversification of their offering, the notion of coworking spaces has been altered by demands of the sharing economy and by the coworking community. It is interesting to see that coworking as a concept is becoming less about a physical space and more about building a sustainable community and extensive networking.

What is the essence of coworking? According to Deskmag, building a sense of community is one of the methods of coworking operators to attract more members and bridge the gap between them. 45% of respondents of the 2018 Global Coworking Survey would like to have stronger connectivity among coworking members. Nurturing a culture of a coworking space to motivate its members to get their tasks done and inspire others to follow their example is one of the core ideas behind the concept of coworking. Investment of resources into building a sustainable community, an organization of events tailored to your members’ needs pays off for all the stakeholders involved. Operators of the several coworking spaces as Luminary, Novel Coworking and Fueled Collective come to the same conclusion that more and more people are looking for the true original spirit of coworking. A combination of affordable shared space and tailored workshops is a strategy that brings Workforce 2.0 to become loyal members and report high satisfaction.

Why is a sense of connectivity of a big importance highlighted by the 2018 Global Coworking Survey? A sense of community might be one of the reasons why coworking members report higher levels of thrivingcloser to average of 6 on a 7 points scale). People who belong to coworking spaces report higher levels of vitality and more capacity for learning. According to the Harvard Business Review and their partners research, vitality is a sense of energy and passion for one’s work. What do coworking spaces possess that makes its members believe in the purposeful work and report higher levels of employee satisfaction? Being a part of a community is one of the answers why people choose to pay for memberships in the coworking space.

36 % of the 2018 Global Coworking Survey reported their anticipation for the more tailored learning experience at their coworking spaces. Long waiting lists for speciality Hubs as Hacker Lab show the desire of coworking members for interdisciplinary collaboration and be a part of a social movement. It is interesting again that this social movement is supported on both sides. The Coworking Manifesto signed by more than 1700 coworking spaces is a document that captures the essence of a human concept of coworking which is collaboration, open space for learning and sustainability. The Manifesto reflects the core values of coworking and calls for different backgrounds to overlap and to connect. Coworking is no longer a creative space for the gig workforce and invites governmental and non-governmental institutions and large businesses to form a community together.

The relationship between coworking spaces and corporations The model of corporate coworking is built on corporate employees working on their short-term projects in the coworking spaces alongside independent workers. The event of being put outside of a traditional office into a new territory itself is a tactic to disrupt employees’ disrupt employees’ thinking process and stimulate creative work. Second, employees can openly collaborate with researchers, freelancers and artists for their projects and come up with innovative approaches to problem-solving and decision making. It can be framed as a cultural revolution of corporate work when Fortune 500 companies are in active collaboration with coworking spaces to hunt for innovative ideas and foster tight-knit community of thinkers.

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