Coworking is more than just sharing a space; it’s a pathway to true collaboration and innovation. I know that sounds like jargon, but let me explain.
Coworkers are interested in the synergies achieved by working in the same place together.
For the practical person, these synergies include sharing amenities and utilities, like a meeting room, kitchen and printer. Most spaces offer month-to-month membership and provide a level of flexibility that can’t be matched by a traditional lease. Economically, it makes sense. Why own a 20 square metre boardroom that’s empty 70% of the time, when you can share one.
The practicalities are obvious, but as people get to understand coworking they recognise the intangible benefits. Coworking attracts entrepreneurs and others who are building businesses and working towards changing the way things are done. These are the kinds of people you meet. And as you become part of a coworking community, they apply their skills and experience to how you think about your business challenges and together they help each other grow.
From the coworking space I manage, you can see the infectious nature of being around people who are creating businesses. The members who are working for corporates often start their own side businesses and the consultants start thinking about how to not just provide a service, but how to innovate in their industries.
Sharing a space with people you may have not met otherwise often leads to accelerated serendipity (more coworking jargon). Random opportunities happen in coworking thanks to chance encounters between unlikely allies. It’s passive networking. You don’t have to go to a breakfast function; you just have to show up to your coworking space. The connections are deeper too, because you see these people every day.
“Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.” said Tom Freston, founder of MTV and CEO of Viacom. I believe this is equally true when you put two people’s ideas together in a new way.
Not everyone in coworking joins forces. But the energy and attitude is infectious and people do become more effective when they work in an entrepreneurial environment. People’s wins are shared, and shared problems halved.
This is one of the reasons that coworking studios represent a critical foundation of infrastructure for a new and growing workforce. It’s as much about the financial benefits as it is the community energy and networking. Coworkers’ collective contributions are driving the economies of the future.