Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces are getting quite a bit publicity lately, as the growing trend increases in popularity among both workers and employers who see the numerous benefits it can afford.

Last week the Harvard Business Review ran an article entitled “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces” by Gretchen Spreitzer, Peter Bacevice, and Lyndon Garrett.

The article examined why those who belong to coworking spaces typically rate higher than traditional employees when it comes to thriving in the workplace. The authors boil their findings down to three reasons:

1) People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful. Freelancers and other remote workers often choose the type of work they want to do. Additionally, they don’t have to put on a work persona to fit in, because they aren’t worried about internal politics. The coworking movement aspires to values such as community, collaboration, learning, and sustainability, so participants are readily able to use their unique skill sets to help their other community members.

2) They have more job control. Most coworking spaces are open 24/7, so members can fit their work schedule in around their other obligations or interests if they want. They can also decide whether to work alone in a quiet area, or move to a collaborative area where interaction is encouraged. While independent workers enjoy their relative autonomy, they also thrive under the loose structure and discipline that a coworking community provides.

3) They feel part of a community. Each coworking community has its own “vibe” and not only offers a unique work experience, but also connections with others. Though members join as individuals, they have the opportunity to become a part of the greater “we”. While socializing isn’t forced, there is always the potential for as much interaction as is desired.

The authors conclude their article with these thoughts:

Our research… suggests that the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience are part of the reason people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counteraparts. But what matters the most for high levels of thriving is that people who cowork have substantial autonomy and can be themselves at work.

We invite you to try coworking out for yourself and see how well you thrive. Stay tuned – CapeSpace will be opening later this year!

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