Picture a space in which people are collaborating, communicating, and working together on their own time in their own way. This type of environment is what has been coined “coworking space” and the results are phenomenal for the productivity of the independent workers that use these shared offices.
After a team on the Harvard Business Review observed this, they not only reported the findings, but they also investigated more to discover the cause of the prolific space created in these settings. Through research, they found that the coworking space is effective because it allows individualistic people to use and share a work environment in a way that promotes community. While many people who are freelance, entrepreneurs, or have the mobility due to their position within a company typically work from home or go to a cafe, they now have the opportunity to use the shared office space. This creates structure without confinement. It establishes a balance between total freedom, which can be a wet blanket to valuable effort, and the cubicle, 9 to 5 office, where creativity can be drowned in the florescent lights. It creates harmony.
An additional benefit of this new trend is that people can collaborate, or at least talk to one another. Though one person may be designing a house and another establishing financial support, they can share their experience and struggles without any potential competition. This allows workers to be comfortable and sincere. There is no forced interaction or awkward break room small talk. They can choose when to be social and when not to be. The ‘everything is optional’ mentality gives people and opportunity to decide what and when to participate. It provides the option to work in the way the works for them.
One company that is illustrating the coworking space, and doing it well, is Workville. This company is redefining what it means to find offices for rent in Manhattan. They are not only centrally located in midtown west in New York City, but they also are open 24 hours everyday. This provides people freedom to work when it is most convenient for them. They have terraces for fresh air, private offices, shared offices, meeting rooms, lounge areas, and a cafe. With a printer, daily cleaning, fast internet, private phones, mail service, and fresh coffee, Workville has all the perks of a traditional work space, but with the open concept flexibility of working from home.