During the last few years I have noticed more shared or communal workspaces popping up in a variety of cities around the US. At first I did not pay much attention to them, but recently I had a chance to visit two of these spaces in Boston and Portland, Maine. I was really impressed by what I saw. The spaces were well laid out, offered all of the resources a large corporation would offer its employees, and the office vibe was electric.
When I inquired about who tends to work in these spaces, I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of people it attracts. My first impression was that it would attract start-up companies or solopreneurs. However, it turns out, the variety of people who show up at these types of spaces each day is not only impressive, they include people who already have home offices or who when they can work from home, choose to go to a shared workspace instead.
The advantages to working in shared or communal workspaces are far greater than the disadvantages, and most of these spaces are also surprisingly affordable. Depending on your type of work style, and personality type, working in a shared workspace is a far better place to work than a coffee-style environment. Why? Because for one thing, you can easily strike up conversations with others in the communal workspace, and this is actually encouraged.
Having an opportunity to meet fascinating other people, many of whom are entrepreneurs, seasoned business people, or highly creative individuals is another perk to spending time in this type of workspace. If you are also looking to solve a challenge, there is generally someone you will meet who can either help you to talk through and solve your challenge, or who knows someone else you can talk to. The spirt of helping one another to be successful, regardless of the type of work you are doing is highly contagious, and helps to fuel why in my opinion these workspaces are so attractive to work and spend time in.
Based on skyrocketing real estate costs for businesses, they are being forced into having to downsize their real estate footprints. Although downsizing business space has advantages to a company’s bottom line, there is a negative side to this process. The negative aspect is not often talked about. However, one of the main downsides is loneliness and the feeling of potential isolation for those who are new to the concept of working from home. Hence the reason people who work from home often will spend part of their day at a coffee shop, or public space where they can work and be around other people.
Although coffee shops and public spaces provide a sense of socializing, they lack giving a person a sense of belonging and of having beyond anything in common other than being interested in coffee or tea with others. Conversely, the shared workspaces automatically give you a sense of community and of fitting in, regardless of whether you spend several hours or multiple days there during the week.
A few other unintended advantages to working in shared workspaces is that they can significantly expand your professional network, or prospects for a new job. I’m a huge fan of always working towards increasing one’s professional network, and these types of workspaces provide the perfect environment for fostering networking opportunities. Additionally, I found the shared spaces I visited to be buzzing with new business services and product ideas, and I have always been inspired and more motivated when I am around people who have this type of mindset.
So, if you have not checked out a shared workspace, I encourage you to do so. You might be as pleasantly surprised by how collaborative and embracing these spaces and the people working in them are. For the record, and to be completely transparent, I do not have an affiliation with any shared workspaces, but I’m sure they will not mind me plugging their concept.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too bridges teams and provides organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, and have their teams become more unified regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Ms. Murphy is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.
Market Me Too additionally works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.
If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (339) 987-0195.