November 13, 2019

What Can Conventional Workplaces Learn From Co-Working Spaces?

What Can Conventional Workplaces Learn From Co-Working Spaces?

Posted by CMBA Architects on Nov 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

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Walk into a typical corporate office, and you’ll be hard-pressed to see how it differs from any other workspace. A reception desk with some waiting room chairs. A fleet of gray desks with black chairs stationed in front, punctuated by the occasional plant. But step into a co-working space and the differences are overwhelming.

These innovative spaces often host tens to hundreds of different companies across industries, but that doesn't mean the benefits and appeal of the co-working trend can't be applied to individual organizations, too. Co-working spaces give the old-school office plenty to find inspiration from in terms of cross-pollination between workers, flexible location and community. But what elements should conventional offices begin adopting from their co-working counterparts and why? Let's take a look...

A Better Quality of Life

The formula is simple enough. People are happier in bright, open spaces where they're making social connections. And not just slightly happier. In fact, people in co-working spaces rate their level of "thriving" – defined as their vitality, learning and work performance – an average of nearly six on a seven-point scale, according to a study in the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Although research on co-working spaces is still in its infancy, current studies look very compelling.

Easier Collaboration

When you think about the layout of co-working space you typically envision something like this: long tables with desks in open areas, shared common areas like cafes and kitchens, conference rooms with glass windows and a limited number of individual offices. While simple, this design encourages collaboration and could have a lawyer, engineer, marketing specialist and non-profit manager all sharing the same table.

Granted, that combination would be more difficult to achieve in a traditional office space, more open environments could result in cross-collaboration between office departments or different hierarchies across the company. These moments of positive collisions often result in fascinating collaborations, big ideas, and an overall happier team environment.

More Movement

The temporary seating structure of a co-working space encourages employees to move more throughout the day. It's also common for co-working spaces to be located within, or near to, a gym or yoga studio. The joining of work and exercise allows employees to take more meaningful, healthier breaks during the day which results in increased movement, brain function, productivity and ultimately, happiness at work.

Do What Works for You

People who work in co-working spaces experience total flexibility, access to community and an overall better quality of life. They get to choose when to come to work, leave work, take breaks, work out, etc. And it turns out that those things are extremely beneficial for overall happiness and quality of life. While this may not be totally feasible in a traditional workplace, you can still use it as inspiration. Apply what works for your office culture and leave the rest. You and your employees could benefit greatly.

Topics: General-WOYM