As coworking spaces have become more popular, the reported benefits of coworking have prompted studies and research as to why coworking spaces are so beneficial. For years researchers have compiled data and information on how employees thrive, reporting that those in coworking spaces report above-average levels of satisfaction.
So why does this happen? The latest study comes from Harvard, who set out to determine why people thrive in coworking spaces. The researchers of the study interviewed several coworking space founders and community managers, and surveyed several hundred workers from dozens of coworking spaces around the U.S. Their findings revealed three factors for why so many people reported ‘thriving’ in coworking spaces:
After interviewing hundreds of people, the Harvard findings show that people overwhelmingly reported that they see their work as meaningful. There are several ways that coworkers described deriving meaning from their work; partly because of the environment and partly because of ascribing to the social mission of their coworking space.Coworkers have the advantage of working in a space where they are constantly describing what they do, which can make their work seem more interesting. They also don’t have to cope with company politics. Coworkers can be their true selves at work, which can make their identity stronger. Coworkers can also derive meaning from electing to be a part of the social mission of their coworking space. Typically coworking spaces have values of inclusiveness, collaboration, learning, and sustainability. These values are meant to be reflected in the coworkers of the community so often a person is not just going to work but is actively participating in a social movement.
Workers who work from a coworking space have autonomy. Since coworking spaces are typically open 24/7 and offer a variety of workspaces, coworkers can choose their hours, their work environment and who they work with. Having this much control over their job while still having the structure of a coworking community provides a level of control that traditional office spaces can’t typically provide.
Connecting with a community is a big reason why people pay to work in a communal space. People who work from a coworking space reported that they a strong sense of community, without feeling that belonging to the community is required or forced. Members can choose when and how to interact with others – and though some interactions happen less often than others – coworkers reported that they liked to have the option of interaction with others when they desired or needed.
Though there are so many ways that coworking spaces can offer its workers opportunities to thrive, Harvard reports that meaning, autonomy, and community are the keys to coworking success.
Want to learn more about Harvard’s findings? To read more about the results of the study and see how coworking has helped hundreds of people thrive, click on the link here.
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