We were excited to read “Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces” by a group of PhDs from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business in the Harvard Business Review. They confirmed what we here at Click know anecdotally with some real data and then they dug in to identify the reasons behind the numbers.
Here’s the gist: People who work in coworking spaces are happier and more effective than workers in conventional office settings or those working on their own.
"There seems to be something special about coworking spaces. As researchers who have, for years, studied how employees thrive, we were surprised to discover that people who belong to them report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular offices, and something so unheard of that we had to look at the data again."
The primary reasons they lay out are:
1. People who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful.
Many coworkers are freelancers and are able to choose the work they take on. They opt in to projects and partnerships that suit them. In a coworking space, people are coming from many different disciplines and job types, meaning that there is less direct competition for acceptance. And in many coworking spaces, there’s a culture of collaboration, meaning that you’re likely to find answers to your questions by reaching out to your coworking colleagues.
2. They have more job control.
We all know that entrepreneurs and sole practitioners work long hours, but coworkers can choose when they work. Not only that, consultants and freelancers have made themselves the boss. But, as noted in the article, some structure can be a good thing. Coming to work in a professional space can help to motivate progress.
3. They feel part of a community.
Here at Click, and in many other coworking organizations, we are a community. We know each other’s names and are willing to share ideas and a laugh now and then. From day-to-day interactions to our monthly happy hour and lunch hour programming, we offer optional opportunities to network and engage.