Coworking spaces have become a popular trend in the recent past and a huge number of them are being built across the globe. While this is not a new trend, what they provide entrepreneurs and business owners is improving with time.
Most startups have modest beginnings. There is a story of an entrepreneur who started a company in a house or a café, built a great team and went on to take over the globe. At the initial stage of a startup, working from home or a café works well. However, there comes a time when things need to change. One of the first few indications is when cafés no longer provide an ideal environment for the team to conduct important meetings with clients, customers and vendors. In the same manner, productivity drops due to social distractions at home.
These are examples of a few of the endless list of problems that coworking spaces solve.
But what is one of the most valuable and truly underrated gifts that coworking spaces bring to the table?
Knowledge sharing and lucrative opportunities for skill development.
According to a research conducted by the University of Michigan, 77% of people seeking coworking spaces do it for knowledge sharing opportunities.
(Source: MIT Sloan Management Review)
How do coworking spaces foster knowledge sharing?
Building a community with opportunities to share skillsets
Coworking is a movement that is not only teaching people to work together, but to think, interact and create together. It is laying down principles on how people would interact with each other in the near future and embalming a sense of community as well as shared economy. This movement about to grow larger as we move from an industrial economy to a knowledge based one.
Coworking communities give entrepreneurs and business owners an opportunity to share skilled resources with each other. Most coworking spaces host bonding activities for community members to get to know one another and collaborate over a period of time. Gathering in communal areas and at coffee spots makes it easy to facilitate new connections, and this advantage can prove to be invaluable for students who are gearing up to enter the workforce. Over 71% of coworkers end up sharing resources for various projects. (Source: Coworking Insights)
Mentorship opportunities with industry experts
Unlike libraries and coffee shops, coworking spaces put fresh graduates and young professionals in proximity with experts across a whole slew of industries. This opens a door to extremely useful mentorship opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise found within their universities and schools. The abundance of tech-enthusiasts and freelancers in coworking spaces is great for the youth that is looking to explore newer, less traditional career paths.
An active learning environment that caters to different learning styles
Libraries and study halls are known for being stuffy, with an emphasis placed on being quiet and keeping to one’s self. Unfortunately, everyone has different learning styles. Coworking spaces accommodate learners who prefer an active environment. They have – curated libraries for those that learn through books; comfortable communal areas for those that learn through social interaction; skill-centric events for those that learn through leaders’ experiences; workshop lounges for those that learn through simulations and workshops; informative visual aid for visual learners; and so on.
From the looks of it, coworking is powerful enough that I don’t see it as a dying industry. It is here to stay and to set a base for the future of work and knowledge sharing.