To define coworking, we speak of a type of work organization based on two pillars. The first is a common workspace where individuals share offices, meeting and relaxation rooms. The second is a network of workers encouraging exchange, sharing and openness …
The original idea was to respond to the rapid increase in the number of self-employed workers, whether graphic designers, designers, lawyers, consultants, etc. By providing spaces that encourage collaboration and avoid the isolation of homework.
The development of coworking is boosted by several levers specific to our 21st century society. The progress of new technologies, the emergence of nomadism and new ways of working and managing. Awareness of the impact of well-being at work on employee performance and the increase in the number of self-employed workers. These are all factors that can explain the surge in demand for this type of space.
5 values affirmed in Coworking spaces
Note that coworking is not a patented concept or a registered trademark. Therefore everyone has the opportunity to create their own space. Faced with the exponential craze around coworking, pioneers in the sector such as Chris Messina, Alex Hillman and Julia Ferguson, felt the need to define a precise framework for the global movement. They finally established five values around the concept of coworking: accessibility, community, cooperation, openness and sustainability.
First principle, accessibility. A coworking space must be as free as it is flexible and accessible to everyone at all times, without discriminatory criteria at the entrance. It is a place naturally filled with positivity, conducive to productivity and professional development, it is chosen and not suffered by all of its occupants. The coworker therefore remains the only master, of his way of working, his schedules, and his organization.
The second principle is the development of cooperation between members. Compared to a traditional work environment (corporate office), in the coworking space there is no hierarchical pressure. All coworkers are equal professionally, and the importance of their responsibility does not interfere in their relationships.
This benevolent environment coupled with a great diversity of profiles naturally encourages members of the community to collaborate. Sharing skills, mutual aid and cooperation are the key words in these workspaces. According to a study (Deskmag – Coworking: more than just shared workspaces) 71% of coworkers state that they have already collaborated with other members of their space.
Based on the model of the open source universe, coworking is based on the principles of openness, freedom and transparency. Members have the ability to open up intellectually to allow everyone to take part and thrive in the community.
Durability characterizes what is “designed to last”. The environmental impact is studied there when designing coworking spaces. The goal is to create real eco-friendly places. The rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, such as abandoned factories, unused buildings or deserted business offices, is not uncommon. This creates unique atmospheres and gives a second life to aging real estate heritage.
Coworking is a perennial activity, a deep current intended to permanently modify the ways of working. To ensure their sustainability, their business plan is exclusively based on the income received by members of the community. They are not dependent on outside organizations. This value of sustainability is also reflected in the collaboration and contributions of each for the community. Coworkers create genuine relationships with each other, because they are convinced that it is from these that the best synergies will be born.
Strong community values, a key success factor for coworking spaces
Community values are fundamental in a coworking space, because the identity of the place emerges from the coworkers who work there. Sharing skills, exchanging experiences, multiple interactions, shared meals, collaborative projects …
Coworkers form a community open to those who want to share its values. And this is one of the main reasons why workers choose to come and work there. In England, 93% of centers recruit new members through word of mouth.
We can agree that, without its community and the values put forward, a coworking space would be just any workplace. Animating and bringing the community to life in these spaces is therefore a key success factor for the place.