Have you been forced to work from home because of the global pandemic? As the new normal shapes itself, those of us who fear returning to crowded offices may favor working in flexible spaces at flexible hours.

Businesses that are unable to invest in site safety compliance, air quality, non-stop inspection, and sanitization heavily may benefit from versatile, safe, and clean coworking spaces.

Coworking spaces are communal environments where a wide range of remote workers, freelancers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and all sorts of creative talents work together. They are a delightful alternative to working from home where one works alone (or tries to!) and often feels lonely being in the same old uninspiring environment cluttered with distractions.

Traditionally, the biggest benefit of using a coworking space is that companies big and small can save money. All businesses must operate extra cost-efficiently at these uncertain times. Paying a monthly fee for a coworking space removes the need to bear the hefty rent for traditional office space, renovate, buy furniture and equipment, pay for utilities, and provide a pantry or coffee bar.

New Businesses Have Pivoted Working Environments Due To Coronavirus

The pandemic has created what some may call the “COVID generation of entrepreneurs.” In 2020, an astounding 835,494 new businesses were set up in the UK, representing a 41% increase from 2019 and a 98% increase from 2018. Apart from avoiding being locked in an office lease in a volatile economic climate, a big attraction for entrepreneurs at this time is that coworking space operators are increasingly subsiding rents, providing free networking, mentoring, and education opportunities, and furnishing wellness amenities to help start-ups thrive and struggling SMEs recover.

Very often, coworking spaces are newer built with cool and creative layout designs. They are the perfect setting for entrepreneurs because the environment can be very inspirational and superbly out-of-the-box – your ‘desk’ can be a Victorian armchair, an outdoor table under an umbrella, or a hammock in a resort-like setting.

Creativity And Productivity Flourish In A Nurturing Environment

One of the most distinct benefits of coworking spaces is that people find that they can be their best selves while working there. A Harvard Review Business survey found that because members work for a wide range of companies, ventures, and projects, there is no internal politics and very little direct competition; they don’t feel they have to put on work or fake persona to fit in. People thrive in coworking spaces because they are less stressed. They can be themselves and put their best work in. They can more vividly see their own identity among a diverse crowd.

Paradoxically, people feel a strong sense of identity with the community. There is a collaboration culture existing in coworking spaces. More than 1,700 working spaces have signed the online Coworking Manifesto, recognizing that the primary values of their space are collaboration, community, doing, friendship, and learning. Because of the diversity of talents in the space, everyone has unique skill sets to contribute to the community.

Because of these diverse benefits, big corporations have been integrating coworking spaces into their business strategies to recruit and retain talents who demand flexible workplace and work hours, spark new ideas, and increase productivity. On-demand coworking spaces act as an alluring alternative for people to work at. WeWork’s All Access, for example, grants access to its members to any of its buildings around the world, making working remotely and traveling possible and easy.

Spreading Into Corporate Offices And Reducing Workplace Rigidity

On the other hand, an increasing number of corporations are integrating the spirit of coworking into their corporate offices, from creating open-plan seating to offering more networking and training opportunities. They are transforming their conventional offices into co-working spaces to increase performance, wellbeing, and happiness among the workforce.

The same spirit applies to coworking at home or in the virtual world. The pandemic forces most of us to work from home, where space is often limited, and needs are diverse. Understanding and committing to creating a communal working space based on respect, collaboration, and community is key to enhancing relationships and achieving efficiency, harmony, and sanity at home.

The same coworking ethos works perfectly well within the digital space. Suppose our countless hours on Zoom and Team are spent with people who we can trust and collaborate with, who inspire and allow us to be our charismatic self, who motivate us to perform our best. In that case, all the ensuing fatigue will be well worth it.

People shine when they are their best authentic self. They bring their passion, energy, and creativity to whatever they do. They are committed to the community and themselves. Spaces with a carefully nurtured coworking vibe – whether they are external physical workspaces, the re-engineered corporate headquarters, our home, or the virtual space – bring out the best of every member. If our post-pandemic new normal is working in a synergetic space where we can create our best work, wouldn’t you be looking forward to it?

 
 
Bernie Hung is the rebel lawyer and innovative founder behind BlueBox Rocket. Her revolutionary Vision-to-Launch service helps pioneering entrepreneurs and CEOs grow their seed of an idea into reality or scale up their business for massive expansion. Through transformational coaching, inspirational and interdisciplinary business mentorship, and strategic legal facilitation, Bernie doesn’t just help her clients launch products – she helps them launch rockets.