This is a million dollar question. The coworking sector is responding to people’s evolving work habits by offering a range of communities and space types. The result is exponential growth in the number of coworking spaces and service offerings. Larger companies are embracing coworking as part of their flexible workplace strategies. As they do so, they are considering the ROI of this new way of working. Coworking communities give individuals the opportunities to meet new people, network, generate ideas, and broaden one’s professional perspective. Companies who support their employees who cowork view this value proposition as a platform to tap into new business or growth opportunities. In other words, coworking communities are seen as catalysts of innovation. But coworking is still a relatively recent trend, and it comes in many different forms. While anecdotes and case studies suggest there is some validity to this innovation claim, we’re starting to ask some bigger questions around how this actually works. My research team and I are in the midst of studying coworking and other similar settings to better understand what it means to build a “space for innovation.” I recently sat down to discuss our work to date and what we see as some of the bigger questions and considerations. Highlights from this discussion are available in the latest issue of Workplaces magazine.
The Power of Language in a Social Workplace
I recently attended the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Philadelphia. This annual conference of scholars and researchers from business schools and practitioners from different industries offers an opportunity to engage in rich discussions about organizations, their people, and their practices. This year’s theme “The Power of Words” offered some particularly salient takeaways for understanding how a company’s work environment embodies the organization’s own language and how it acts as a live feed into its ongoing routines.
Positive Impacts Associated with the Open Office
Clients often ask us if flexible open plan workspace is effective. While “effective” workspace means different things to different organizations, we have broadly discovered a number of benefits that an open office design can provide to a wide range of organizations. We did our homework to see what other research has been done in the field.
Determining Workplace Effectiveness
We Are What We Measure
I recently traveled to Philadelphia to attend and participate in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference, an annual ritual and gathering of industrial and organizational psychologists, HR leaders, and experts on organizational change. Several sessions on workplace assessments and analytics were among the many great discussions I attended.
Using Food to Build Healthy Communities for Working and for Learning
We all eat. Food is a universal experience that brings people together and builds and sustains healthy communities. Sometimes, we celebrate the food experience through the mindful planning and enjoying of meals. But, many times we succumb to the realities of “dining al desko”—eating alone, at our desks, while working or studying.
Should Your Company Embrace Coworking?
Coworking is going mainstream. That is, traditional organizations are increasingly embracing a way of working that is rooted in the world of of start-ups, entrepreneurs, and independent professionals. Coworking communities are collaborative shared workspace settings that have historically provided independents and freelancers with the amenities and sense of belongingness of a workplace but with the casual vibe of a coffee shop or third place.