One of the big “buzz” words surrounding coworking is the word collaboration. But what does that really mean? The definition of collaboration refers to the action of two or more individuals working together in order to create or produce something. So why all the hype regarding coworking and collaboration? What do they have to do with one another? We’re so glad you asked.
Coworking spaces tend to have very few walls, long tables and shared desks or counters. This allows people to interact freely with those around them. Bigger tables offer more room to spread out and share documents, projects etc., and the ability to move around easily from one side to the other. Few walls mean a non-confining atmosphere, promoting more open exchanges of thoughts and ideas. Some coworking areas (like ours! https://thedockingstation.spaces.nexudus.com/en) will offer areas with white boards for note taking, brainstorming and more.
Variety of Skill Sets
Because coworking spaces operate on a come and go as you please basis, they attract people from a variety of professions. Different people mean different ideas, ways of thinking and skill sets. This, in turn, means that it can be the perfect place to seek out a collaborator where both individuals’ unique skills are used to create an end result. The old “two heads (or more) are better than one” adage.
Learning and Advice
The variety of people provides the opportunity to seek out someone with more experience when the need arises. The coworking space allows professionals to share ideas, experiences and advice outside of the normal office setting thereby eliminating the political atmosphere that can exist in some offices. When free of the office politics, people tend to be more open and willing to share ideas and accept advice from others.
Meeting other professionals in a coworking setting allows people to get to know one another’s skill sets in a relaxed atmosphere. This may give some people the idea to ask fellow coworkers to formally collaborate whether it be a one-time project or a career move. They may feel comfortable recruiting that person because the coworking has shown them the benefits they could bring to the project.
Since coworking allows people to meet in a professional yet relaxed and non-traditional setting, it promotes collaboration for common goals like growing each person’s community or network. Jim, the web designer, might know someone in his field who could really use Katy, the accountant’s, skills. Meanwhile Katy’s friend may have seen the work Jim did on her web page and want to have Jim’s help for their own business.
Coworking promotes collaboration by providing open spaces for easy communication, inviting a variety of skill sets to congregate in one place, encouraging the sharing of knowledge, expanding job opportunities and opening people up to a new network of professionals.