A Discussion about Coworking
The other day, I ran into the President and CEO of Coca-Cola Consolidated here in Charlotte at the gym. After our usual chit-chat, the conversation turned to business and the cool things we are doing here at The Launch Factory.
“Yeah, I love what you guys are doing,”my friend said.“We are doing the same thing; we are replacing all our traditional offices with coworking.”
“Really! That is awesome,”I shot back.
“Yeah, it’s the right way to work,”my friend said with a deep sense of knowing.“The old days of everyone working from their own cubical or office is gone. We are excited about the future and the effect our new workspace will have on our overall culture.”
Driving home, I kept thinking about our conversation; particularly my friends comment about coworking in Charlotte being, “the right way to work.”
According to an article form the Harvard Business Review, many companies are re-engineering their traditional offices into coworking spaces for their employees.
While coworking is traditionally understood as a “new” way to work for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and those in the tech industry, it’s quickly becoming the “right” way for established organizations as well.
Suggested Reading: 2 Studies Point To Increased CoWorking Demand in Charlotte
Coworking, according to the article above, helps established organizations create the “right kind of work environment inside their own walls.” But creating the right type of environment has less to do with adding a cafe area or simply opening walls to create one big room.
What shared office spaces (coworking) taps into, is the human longing for meaningful connections and the innate desire to be apart of an authentic community (even at work!).
It knocks down the walls separating work from friendships and our jobs from having fun.
Coworking spaces ask, in somewhat of a cheeky millennial tone of voice, “Why can’t work be productive but fun (like really fun?); and, “Why can’t our jobs be social (like really social?).”
So, back to my CEO friend.
He hired a coworking expert to come in and lead the charge in changing the way his employees view and go about work.
Within a newly renovated space, my CEO friend spoke of a new work culture where his hundreds of employees would interact with each other more throughout the day and spend more time forging a sense of meaningful community outside of work meetings.
He spoke about his vision for regular networking events, social events, motivational lunches, and even bringing in entertainment from time-to-time.
So why does all this matter for you and your established company?
I love the way the Harvard Business Review puts it:
“Our research suggests that the combination of a well-designed work environment and a well-curated work experience are part of the reason people who cowork demonstrate higher levels of thriving than their office-based counterparts. But what matters the most for high levels of thriving is that people who cowork have substantial autonomy and can be themselves at work. Our advice to traditional companies who want to learn from coworking spaces is to give people the space and support to be their authentic best selves. The result will be employees who feel more committed to your organization, and are more likely to bring their best energy and ideas to the office each day. Even if it is corporate headquarters.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “I’m a freelancer and I work in coffee shops or at my house” or “I own a startup and I can’t afford to build a coworking style office space”.
Well, the good news is that coworking in Charlotte is available to everyone who wants to take advantage of it. There are numerous different options around the city, you just need to find the right fit.
The real takeaway, other than coworking is awesome, is that even big-box companies are starting to embrace the power that coworking spaces offer and it’s probably only a matter of time until it’s the norm for everyone.
At The Launch Factory we provide a unique, technology-optimized, coworking space in Charlotte, that’s ready for business professionals and teams of all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions about our space or would like to schedule a private tour, please contact us here.