The importance of collaborative working

By Abigayle Raucher

Collaborative and co-working spaces are revolutionising the start-up world. Across the globe, these spaces are replacing stuffy offices and restrictive nine-to-five hours.

Research has found that those workers who are provided with a collaborative space with other like-minded people are more productive, as well as generally happier, than those in a traditional office. In these spaces, members can exchange ideas, and work alongside others from overlapping fields. A study by the Harvard Business Review last year reported that ‘people who use co-working spaces see their work as more meaningful, are able to do projects they care about, and now have the ability to bring their whole selves to work.’

Instead of a competitive environment consisting of workers vying for promotion and personal gain, members provide specific skill sets to other members, mutually benefiting, as well as further supporting a cultural norm that encourages cooperation and communication. Members are able to feel like they’re part of a community that exists not only for personal growth, but can engage with and provide assistance to others who are in the same boat.

Though many collaborative spaces are designed specifically as incubators for startup businesses, they are also ideal for freelance workers, small businesses and experienced entrepreneurs looking for a space where the going rate is dramatically less expensive than that of a traditional rented office, somewhere they can come and go as they please, and some even provide snacks!

Economically speaking, it only makes sense for small businesses and the self-employed to become members of a collaborative workspace, as everything is included in membership. With this all-inclusivity, members never have to worry about running out of ink, or whether the wifi might unexpectedly kick the bucket, causing not only serious frustration, but also a major loss in productivity.

With flexible hours, open floor plans, and plenty of available space, members can design their own schedules, choose what desk best suits them that day, and also be provided with the routine and structure that collaboration offers.

For the autonomous worker looking for a creative space, not just to get their project or business venture started, but to learn from and grown alongside other members seeking the same goal, research proves that a collaborative workspace is spot-on.