Fostering Healthy Coworking Communities

The increased availability of coworking spaces has attracted freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Yes, that’s right, many small…

The increased availability of coworking spaces has attracted freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Yes, that’s right, many small businesses are also flocking to coworking spaces.

In the past few years, the number of coworking spaces has skyrocketed, and this upward trend is likely to continue. The increased availability of coworking spaces has attracted freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. Yes, that’s right, many small businesses are also flocking to coworking spaces.

A Coworking Space Can Help Your Business Thrive

There are many reasons why you might consider a coworking space for your small business. For starters, a recent study demonstrated that people who work in a coworking office rate their level of thriving an average of 6 on a scale of 7. This is a point higher than the average for employees who work in regular offices.

Employees who describe themselves as thriving are also productive, satisfied, energized, and engaged. Thriving workers demonstrate:

  • 46% more job satisfaction
  • 32% more committment to their organization
  • 125% less burnout than other workers
  • 16% better job performance

The dynamic work environment found in coworking spaces is responsible for these numbers. Just another reason why you should consider a coworking space for your startup. If you’ve given this idea some thought and are ready to begin, here are some ways you can foster a sense of community for your team.

Create a Sense of Community

A sense of community is key to running your business in a coworking space. The reason is simple – as humans, we are social beings. Achieving a sense of community in a coworking space is a mindful process. There are several ways to build and nurture a sense of community, including networking events, mentoring, matchmaking between coworkers and teams. You can’t force it, but you do have to monitor and implement it.

In addition, when you run your business in a coworking office space, you and your team can bounce ideas off other professionals without worrying about direct competition or internal politics. Having an extra sounding board or two can be invaluable to the growth of your business. People who work in coworking spaces see what they do as meaningful, not just a job. And so do you. Working with your team alongside like-minded professionals in a collaborative and flexible environment, you’ll never want to be in a corporate office again.

Create an Inclusive Community

If you are using a coworking space for your business, and want to create an inclusive community, an official code of conduct is essential. This will clearly outline expectations and define acceptable behaviors. Even the smallest organizations should develop a code of conduct.

The conduct code includes behavior guidelines that are consistent with your company policies and reflects how you perceive your company’s image. It also lets your employees know what is expected of them and that their actions, appearance, conduct, and demeanor will affect the company and their career.

Most codes of conduct include prohibitions on illegal activities, smoking, foul language, discrimination, and harassment. This can include creating a safe space for all gender pronouns, sexual orientations, ages, religions, ethnicities, and nationalities, etc. A diverse and inclusive workspace makes all employees feel valued and accepted.

Create an Engaged Community

Most coworking spaces have conference rooms where you can host team-building events to engage your workers. Popular team-building activities include:

Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a form of visual storytelling that is fun and engaging for everyone. Each person shares 20 images for 20 seconds. This is a great way to get new team members to know each other, for brainstorming or practicing your elevator pitch. At slightly over six and a half minutes, the pace is fast, fun, and dynamic.

Lunch-and-Learn

Hint: it doesn’t have to be lunch. It can be dinner or even later. Whatever time is best for your business, since coworking spaces are extremely flexible. You can have guests as expert speakers, or have employees take turns sharing their own knowledge in ways that are helpful to all.

Creative Meetings

Take advantage of the larger conference rooms at your coworking space and have regular creative meetings. These meetings can be free-form and even occur over breakfast or lunch in the common areas. The primary purpose is to spark creativity, so workers can discuss fresh ideas they’ve come across, things that inspire them, and ask for help in areas where the ideas aren’t flowing.

Go-Kart Racing or Bumper Cars

Go-kart racing or bumper cars bring out the kid in all of us. A little friendly competition is a great way to bond a group. And when the adrenaline is flowing, employees often interact with each other in fun ways.

Escape Room Adventure

Team members are locked in a room and must use logic, teamwork, patience, and leadership skills to escape. These types of adventures have become extremely popular team-building exercises. You have an hour to solve all the puzzles, find hidden clues, and figure out how to escape.

Take Advantage of Coworking Space Community Events

Most coworking spaces host events such as panel discussion, happy hours, and guest speakers designed to help you expand your network and expose you to opportunities for your business. Attending these events with your team allows you to connect socially and professionally with other members of your coworking space. These events tend to encourage discussion and connection among your team and the other members, creating an even stronger sense of community and belonging.

Build Community in Multiple Coworking Spaces

One of the great things about coworking spaces is that you can find them almost anywhere. This means you can build your business in multiple locations by becoming a member in a coworking space with multiple locations. By using the same coworking space, you maintain your sense of community. Your teams know each other and, if they need to travel, they will fit right in when they get to your space, no matter what city it is in.

Choosing a coworking space for your business can help you develop, curate, and foster a supportive, creative, authentic community. This is the type of community where ideas are not only born but are fully realized. Your businesses will have the space to grow, and your team will come together in a meaningful way.

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