Enterprises are hopping on the coworking bandwagon–and for good reason. Coworking spaces can enable innovation, collaboration, and teams of remote workers to stay connected without relocating to your corporate headquarters.
But just because a coworking space is not the right solution for your business doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from these shared workspaces and the way they operate.
There are many different and inspiring coworking concepts that you could adopt in your own office. Here are some ideas you may want to incorporate at your corporation:
1. Mix and match your departments
In a coworking space, everyone sits together regardless of their department, job title or rank. To inspire similar cross-departmental intermingling, you could introduce a game of musical chairs, where, even if it’s only for a few hours on a Friday afternoon, team members sit within different departments.
Alternatively, you could create an open work area in your office where your staff can sit wherever they want. Such proximity can encourage teams to interact and collaborate.
2. Open all hours
Many coworking spaces are open 24/7, allowing members to pop in whenever they want to. This allows people to work during the hours they are most productive and fit their work around their other commitments.
Some people may also want to work whenever the urge strikes or prefer to work when there are fewer people or distractions around.
3. Provide greater choice
If you can’t open your office 24/7, you could encourage your workers to set up and work on their own schedule. This is different to most flexible working schemes where the employer sets the terms. Instead, your staff can set their hours.
4. Focus on health
You could embrace some of the wellness initiatives that are often employed by coworking spaces. For example, regular yoga sessions, on-site gym or gym membership and access to healthcare are all important benefits for your workers that many coworking communities offer to members.
5. Try different layouts
A well-designed workplace can optimize the efficiency of your business and improve the productivity, health, and satisfaction of your employees. This is where you could learn a thing or two from coworking spaces, which tend to integrate a range of spaces under one roof.
For example, you could introduce breakout areas where your staff can catch up or meet in a more informal manner. You could use cubicles or an open-plan design or both. You could even introduce some more unusual spaces into your offices, such as nap pods or a meditation yurt.
6. Find flexible furniture
Simply changing your office furniture to encourage movement and mobility can have a positive impact on creativity in your office. Bring in comfortable furniture that’s easy to move so your staff isn’t stuck in the same place all day, every day.
7. Focus on your culture
Most coworking spaces employ a community manager to help build a close-knit community. You may want to come up with your own version of a community manager in your office who can organize events and help your staff collaborate and build relationships.
Unlike your HR department, a community manager is ingrained in the day-to-day activities of your office and staff.
8. Encourage networking
Coworking spaces encourage networking using a variety of methods. In your office, you could try to provide your staff with a range of networking opportunities too.
For example, you may want to start some ‘lunch and learn’ sessions where a team member shares their work and achievements with your business. Alternatively, you could organize a larger-scale event where your staff and other businesses give a talk or series of presentations covering a topic or challenge in your industry.
Also, whether it’s over a coffee or a yoga mat, coworking spaces encourage a range of informal networking opportunities by organizing regular events that span a range of interests. Try to find out what works for your workers to help then build better networks within your organization.