One of the things many smaller businesses must deal with is a sense of isolation. For sole traders especially, running things yourself can make you feel largely cut off from others.
“People who feel isolated can find themselves hindered by a perceived lack of support, and the stress they suffer can escalate, feeding on itself.”
“Many people running their own businesses take on huge burdens of responsibility, impacting on their work-life balance, and, ultimately, their own and their business’s health.”
The Intrinsic Value of Shared Workspace
Research has found that people thrive in shared, coworking environments, recording levels of satisfaction on average higher than those of employees working in regular offices.
“Unlike a traditional office environment, the shared workspace will typically consist of people from a variety of businesses and backgrounds,” Johnny notes. “There is a marked lack of internal competition or office politics. In fact, this environment seems to help strengthen people’s individual work identities.”
There is an intrinsic value to this kind of set up.
“Not only can coworking environments help create a sense of meaningfulness on the part of those working in it, but it also provides excellent opportunities for networking and collaboration”
A managed, shared workspace is a natural networking platform.
“If you’re looking to expand your professional network, then this is the ideal environment,” says Johnny, “and many shared workspaces will be managed in such a way that makes introductions and encourages interactions.”
You can find dozens of coworkers sharing your space, some of whom will have a natural affinity with your work.
In some locations, shared workspaces are sector-specific, while others cast a wider net.
“Even where the connections don’t seem natural, you’d be surprised at the kinds of opportunities working close by to others can bring”
“Largely, this comes down to the unforced nature of shared workspace,” Johnny remarks. “Individuals are not finding themselves actively going out to seek contacts, but rather finding relationships arise organically.”
“Conventional networking can feel very pressured, almost like speed-dating,” Johnny continues. “Instead, the shared workspace provides a much more relaxed environment for meeting others and interacting with them. It takes the stress out of networking.”
Collaborating with Others
If one of the soundest principles of successful business networking is that by giving of yourself you get something back, then having coworkers enhances this.
“Shared workspaces encourage you to think more outwardly, where you become part of a community,” says Johnny. “As a community, it has its own store of experience and ideas which you can both contribute to and draw on.”
“With breakout areas and communal areas, the opportunities to interact with others are there, and SMEs should not miss out on them”
“This could be the difference to whether your enterprise succeeds or not,” suggests Johnny. “The ideas you get from others, and what you can contribute, can have a galvanising effect on your business.”
“It is difficult to grow in isolation,” explains Johnny. “Shared workspace offers the ideal compromise between independence and integration.”
“Exploring synergies with others can prove vital for business growth,” concludes Johnny. “The whole can turn out to be far greater than the sum of its parts.”
For an additional read, please visit Will Shared Workspace Mean the Death of the Boardroom?