Most professionals cringe when they hear the phrase “shared desk space,” but many companies are turning to the method in an effort to save space and promote creativity. According to DeskMag.com, an online publication, the coworking movement has roughly doubled in size since 2006, largely in part because freelancers and businesses with low head counts have been drawn to it.
A recent graduate receiving my first professional position at a firm that utilizes communal workspaces, I was unsure of the pros and cons surrounding this growing trending. With the position accepted and workspace assigned, I set out to uncover an answer to my unyielding question – is coworking really beneficial?
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the new workspace configurations have brought about unexpected benefits to businesses, including encouraging workers to collaborate and reducing internal email. Companies from as large as American Express to the small group of freelancers downstairs have started utilizing coworking. In fact, a second Wall Street Journal article states that businessmen and women are even capitalizing on the trend, buying large workspaces and renting them out for anywhere from $500-$800 per person per month. Duncan Logan, an entrepreneur in San Francisco did just that. His 43,000 square-foot-center accommodates 130 companies, and has even been home to team members of both Spotify and Zappos.com.
Though some critics point at a need for some form of confidentiality, the majority believe that coworking can help increase productivity through creativity, life and work balance and networking. At Uproar, we utilize our desk situation as a creative tool. Whether you need an alternative word or a new idea, there’s always a team on hand for spontaneous brainstorm sessions! We enjoy tossing around ideas, and are constantly engaged with one another.
As an active participant in the shared workspace craze, I believe that the good entirely outweighs the bad. While the Chatty Cathy across the room may need to learn to tone it down a bit, the overall feeling of team unity that coworking provides is a major plus.