WeWork’s coworking spaces offer fruit-infused water, lively designs, and an open community. As Andrew Rice described it in Bloomberg, “WeWork has cast itself as a new kind of workplace for the post-recession labor force and a generation that has never known a cubicle. It aspires to make your job a place you never want to quit.” There’s no office politics and a lot of opportunities to laugh and network at free events like Friday evening happy hours.
Coworking spaces like WeWork on the rise, and for good reason. The Harvard Business Review defines coworking spaces as, “membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of freelancers, remote workers, and other independent professionals work together in a shared, communal setting.” Workers who participate in these community spaces rate their levels of thriving as an average of 6 on a 7-point scale, which is at least a full point higher than workers in traditional spaces.
These hotspots, once the dominion of independent contractors, creatives and startups, may be a positive investment for bigger companies. Gretchen M. Spreitzer notes in the MIT Sloan Review that some companies like Google, Zappos, and Sprint are replicating these environments in their internal offices to build a sense of community and engage outside collaborators.
Spreitzer further claims that as the nature of work changes and more employees work remotely or on the road, coworking spaces may offer flexibility, not only to employees but companies. Coworking spaces offer lower fees than traditional real estate investments, while providing the autonomy that employees crave. Members can do their work when and where they please, enjoying 24/7 access to a wide range of spaces. With the potential to increase employee performance and minimize costs, coworking may be the next big thing for corporate America.