For many companies both big and small, coworking spaces are today’s go-to solution. Flexible plans, cost-effective prices and a ready-made set-up with modern facilities make managed offices an extremely viable option for many organizations seeking state-of-the-art office spaces without the hassles of investing in real estate, maintenance and long set-up times.
However, the fact remains that in a coworking space, one is co-working – that is, sharing an office space with other individuals and companies. When a coworker goes to work, one is indeed aware of the fact that the office space is not strictly speaking theirs, but a communal place of work for a number of professionals and organizations in different fields, often under the same roof. This means that two companies with totally opposing missions, visions, values and goals can occupy the same room. A company may find it vital to build a company culture for itself that is unique and creates a sense of belonging within its employees, distinguishing itself from the companies that surround it.
Build a cohesive, holistic company culture in a shared office space can sometimes seem challenging – but it’s certainly not impossible. After all, working in a coworking space may give a company employee a reason to identify what sets their company culture apart – and own it proudly. Coworking, being essentially community based, can allow two drastically different companies to learn from each other, while maintaining a strong sense of identity. Here are some tips to keep in mind that’ll help you along your journey!
Building a sense of internal community
It’s important to keep a dialogue going and maintain camaraderie with your team on a day-to-day basis. Use digital tools to create company blogs, collaboration tools and newsletters that give your team a sense of identity, and a reason to interact and discuss “insider” information with each other.
Keeping your team updated on the achievements of their peers and the company as a whole can also build social recognition for them. Your team members will all be on the same page, while also having the opportunity to share their achievements with others in the space, giving them a sense of pride in their work and the company they represent.
Personalizing the space
There may be limitations on how much you can decorate and brand your space in a managed office. This makes it additionally important to inflect the space with your company’s identity in creative ways. From making sure your logo is clearly visible in every communication, to customizing your office set-up and including visual elements that give your office space a unique ambience, there are many ways to add your company’s personality to the space you occupy. Simple tips like placing desks in a configuration that encourages your team to interact can work wonders in building a healthy company culture. Ensure that your team is able to personalize their own space as they see fit, such as keeping team photos, company gear and personal effects by their workspace to make it feel like home.
Participating in building-wide events and facilities
One of the greatest benefits of a coworking space is giving your company access to a number of fun, educational and interactive events and seminars within the building, as well as enabling them to use facilities such as a games room, catered lunches and so on. Encouraging your team to make the best of these facilities not only creates a healthy feeling of community within them, but also helps you save overheads and leverage the assets at hand.
Coworking spaces also present publicity and press advantages. For example, displaying a physical product your company produces on your desks and allowing neighbouring companies to interact with them can help you spread the word about your company, while giving your team members a reason to engage in conversation with others about the work they do.
Organizing independent events for your team
Giving your team members a reason to interact, have fun and engage in activities outside of the shared workspace can be hugely beneficial in building your company culture without being overly reliant on your coworking community. Organize monthly lunches, social outings, annual activities and holiday parties for your team that allow them to get to know each other and truly enjoy working for you. After all, a culture is less about space and more about the relationship your employees forge with the space, and with each other.
Ensure that you are communicating your company’s vision and values to your employees, even if in the form of handbooks or meetings, and reinforce this frequently at events, get-togethers and seminars. It’s important to make sure that your employees are all clued in to what the company stands for, and can communicate with each other easily. Create communication channels that are personal to your company that employees can use dehors of the coworking space. This can foster a sense of community within your team that is independent of the distractions of coworking.
At the end of the day, coworking spaces are able to bring you two massive opportunities: a cost-effective, exciting and evolving office space, alongside access to a community of interesting professionals. Simply keeping these tips in mind can help you carve out a strong niche for your company, and make the best of both worlds.