Today we’re featuring a guest blog post from Michael Feldman. Mr Feldman is a professional journalist based in NYC that writes on topics of leisure and entertainment for niche magazines.
Here are the top 8 ways to improve your coworking culture:
The successful running of a company does not depend only upon its design, interior, or cost; instead, what matters more is productivity along with flexibility. The happiness of your employees and coworkers is substantially the most critical element. Why coworkers? Because the more diversity and expertise you have in the relevant fields, the more you become capable of producing efficient results.
When you share your workspace with people to build an all-inclusive office or company, you will inevitably have to face some challenges in that shared culture. While some coworkers may be very flexible, lenient and easy-going, not everyone will be the same. Here are some practical ways to deal with coworking challenges and improving the coworking culture:
1. Be clear about core values:
Coworking combines people from different walks of life who may not share the same work priorities. Coworking space must have a set of predetermined mission statement or core values. It helps the coworkers to know what is considered imperative in their shared office and how they should work together to achieve common goals.
A mission statement does not have to be a rigid rule about work, preferably a small statement that defines the goals, as well as values of your workspace, would be sufficient. In a private office, while working in a coworking culture, one can create posters to be displayed at a prominent place within the office as a sign of solidarity.
Having clear values not only lets the coworkers know what is expected from them about also lets potential coworkers assess if they will be able to fit in this shared place or not.
2. Planning events:
In coworking culture, one can avail several amenities like free coffee, networking, and community events. So, in order to promote coworking culture, the company must plan various activities so that all the coworkers can get to know each other and develop ideas. Leisure events will make the overall environment more productive.
It is crucial for team members that they feel connected; otherwise, they could have worked from home or anywhere else. Preplan events so that everyone can schedule them in their work plan; in this way, coworkers will not feel detached while working under the same roof.
3. Appreciate ideas:
As a business, you can improve the coworking culture by simply giving value to the ideas and thoughts of everyone. Instead of allocating the decision-making responsibility with a few selected persons, encourage everyone to share their ideas, and discuss opinions with each other. It will enable all coworkers to consider themselves as a team and one whole unit.
People appreciate when their ideas and thoughts are being heard; such encouragement will not only enhance their development process but also augment an open coworking culture. Therefore, it is a win-win situation.
4. Take feedback:
It is one of the essential steps towards not only the betterment of coworking culture but also to increase productivity at a broader level. When you ask other members regarding their feedback or evaluation, you will come to know the kind of issues they are facing while working in a coworking environment.
Moreover, you will also get to know what steps are being appreciated by other members, and you can take steps to resolve them accordingly. Feedback will help you in the identification of areas where you can improve your workplace culture and also the ones that are being appreciated.
5. Minimize distractions:
Coworking comes with its fair share of problems too, and distraction is one of them. It is quite evident that when many people work within the same environment, there are bound to be some distractions too; it is totally inevitable to get distracted with so much going on around you. Noise also adds considerably to the disturbance.
To make your coworking space productive, you should devise ways of minimizing distractions. This includes proper ceiling and insulation to avoid outside noises. Also, you can set up some rules so that others can be cautious about creating disturbances.
Some soft and low background music may also help in hushing some noises. Also, remember to have a separate relaxation area where coworkers can talk privately and take coffee or lunch breaks; this will minimize distractions for others who are working in the meantime.
6. Need for proper layout:
There is a dire need for appropriate layout zones in a coworking environment. If the work areas of all members are not adequately zoned, then they might interfere with the privacy of others. This will avoid the fuss about seating and placement; a layout will prevent any confusions about overstepping the boundaries.
While it may not be financially feasible for the office to give separate rooms to every staff member, cubicles, or any other form of partition can be a workable idea. You can also give people the opportunity of a team room, where they can conduct meetings, discuss problems, or meet with outsiders.
7. Culture of cross-communication:
Develop the culture of cross-communication to improve the coworking environment. In this type of culture, it is critical to find the balance between engaging the coworkers while also giving them enough space to work independently.
Collaboration with team members will further bring social culture. It will help to identify problems, reach solutions, and understand each other. Such cross-communication will also help coworkers to exchange ideas, refer clients, and seek help.
8. Put whiteboards in open space:
If creating a separate room for brainstorming is not viable, do not worry, as you have got some other alternate options. You can always go with the idea of putting whiteboards in prominent places. It will help each member to contribute with their ideas and thoughts.
This will not only increase efficiency but also give confidence to the members to put forward their suggestions. By providing value to the needs of others, you will encourage them to contribute to the organization.
These steps can easily lead to the betterment of coworking culture. Thanks to its multiple benefits, coworking is getting increasingly popular, but there are some inherent challenges as well. While you cannot put a hot tub to help coworkers relax (after all, who is going to drain and clean the hot tub?), but these ideas will help you create a relaxing and productive environment for everyone.
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