Coworking Spaces Fostered the New Ideology of Community

Coworking Spaces Fostered the New Ideology of Community

When the seemingly taboo movement of coworking spaces rose to popularity, it carried not just claims of infrastructure and financial aid to startups and freelancers alike, but as well as several intangible claims that elicited curiosity among the members of today’s workforce.

Aside from fully furnished workstations and stable internet topped off with recreational areas such as pool tables, game rooms, and karaoke rooms, these shared offices offer one immeasurable component that is non-existent in traditional workspaces; community.

And though it had several naysayers saying that the increased productivity and so-called collaborative community are just false promises, providers have proven them wrong and they have several proofs that can support the truth of the claims.

The Death of Community Traditions

The movement itself carries a culture far from what most of the labor force grew up with. Upon introduction, these ideologies caused numbers of talent to reconsider and rethink their beliefs and what matters. Gone are the days when young professionals sought the security established company provided. A large-scale shift of mindset has took over the past few years that resulted to the death of several corporate traditions.

But new perspectives are not the only culprits behind the casualties, the newest demographic present in today’s talent pool and modern technology both have made significant contribution to the downfall of traditions. The new generation of employees aim to be in a workplace that allows them not to just work, but can also help them interact and learn while the latest advancements in technology has allowed people to work almost anywhere in the world.

As a result, coworking spaces thrived by giving the people what they needed in today’s highly-competitive and demanding market.

The Theory of ‘Swarms’ and Cross-Cultural Understanding

Antis of the movement claimed that the open layout is a recipe for disaster. With so much going on in the background, distraction is evident. But data from recent studies says otherwise. Deskmag, distributor of the largest annual coworking survey, said that 62% of respondents reported a significant improvement in their standard work upon joining. Moreover, a majority of the members present within these shared offices took were attracted by the community they offer.

The diverse network and large scale possibilities of collaborating with like-minded individuals are things that several freelancers and startups wanted to get a hold of in the hopes of retaining sustainable growth. Later on, even large corporations and tech conglomerates wanted some of this magic too.

Private organizations have tried incorporating these open-space layouts but were unsuccessful. It seemed like creating a collaborative culture needs more than just new ways of communication. So how did coworking spaces did it?

Though each provider is distinct from one another, they each shared one mission: to provide service to an interdisciplinary audience. They are purveyors of a shared culture fostered through knowledge-building events as well as communal eating and drinking. That though having face-to-face interaction synchronous to that of its online counterpart is vital, managing and maintaining a culture through several rituals remain to be important.

Experts have also discussed the benefits of ‘swarms’ of talented individuals present within these shared offices. A large number of literature has been produced emphasizing the positive results of ‘swarms’ of interdisciplinary professionas sharing a common goal. One classic example is the collaboration between scientists and mathematicians who lead the crew of Apollo 13 home. Experts said that this is a natural behavior amongst human beings. This component alone has helped them work together for growth. For a company to continuously thrive, they must have a adaptive culture – one that accepts change and embraces agile working and evolution.

This appropriate blend of networking and interaction within the coworking community allowed them to continuously thrive.

And though the movement itself is flawed, we have to admit that its pioneers have garnered a through understanding of how to create and manage a culture made up of different minds.

Ease yourself into the new traditions and talk to us today about joining a coworking space!

How to Effectively Transition Big Companies to Coworking

How to Effectively Transition Big Companies to Coworking

Since its success, coworking has expanded its reach from solo entrepreneurs, home-based entrepreneurs and startups, they now accommodate established and big companies – large teams or departments and other individual employees with flexible work hours.

The movement caught the affinity of today’s young professionals with its affordable offices, aesthetically pleasing work areas and great environment. The greater audience of the industry lauded it for the benefits and immeasurable opportunities it provides. Hence, it didn’t come as a surprise when established companies and even conglomerates were observed to be coming in and out of different shared offices.

Since then, it’s been observed as a rising trend among big companies and industry players as influential enterprises and Fortune 500 enterprises move their employees and teams to local coworking spaces. Partnerships between organizations and providers have been established over the last few years causing a large disruption in the real estate industry.

One prominent explanation behind the aforementioned sudden liking is the large pool of talent and ideas nestled in these shared offices. Tech giants and large corporations want to become part of its diverse growing community of innovators in hopes of gaining new perspective that they wouldn’t usually find in the premises of a corporate environment. Moreover, it gives them a better advantage against their competitors as they keep a close ear to any technological advancement or trend that cause potential threat in the industry and allows them to attract top talent and closely monitor any potential target acquisitions.

Though it’s rapidly becoming a common scenario, much is still left to be learned on how leading organizations can make the most of these shared offices. Transitioning to flexible working doesn’t have to be as hard as one would imagine, here are a few steps to ease your move.

Changing Over of Big Companies

The first and most important would be finding a space that fits an organization’s current culture. It’s important for prospect members to establish an open communication with the providers on what will fit for them – the space, its people and its vibe. Creating a discussion on what would work best for both parties is needed.

And since coworking managements will now be dealing with a much larger group of people, its only apt to come up with a brand new and much more flexible agreement for a new kind of lease. Take into consideration that some big companies and other prospective clients would be used to long term leases that could entail other extras such as concessions and more.

Security concerns are detrimental factors in the deliberation. Will they be needing any additional security needs? Can their equipment and other sensitive documents be safe in your private offices?

Once all important details and other technicalities are discussed, introduce the new team or individuals to the rest of the community. The connections and fortunate happenstances that could be made between members are one of the highlights as to why they have decided to join in.

By doing so, you can help freelancers to get gigs and corporations to get new people.

Incorporating Privacy Strategies in Open Plan Offices

Incorporating Privacy Strategies in Open Plan Offices

Open plan layouts were welcomed with open arms and was well-received by the majority of the industry. So much so, that within the following years, the world watched in awe as its numbers increased.

As of writing 70% of employees in America alone work in open-plan offices and experts predict that its numbers will continue to grow as employers scramble to create a  strategic solution that caters to their requisites as well as the needs of its workforce. With its versatile and cost-efficient lease terms, mixed with the concept of community, creativity and collaboration, it has dominated workspaces for more than a century.

And though there’s about thousands of blog posts, news articles and even research available in the internet telling freelancers and managers alike about its tangible and intangible benefits, it seems like the layout is losing its charm to today’s workforce.

According to a 2013 study on workspace satisfaction, nearly half of employees in open offices found the lack of both sound and visual privacy a significant problem. The sensation that someone could be looking – or even worse, listening – over your shoulder can’t be shaken off easily causing some of them to resort to the comfort of stairwells, pantry areas and even bathrooms for private matters.

Moreover, recent studies have also reported a stifled engagement amongst professionals in open areas. Bernice Boucher of JLL’s Strategic Consulting group said in an article that the scarcity of privacy at work is a clear crime against productivity. Too much noise and distractions make it hard for them to either do their jobs or have important conversations. It also adds a layer of concern for those who want to protect the confidentiality of their tasks. She adds that certain organizations are also recognizing this and are making significant efforts in incorporating privacy.

Hidden Potential of Well-Designed Open Spaces

Both architects, experts and providers of shared offices such as coworking spaces have put much emphasis on its affordability – the number one factor that appeals to most businesses. But one can only unlock its well-appraised potential if it helps the workforce feel empowered.

Anne-Laure Fayard and John Weeks of Harvard Business Review said that effective offices should be designed to bring people together by removing barriers but at the same time, should be capable enough to provide sufficient privacy so that employees wouldn’t have the irrational fear of being overheard or interrupted. Further strengthening this claim by adding that it should reinforce the permission to speak freely.

Open layouts should be designed in such a way that it doesn’t only constrain one’s working, but also gives them full control of their way of working.

Privacy Strategies for Long Term Success

Unlocking the potential of a strategically outlined open space layout doesn’t mean spearheading major renovations; simple measures such as installing movable panels to create ad-hoc private chat areas could help implement privacy.

Senior Vice President of JLL’s Workplace Strategy and Change Management, Phil Kirschner, says that the best scenario for an engaged, efficient and privacy-driven workplace is to have an activity-planning model – one in which members are allowed to choose between individual desks, phone booths, huddle booths and even shared areas depending on the set of tasks they need to accomplish for today.

The well-received coworking movement provides it members the aforementioned liberty to choose the right environment for them. In addition to this, certain providers implement specific instructions on how one should make use of certain areas. Quiet zones prohibit the use of phones, upholstered booths are for private discussions and both dining as well as lounge areas are reserved for engagement and interactions.

Admittedly, the design has its pitfalls – but only when they’re not done right or curated haphazardly. When devised in the right way, not only will it help cost overhead reductions but more importantly, it will help improve your work environment – resulting to a motivated workforce.

Get the best of collaboration and privacy with Sales Rain’s very first coworking space by getting in touch with us today!

A Golden Opportunity: Meeting Rooms in Coworking Spaces

A Golden Opportunity: Meeting Rooms in Coworking Spaces

On a normal basis, large gatherings and conferences are usually held in meeting rooms within high-end hotel rooms but in the presence of serviced offices, this tradition is slowly being disrupted.

Other than being a coworking space’s most profitable asset, they also represent a large opportunity for growth, industry experts say. Shared workplaces with rooms that can accommodate groups of 20-40 people can host corporate training meetings, according to Alliance Network’s chairman and founder, Frank Cottle

Providers are missing out on a great opportunity sitting right in front of themselves. By offering a cost efficient and much more appropriate alternative to hotel meetings, they are benefitting from the growing corporate mandate of innovation and sustained education.

Demand Catalysts

The increasing frequency of trainings and meeting plays a significant role in the thriving need for conference venues and event spaces. As the accelerating competition in the industry calls for continuous teaching and learning, it opened up a new untapped market for serviced offices.

Though seen as an important feature in an enterprise’s headquarters, large meeting rooms are one of the most expensive amenities to build and maintain. To make matters worse, they are also the least utilized. Corporations want to clear themselves of the burden of these big rooms since they are used at least once a month only. And with its usage averaging from once a quarter or twice a year, it makes sense that a majority of businesses simply want to settle with outsourcing the aforementioned space.

Presenting a new contingency for flexible workplaces.

Opportunity in Meeting Rooms

According to experts, meeting rooms are actually the most profitable rooms in a coworking space or serviced office. Its revenue can be up to three times per square foot of a permanent workplace. Hence, it’s worthwhile for operators to offer their conference rooms to large groups.

More than just providing additional earnings, having medium sized meeting rooms improves space utilization. The average occupancy rate of these functions in coworking spaces are 35 to 40% — with ample room for growth.

Advantages Over Hotels

Using location, features and other additional amenities as its leverage, coworking as well as other serviced offices carry the versatility to serve the aforementioned marketplace. Providers offer numerous advantages compared to hotels in terms of meeting rooms

• Natural Light

Cited as a major contributor to worker productivity and satisfaction, modern day offices are curated to incorporate natural daylight into the environment and since hotels are traditionally designed to maximize sunlight in bedrooms, conference halls are often found in poorly lit locations such as the basement.

• Concentrated Services

Shared offices and other business centers create a very different experience for both the enterprise who booked the space and those who are attending compared to hotels. Operators may have dedicated customer service representatives overseeing the venues unlike the former whose focus is on renting rooms and large-scale catered events.

• Easier Reservations and Smaller Headcounts

Reservation is made much easier in coworking spaces due to its cost-efficient fixed costs. These flexible workspaces are agile enough to accommodate small to large groups of people in an economical fashion. Moreover, unlike hotels that require large minimums, shared offices is able to host events in smaller numbers – saving you from expensive overhead costs.

Flexible Spaces are Beating Traditional Offices in Affordability

Flexible Spaces are Beating Traditional Offices in Affordability

As early as January 2018, the latest research has shown a significant difference between flexible spaces and traditional offices in pricing.

The latest propriety data of real estate service firm Cushman & Wakefield and serviced office broker Instant Offices shows that businesses found in the world’s major cities can save up to 73% in overhead costs if they opt for flexible workspaces than conventional office space solutions. Though the aforementioned study tagged Hong Kong as the most expensive city place to rent an office space in the world for its yearly rates of US$27,432 – nearly double the usual cost in other countries within Asia and 18% higher than that of its nearest global competitor, London – figures gathered by Instant from more than 20 years of flexible workspace listing reports that hot desks offered by coworking spaces and other serviced offices only costs US$7,607 per year.

Companies based in London can save more if they opt for the city’s flexible workspaces with an average price of US$11,391 – 47% cheaper than the conventional workrooms costing around US$22,631. Experts predict that the market will remain highly competitive as the demand grows and providers’ number increases. Managing director of Instant’s EMEA group, John Duckworth, says that it’s a common misconception amongst the majority that flexible spaces are much more expensive despite providing short lease terms and fully serviced offerings. He adds that based on their collated market data and their clients’ testimonials regarding their experience in joining local markets, it’s actually a practical, low-cost alternative.

Flexible Spaces, No Longer a Luxury

Though the idea of having an engaging, tech-style office seems like a luxury that only large companies can afford, it’s actually much more cost-effective to invest in them rather than simply settling down in traditional layouts. As of writing, modern fit-outs cost nearly 15 percent less than conventional designs in the US – over $30 less per square foot – according to a recent report by American professional services and investment management company JLL.

According to Jacqueline Dompe, Northwest Regional Manager of JLL’s Project and Development Services, tech companies with large renovation budgets are the first to adopt the trend of flexible office spaces. Still, over recent years, they’re not the only ones looking for a more engaging environment. She further discusses that both employees and employers from different industries are now seeing its value. And the good news of it is far more cost-effective have possibly contributed to its popularity. It’s not really an oxymoronic concept. There are a few logical reasons why these modern offices beat the traditional ones in terms of affordability.

First and foremost is the sparse need for construction materials for unassigned seat styles and open floor plans. These features are becoming increasingly popular as managements strive to provide their employees spaces that can accommodate their needs for collaborative and private areas without disregarding their own prerequisite for flexible office space solutions that can adapt to today’s changing times. Dompe adds that having flexibility meant breaking down permanent walls and doors. By doing so, fewer physical materials are required, resulting in a reduction of almost 21% in project costs. Providers are also given the potential of minimizing overall square footage as they offer a wider range of options such as coworking programs to remote workers and other entrepreneurs.

The savings landlords and pioneers get from building these flexible spaces allow them to propose cost-efficient fees, which are the major contributing factors to large companies and startups’ attraction to these types of modern workspaces. In addition to this, the big bonus of having the chance to divert these reductions into something far more productive and the potential of giving their employees a more meaningful experience as they work continues to be a priority of today’s leaders in the market.

Five Design Elements That Enhance Productivity

Five Design Elements That Enhance Productivity

Today’s workers and employers have focused the majority of their energy in enhancing their productivity. Several articles and blog sites have discussed “productivity hacks” while some have busted out inspirational Q&A’s with top CEOs and entrepreneurs on how they stay efficient.

There’s even apps that guide you through “focused” meditation. But there are limits to what it can do in a place that is chaotic in itself.  As a result, designers have utilized the role of smart offices by using employee data to create work environments that enhance productivity.

JLL’s Workplace Strategy Practice Managing Director, Ed Nolan, said that the workplace is supposed be the physical manifestation of an organization’s culture and core values. He adds that by thoroughly understanding the correlation of human experience and real estate, companies can create innovative offices that drive productivity, experience and business value.

Experts suggest that the following five design elements that covers everything from concentration to wellness are exceedingly detrimental in boosting employee productivity.

• Amenities That Alleviate Life

Facilities that make life easier doesn’t necessarily have to be something as luxurious as a roof top pool. Something as simple as vending machines that carry healthy, energy-boosting snacks can enhance someone’s experience in navigating through their workday. It’s important that organizations make staying in the office more convenient by reducing an employee’s need to go out.

Companies with an older labor force can add onsite medical services, while the younger demographics with kids might appreciate onsite childcare better.

Giving employees access to free healthy food all day can help them stay flexible as they adjust their mealtimes with their workflow accordingly.

• Right Blend of Workspace Design Elements

The growing global movement of coworking spaces shed light on the advantages of open plan offices. But like the movement itself, the design has its critics – highlighting that the setup has no room for focused work.

In order for a company – or serviced office provider – to cater to the different needs of each professional, it’s important to carry a variation of workspaces. There should be enough room for team activities, casual lounges that cultivate collaborations as well as acoustical areas perfect for concentration.

• Natural Light and Clean Air

The architecture of an office building directly affects its cognitive functioning. Several studies have said that enhanced employee productivity, engagement and satisfaction is only a few of the benefits brought by big windows that allow natural in. Its infrastructure plays a clear role as well. Poor air quality can spread flu and colds.

• Quiet Place

Noise isn’t just any other disturbance; studies from the World Green Building Council says that it can lead to as much as a sixty-six percent productivity drop. Companies should provide options for improving acoustical focus like private offices and phone so booths so that it can help control conference call conversations with the addition of secured privacy.

• Embedded Technology

Today’s modern tools – with the help of the Internet – has made our office life significantly easier. The more organizations embed technology into their workplace, the more productive their people became.

But execution of effective design elements is the key to a successful collation. If the machine itself isn’t intuitive, employees’ valuable time can be wasted.

 

Honest workplace designs that reflect employees’ needs and concerns boosts engagement and productivity. Professionals put more value in organizations that genuinely show concern about them.

Learn more about offices that care and talk to us today!

Virtual Offices and The Women of Work

Virtual Offices and the Women of Work

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) announced last Mach 1st that the theme for this year’s National Women’s Month Celebration will surround on the theme “We Make Change Work For Women” with the aim of celebrating the achievements of women and girls across the nation.

Empowering the females of the country to actively and confidently contribute in the development of the country, PCW intends to strengthen the implementation of MCW or Magna Carta for Women that protects Filipino ladies against discrimination and grants them equal opportunities in employment.

Though more and more of us are gathering the courage to stand for our rights and to fight for gender equality, it seems like there’s still a lot that needs to be done.

Women at Work

Around the world, females are constantly keeping up with the emerging trends of the industry in the aim of creating an impact to society and more importantly, to follow their dreams.

Over 74.6 million women are participating members of today’s labor force and among them are 8.3 million solo entrepreneurs running their own businesses at the comfort of their homes. The numbers of lady-owned enterprises have increase by 54% over the last 15 years as the trend of home based businesswomen came into light. And while managing their respective budding companies, they maintain their roles as dedicated mothers and wives to their family.

According to Pew Research Center, both men and women of today’s generation aim to have both a successful career and successful family life. Nearly half of married couples nowadays consists of two breadwinners who aim to be good parents and partners. It’s a phenomena that the general public wants – a marriage that allows both husband and wife to share responsibilities in work and to their children.

But back during the day, this didn’t seem possible. In the year 1975, only 34% of families have both spouses in the labor force. Today, telecommuting and the concept of remote working have empowered the public – majorly the women – to chase after their dream careers.

Aid of Virtual Offices

The rise of flexible working didn’t come as surprising as it did. Even before the phenomena’s popularity skyrocketed, there are certain organizations that have already implemented flex hours to some of its employees.

As the demand for better control on work hours grew, the idea spread like wildfire and have taken in different forms. From freelancers, homebased entrepreneurs to remote workers – the number of independent professionals grew, resulting to new ways of working.

Virtual offices is one of the well-known kinds of flexible workspaces that allows you to have your own formal business address while remaining geographically independent. Other than its financial benefits, it offers more help to businesswomen.

Its receptionist services allows them to never miss a client even when they’re too caught up taking care of the family. It provides them a quiet workspace for whenever their household gets a little too noisy and gives them a professional meeting place for clients.

More than that, it gives women the representation that they deserve. This generation’s ladies are multitasking machines that aim to have the right amount of work-life balance that allows them to fulfill their other duties while growing the career of their dreams.

Though the females of today’s workforce are causing waves of significant changes and innovations in the industry, the fact still remains that they are underrepresented in the industry. Flexible workspaces are just a few of the tools that they can use to sustain growth as young businesswomen.

Luckily, you have us to help you maintain a better life balance, regardless of whether you’re a woman or not.

Different Kinds of Workplaces: Determining The Best Environment For You

Different Kinds of Workplaces: Determining The Best Environment For You

Every one of us hopes to be part of a great company and wants to work in a high performing office environment. We all want to be at our best, to be with colleagues that doesn’t just challenge us but also help us grow while doing work that’s both financially rewarding and meaningful.

But success is subjective. There’s more than one kind of triumphant organization and more than one type of productive workplaces. What matters most at work is that the values that drive your employers are aligned with the values that motivate you. That the culture that defines the life within the company matches your personal style and that the people whom you work with pushes you to think, grow, and can even make you laugh.

Regardless of the industry or career path we’re taking, each one of us should reflect on the kind of environment that works best for us. Do we thrive on the adrenaline rush of competition, or do we prefer a more collaborative nature? Are we craving for individualistic achievements and personal recognition or do we celebrate collective success? Can we sacrifice our emotional and psychological well-being for financial rewards, or is doing something meaningful more important for us?

Harvard Business Review’s Bill Taylor tested out some of the world’s most creative, lively, and productive offices from varying fields. In his journey, he identified four types of workplaces and have come up with sixteen that can help professionals figure out what works best for them.

Granted there’s no right or wrong answers to these questions; there’s really no perfect place or environment for anyone. But it could help people find the best platform for them to do great work in.

One Big Community

This kind of workplace is one that radiates an all-for-one, one-for-all spirit that’s founded by trust, teamwork, and peer-to-peer loyalty. Of course, clients matter but this kind of office elevates the needs of their employees more. Their formula for success starts and ends with what’s right for their people.

Constellations

These are the kinds of organizations who are made up of competitive professionals whose basis of success comes from their personal goals. The ideology is sink-or-swim. And though it seems like quite a rough environment, it works for some organizations such as investment banks and hedge funds as well as law firms and tech titans. In workplaces such as this, individual achievements are what keeps the company afloat.

More Than A Company

In this kind of environment, workers worry less about their respective happiness or individual success and focus more on the collective impact they create. These workspaces carry a certain modest quality within them – a willingness to make sacrifices and go to extraordinary lengths to keep their promises to both their customers and partners. With a “mission first” spirit, their team does whatever it takes to get the job done. One good example of this is the United Services Automobile Association, the successful financial services exclusively serving both active and retired military members and their families. The organization has become a passion brand, known for its marvelous service, because their employees identify positively with soldiers and their families – putting their interests above their own. More than just another business, USAA stands for a cause.

Great Things in Small Packages

Certain individuals – whether motivated by a sense of mission or a quench for individual achievement – are at their best condition within environments that are easy to navigate, those that have few obstacles standing in between ideas and action, where urgency defines the pace of life.  Entrepreneurship guru Bo Burlingham’s business classic Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big captures the spirit of this kind of workplace perfectly, a space where human scale matters more over massive revenue and big market shares. In an ecosystem where smaller and smaller teams can achieve bigger and greater things, size matters – and small packages can bring great things.

Nothing else compares to doing work that matters, but it also means finding a company, organization, or team with a workplace that’s right for you; and that’s what coworking spaces aim to be.

The growing international movement hopes to give everyone a chance by providing them a wide variety of workspaces that would help them be better professionals and by surrounding them with like-minded colleagues who would bring out the best within themselves. From communal areas that encourage collaboration and help cultivate healthy networks to private offices that guarantee them acoustical focus, coworking spaces is a brilliant modern office that gives you different environments all in one place.

Talk to us today and we’ll help you pick out which is best for you and your team!

Work is Now Digital

Work is Now Digital

Why We Still Need Offices

Undeniably, our way of working has gone through drastic changes.

Today’s technology has allowed us to work almost anywhere we want – spurring a question that a growing majority of us is asking; if work have become digital why do we still come to offices?

British economist Frances Cairncross – along with a number of other social and media theorists – predicted that distance will die during the year 1990s following the spread of the internet. They argued that space itself would become irrelevant when every place is connected instantaneously to every other location on the planet. It only makes sense that some of us would start asking if there’s really any need for offices – why go to work when it can actually go to you?

U.S. professor Melvin Webber’s well-known prediction is seemingly becoming imminent today. He said during the year 1973: “For the first time in history, it might be possible to locate on a mountain top and to maintain intimate, real-time, and realistic contact with business or other associates”. Traditional workspaces will soon be rendered obsolete as instantaneous communication to almost everyone is established.

But quite frankly, history has veered off a bit too far from what they expected. There’s no denying that we can now easily talk to anyone from around the globe yet ironically, we still go to work every day. Despite of its popularity, not everyone has picked up the trend of Telecommuting. On the other hand, corporations continuously invest in new or renovated office spaces located at the heart of urban areas so as to attract more talent.

What They Missed

Little do the early commentators know that though we now have the option of working anywhere, it doesn’t necessarily mean we want to. Even if we already have the power to access a large quantity of information right at our fingertips, we still strive for places that allows us to share knowledge face to face, to generate ideas, and to create pools of talents and perspectives.

No matter how far humanity has gone in terms of modern technology, human aggregation, friction and interaction of minds remain to be vital aspects of work – most especially in the creative industries. The ability of a workplace to curate the aforementioned factors is becoming a vital requirement – stringing along with the other needs brought upon by watershed changes.

The past few years gave us front row seats to the transitioning of labyrinths of cubicles into free-flowing flexible workspaces. And due to its dynamic and sociable vibe, coworking has gained a large following amongst today’s labor force – serving as living proof that humans value shared spaces that allows them to take part in a community of like-minded individuals. Open to diverse disciplines, it promotes colorful interaction and ideation amongst its members.

New Digital Proximity

Mixing the long-established advantages of traditional offices – fitting tools and a reputable business address – and a new breed of intangible yet indispensable benefits, coworking spaces changed the ominous “death of distance” into what many perceive to be the “birth of a new proximity”

Striving to create a place that engineers creativity, pioneers took the much needed procedures to thoroughly understand how the workforce connects with one another through a flexible environment.  With the help of new digital tools that can measure human connections and how they correlate with productivity and creativity, they are creating workspaces that adapts to human needs, instead of the other way around.

Veering far away from what theorists of the 1990s have predicted, rather than rending offices obsolete, today’s technology will transform and revitalize our work spaces.

Experience a new kind of proximity to success with Sales Rain and talk to us today!

Creating a Middle Ground for Collaboration and Focus

Creating a Middle Ground for Collaboration and Focus

Today’s architects, interior designers, as well as engineers are fully engaged in a journey of discovering the different ways our run-down-the-mill offices increase our overall efficiency while promoting collaboration at the same time. Much to their surprise, they discovered a risk that was often swept under the rug by today’s large majority: distraction.

Architectural firm, Gensler, made headlines when its 2013 US Workplace Survey revealed the detrimental role of focus in effective performance. The aforementioned study showed that whenever we are distracted at work, our capacity to focus and collaborate is immediately undermined. As a result, this specific piece of information became the ammunition of critics going against the open plan setting. Only a handful of participants reported at least an hour of heads down, concentrated work during their shifts. Their headline finding led people to wonder how professionals can successfully execute individual focused work in an office that clearly prioritizes collaboration.

Understanding the Nature of Software Developers

Almost all industries carry complex work that requires a balance of focused individual activities and collaborative task but lead consultants of Genler decided to focus on software developers and engineers whose project require a lot of focus.

Developing software is an increasingly collaborative activity — self-organizing teams swiftly move through series of cycles. This fluid method of working splits tasks into small increments that would usually take one to four weeks with each one requiring a variation of periods of intense focus and intense collaboration. According to the interviews the team conducted within a global tech firm, it shows that about seventy percent of a developer’s time goes to individual work; some casual and uninterruptible by emails and instant messaging, while tasks like coding, testing, and debugging can only be interrupted at the expense of their productivity. At the same time, sit down conversations and brainstorming sessions are integral to a team’s progress.

The competition in today’s tech industry is fierce, with several companies prioritizing speed in marketing its services and products, and that pressure can easily inflame the problems open workspaces usually come with — it can be too loud and distracting for them. Despite of this, we don’t see it going away. The open plan setting is not going away any time soon and this is because of the mobility it offers as well as its cost efficient nature.

It became pretty obvious by then; people are doing more and more focused work but they feel ineffective at it. Solving it wouldn’t be as easy though, the organizational demand for collaboration hinders researchers from coming up with solutions as both work modes are attached by the hip. Their eureka moment came when they realized that in order for an office to be effective, it needs to serve both interests. It’s not just about the spaces anymore, how work happens matters as much as where work happens.

What Went Right and What Didn’t

The participants involved in the research were situated in a brand new “agile” workspace that carries a series of of open team areas with 15 workstations each. And according to the interviews and focus groups, developers and testers said that the setup fitted their team dynamics, culture, and individual work needs, perfectly. They were incredibly satisfied. It allowed them to sit together and interact with one another amidst focused work. Its size and proximity allowed both work modes to become productive.

Unfortunately, user experience designers weren’t as enthusiastic. Their tasks required them to collaborate with large numbers of teams yet they have the innate tendency to sit along side each other, resulting to distractions. Episodically conversing with developers and testers, it became a tenuous activity that gave them less autonomy on where and how they worked within the office. And in order to cope, they would often look for more effective acoustic spaces elsewhere.

Based on the input they have gathered, it suggests that people can perform well, even in interactive situations, if they have the liberty to utilize workspaces and processes that allowed them to balance both collaborative and focus activities in real time.

A Balancing Act: Collaboration and Focus

Gensler’s report entitled “My Work in a We World”, enumerated four strategies in order to perfect the balancing act: choice and control over surroundings, team discipline, united code of behavior, and decision-making autonomy. Each strategy should be tailored to the organisation, the team, and the project. Taking into consideration other factors aside from the setting, it integrates team dynamics, organisational culture, as well as work polices and practices. In order for your people to truly flourish, they must have enough control over both their space and situation.

Interested in performing the balancing act? Talk to us today and we’ll give you a helping hand. Sales Rain’s spaces are designed to improve both your team and individual performance by syncing collaboration and focus in one rhythm.