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The Power of Coworking Connection

Corinne Whiting

A collaborative environment is fundamental to a coworking space — here’s how to build on that feeling of community and get all the soul-filling perks you need from a hybrid work experience. Hint: There’s playtime involved.

Those who’ve taken advantage of coworking spaces won’t be surprised by a study that highlights the benefits of communal work environments. A significant portion of surveyed professionals who had utilized coworking spaces reported a marked improvement to their work/life balance and productivity, as well as increased opportunities for collaboration. In even more positive news, 45 percent of workers said their mental health had vastly improved since joining the coworking community.

Collaborative workplaces promote problem-solving, creativity and innovation, as well as fostering diversity that allows for varying perspectives, giving any team the opportunity to collectively step back and view the big picture. Learning and skills-sharing get boosted, too, when you bring folks together in ways that are both nourishing and productive. And after several years of social isolation and work-from-home solitude, the soul-filling perks of being around colleagues, peers and new friends cannot be overstated.

Otto Siegel, founder of Genius Coaching, weighs in on the topic of collaboration. He explains his work as partnering with highly intelligent misfits/outliers of any age to decode and activate their unique brilliance as a solid foundation for their lives. Siegel believes that each person can contribute with their own uniqueness and become part of bigger projects. “Plus, human interaction is priceless,” he says, “especially after the COVID experience.”

This sense of community can be especially effective in a world that relies increasingly on remote work. “Giving people a feeling of being included is essential for productive collaboration,” he says.

When it comes to tips for creating a more collaborative workspace, Siegel says, “Use the power of play to interact on a nonprofessional level; it builds trust, respect and cohesiveness faster than anything else.” He adds, “After all, it is the first language we all spoke during our first years in life. We all were born with a natural ability and desire to play: It shapes the brain and feeds the soul at any age.”

So, break out the board games or the hula hoops and let the camaraderie begin.

Within a team, a collaborative workplace can be encouraged by employing several simple tips, like setting ground rules upfront and respectfully listening in a way that makes every single person feel acknowledged and heard. It’s also crucial to remain open to new ideas, feedback and opinions, and leaders can set an example on this front to pave the way. It’s also important to remain flexible — having various personalities and experiences in the mix creates the need to adapt and adjust long the way.

Coworking spaces no doubt help foster synergy, and THRIVE members can take advantage of monthly breakfasts, lunches and happy hours — the perfect opportunities to connect, collaborate, forge new relationships and together dream up ambitious and exciting plans.

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