(Note: SmallBusiness.com contributor Steve King (SmallBizLabs.com) is a partner in the firm, Emergent Research. Last week, Emergent released the preliminary findings of research it has recently conducted of participants (members) of a type of shared working environment called “co-working space.” The study was done in cooperation with the Global Co-working Unconference Conference and the Washington D.C., co-working space, Office Nomads.)

While co-working spaces are definitely workspaces, they are also much more.
They are places where members work, network, learn and socialize together.
Co-working spaces are human spaces.

Our research objective for the project was to better understand the role work-related networking plays in co-working spaces. And the results show that work-related networking is strongly enhanced by membership in a co-working space.

But despite our research being focused on the work aspects of co-working, the social and learning sides of co-working came out loud and clear. To be honest, this surprised us a bit.

General Benefits of Working in a Co-working Space

  • 84 percent said they were more engaged and motivated when co-working
  • 67 percent said co-working improved their professional success
  • 69 percent said they feel more successful since joining a co-working space

Networking-Related Benefits

  • 82 percent said co-working has expanded their professional networks
  • 80 percent said they turn to other co-working members for help or guidance
  • 64 percent of the respondents said their co-working networking was a very important (26 percent) or important source of work (38 percent)

Learning-Related Benefits

  • 69 percent reported they learned new skills
  • 68 percent reported they improved their existing skill set
  • 67 percent reported they attend events at their co-working space occasionally (45 percent) or often (21 percent); only
  • 4 percent said they never attend events

Social-Related Benefits

  • 87 percent report they meet other members for social reasons, with 54 percent saying they socialize with other members after work and/or on weekends
  • 79 percent said co-working has expanded their social networks

Personal-Related Benefits

  • 89 percent reported they are happier
  • 83 percent reported they are less lonely
  • 78 percent reported that co-working helps keep them sane


(Photo: Citizen Space, San Francisco, by Josh Hallet, CC BY-SA 2.0)

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