“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
From time immemorial, the need for work was necessitated to earn something to make a living. However, after the industrial revolution, it shaped the mental concept of work which is not so different from the conventional approach in contemporary times.
The word ‘work’ when mentioned in the context of profession subconsciously simulates chores one has to do to earn wages or salaries to survive in the minds of many. A picture of someone in a suit and tie often comes to mind working in an office filled with files and a computer answering a telephone with an exhausted countenance plastered on the face – looking busy. Or it could be blue-collar workers on construction sites or factories continuously on the move doing physical work in their uniforms. Either of the two pictures depicted above shows the mindsets we as people have taken work to be. But this should not necessarily be the case.
To change the narratives, new ways and methods have been coming up in this technology-driven era to make work more convenient. Several research works have shown the need to make labour feel comfortable and happy doing their various works to bring about the efficiency of labour for their optimal and maximum output. This brought about adjustments in the shape and structure of some workplaces through the creation of an avenue called Co-working space.
Co-working space is an avenue that enables people to assemble in a neutral space to work independently on different projects, or in groups on the same projects towards achieving a common goal.
Simply put, it is a platform in a workplace with flexible features where people of all ages, professions and interests work together through their unique design with access to top-notch office amenities.
The features that makeup coworking spaces vary depending on the end game of their setups. But here are seven (7) key features that should be incorporated in modern coworking spaces to get the desired outcome of its benefits.
SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL FEATURES IN A COWORKING SPACE
Fast and Reliable Internet Access
Especially in the tech-driven era we live in, the importance of having a working environment with access to a free Internet connection cannot be overstated. Creative professionals rely on it for research and communication which makes them more productive.
The ideal co-working spaces have a meeting room to hold talks with clients, customers and collaborators. They make the working environment look more professional and save the cost of having to book a rendezvous in hotels and other rented places.
The meeting room should also serve as a meeting point for all workers to share ideas and network.
Furniture and Décor
Having offices and spaces in the work with well-furnished fittings like stylish sofa chairs for comfort and sitting convenience boosts creativity and production. Plus, inspiring artworks, crafts and paintings with thought-provoking concepts help in relaxation and reduction of stress from work.
A coworking environment with natural plant life helps workers concentrate, boost their mood and maintain calmness.
Tea and Coffee are regarded as the fuel for creativity. Access to them should be made freely available in coworking spaces. This also includes other desserts like snacks, cookies, cold soft drinks and importantly water as refreshments during work breaks.
This is a place within a co-working space for taking time to cool off from work and relax. Naps could be taken therein on. The room could have extra mood-relaxing gadgets like a TV, Music player, and Video and board games.
A library with a range of books across different genres, from fiction to non-fiction where workers can access to read for pleasure and interest is an alternative way of getting out of the screen of computers and smart tech devices to cool off. Reading edifies the mind and paperbacks give a different feeling that soft copies don’t.
ADVANTAGES OF OPERATING UNDER A CO-WORKING SPACE
With all its features designed to make working friendly and worthwhile, the pace of creativity becomes dynamic as the necessary amenities are in place to support their productivity.
It possesses the best platform for individual workers to interact and rub their minds to generate new ideas on their projects and relate to various levels of optimization of output.
Coworking spaces are easy to operate and allow for a flexible schedule/time of work – arrival and exit as long as it facilitates the desired result. It always allows for the convenience of workers who work better in private and quiet places while still maintaining the coworking spaces.
HOW CO-WORKING SPACES ARE SHAPING FUTURE WORKPLACES
Over the years, co-working spaces have witnessed a significant rise as more working environments are beginning to incorporate it to suit their taste and for the advantages, it has over conventional methods.
According to Statista, they grew from 24,000 in 2021 to 28,552 in 2022. The increase in adoption of coworking spaces is expected to be 34,618 and 41, 975 in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
The future of co-working space is hence influenced in some of the following ways:
Hybrid Work Solution
Through the advent of coworking spaces, an alternative solution has been provided for hybrid working which allows workers access to amenities within their working environment. This combines the concept of work and comfort obtainable in one place.
Most times, we get ideas and inspiration where and when we least expect them. But networking with different colleagues and professionals couldn’t have been a better platform to gather new inspiration for innovation in workplaces. This brings about new discoveries and exploration in different circles.
Communal Work Backdrop
The contemporary working community is becoming not friendlier and more social due to the free mix and interaction between co-workers under a coworking umbrella. Members operate like family as their familiarity grows with their togetherness. Loneliness and isolation of workers are rarely the cases in a coworking space as everyone is carried along.
Setting/Mood of Work
Co-working spaces have touches of informal fixtures to lessen the rigidity of red tape, rank and files and formalities to ease the tension of working in such conditions. Instead, reward systems are put in place to boost workers’ efficiency. The lesser pressure, the happier the worker. Working in a happy mood boosts productivity.
Success/Growth of Firms
The success and growth of firms operating a coworking space is the reason why there is a continuous rise in its adaptations around the world. Its inherent features motivate the workers to give their best and lead to optimal and maximum productivity of tech hubs and firms utilizing it for their growth.
JD LAB CO-WORKING SPACE IN MINNA
JD Lab is a tech firm located in Northern Nigeria (North-Central region) in the city of Minna. It is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the northern zone It provides a co-working service through its Innovation Hub platform called LABSPACE.
Labspace is an innovation hub and co-working space under JD Lab Nigeria, it aims to develop young talents and train individuals in the educational sector under a co-working culture that gives them access to a thriving tech community, and networking programs and provides them with a platform to share ideas that can facilitate their growth as future innovators and developers of startups in the tech entrepreneurial fields within Minna and its environs.
Operating under its educative, innovative and collaborative hallmarks, the Labspace is a platform set to build a tech-savvy generation of innovators and problem solvers whose impact would be much needed to drive socio-economic development in Minna, Niger State, the Northern part of the country as well the country at large. By targeting the educational sector, it has successfully invested in the future of not only the young talents but that of the city too.
Future of Work
Co-working spaces are here to set the pace and dictate the future of the working environment. Transcending from the era of office walls and cubicles to a system that extends bridges in the form of open spaces to allow free interaction, collaboration and networking among workers is becoming the new normal. A happy and comfortable worker who feels at home in their workplace will certainly give their best input.