People love sharing. Whether it’s a birthday gift, a piece of advice or simply a hug or a smile, humans are hardwired to enjoy the feeling of sharing. It’s in their nature. It’s the principle that underpins the co-working movement: to create places and communities where space, friendships and ideas are shared between large groups of like-minded workers.
Look closer and those ideas could be anything. A piece of music is an idea, as is a work of art or a comedy sketch. Let go of the notion that coworking is purely for business, because in reality its uses extend to all kinds of professions and creative endeavors. Here are some of the best alternative ways in which coworking spaces are used to inspire and innovate.
Coworking as the new classroom
Communication is a key to the modern world, helping us unlock relationships and new avenues of thought with one another. It therefore feels inherently strange that the traditional classroom is one built on centralised attention. The teacher may hold the knowledge, but by being the sole focus they can often only present one view on a topic. This turns teaching into an exercise in memory as opposed to original thought. Coworking offers an interesting remedy.
By introducing coworking to education, students are then better placed to develop naturally – outside the artificial constraints of the classroom or lecture hall. The teacher still has a place, with extra freedoms allowing them to act more as a mentor than a mouthpiece for a textbook. Indeed, as more entrepreneurs and employees begin to embrace the coworking movement, logic suggests that those preparing to enter the workforce should have exposure to the most effective ways of learning and working too!
Some universities are already embracing the benefits of coworking, encouraging different disciplines to work together in the same space. It’s this vibrant mixture of experiences and modes of thought that lends itself perfectly to coworking as a learning approach.
Making sweet sounds
Musicians are the original entrepreneurs, so they say. The advent of piracy and streaming in the previous decade has reset the way in which musicians made a living: most new acts now take cover under the umbrella of corporate labels and streaming services. However, the idea that an artist should be treated as a fledgling startup is making a comeback with the aid of coworking.
While shared rehearsal space is not a new concept – playing a role in many of the greatest collaborations in history – the ability to network and collaborate with other artists, producers, labels and music tech professionals certainly is. By building relationships with the right people, artists can finally rise from the white noise, getting a chance on the stage their talent deserves.
Blocking the writer’s block
Sometimes all a writer needs is a retreat. A happy place. Sometimes that place simply isn’t found at home, with the hum of a fridge or the attention of a overly-friendly cat being enough to pull them out from their zone and back into reality. That’s why writers have increasingly taken refuge in coworking spaces, carving out a world of their own within dedicated quiet areas. From the bottom of the heart to the heights of fantasy mountains, the dark alleyways of a detective novel to the enlightenment of a new scientific theory, nothing is out of bounds in the world of the coworking author.
Another benefit of coworking is the many opportunities to network with agents and publishers. Meeting like-minded individuals and forming a community of wordsmiths can help writers turn an idea from letter on a screen to something so much more. Soundproof phone booths allow calls to be made without disturbing others – perfect for reaching to a wider network or simply getting an idea from a friend.
A change of scene
Many people find solace at home. Where the fridge is stocked and the bed is nearby. That is, until the children have their half-term break. All of a sudden the oasis of a private study becomes an echo chamber of screams, laughter and tears.
Using a private office in a coworking space is a perfect way to study away from the study, keeping the ability to focus during work hours and relax later in the day with family. The calm surroundings reflect those found at home. The well stocked fridge makes it just as good. Plus, the fact dogs are welcome makes it even better.
A change of scene is also a mental refresh. A reset on the habits that eat away at productivity. Even without children, the occasional day spent coworking is a great tool for gaining new perspective at work. It’s a trigger for a new start, dusting the cobwebs off old thought patterns. Sometimes we need to move to see the full picture.
Coworking isn’t a set of rules. Quite the opposite. There are no restrictions on what a coworking space can do for any person, of any kind, in any industry. Whether it’s an artists’ collective, a food entrepreneur, or a member of an established company, the coworking space is one that welcomes everybody. To get involved, come and have a look around one of Uncommon’s stunning London coworking spaces, the ideal place to share ideas and get the help you need. After all, ideas are wonderful things to share. And people love sharing. It’s natural.
Uncommon takes pride in helping businesses thrive. Our workspaces are designed with your wellbeing in mind. Every single detail helps create an environment in which you can feel good about where and how you work. Visit our locations in Borough, Highbury & Islington, Fulham, and Liverpool Street to experience our unique vision of working life across London.