Joy is an emotion very rarely associated with a workplace.
However, if you have recently met with founders of a startup and managers dealing with the upcoming workforce, they understand that employees are no longer charmed by monetary benefits alone – they look for purpose, growth, and very importantly ‘joy’.
In fact, this changing trend is encouraging (and sometimes, forcing) organisation leaders to pause and reevaluate their workplace for its ability to induce ‘happiness’.
Regular office spaces are getting obsolete. Mundane environments with dull settings are no longer considered good places to work. People understand that more than half of their day might be spent confined in a chair surrounded by a dull isolating cubicle and that's mortifying to the younger generation.
For most leaders, the most obvious solution is tearing down walls to make way for open-plan seating and adding bright color to make the place come alive. Others have gone on to creating gaming zones for teams to relax and connect. But most have learned the hard way that these cosmetic changes are not long-lasting solutions to the problem. The responsibility of creating such a space can also be exhausting for a growth-stage startup focused on more important business metrics. So, some are now wondering if the buzzing offices and happy teams shown in coworking spaces might be the solution.
For starters, they take away the responsibility of creating and managing an effective workspace from founders and leaders – giving them more time to focus on growing their business. But switching to a coworking space still seems to be a difficult decision for those who question its effectiveness in terms of privacy, autonomy, and securing a company’s sacred culture among other things.
Is coworking the solution to leaders’ concerns of an unhappy workforce?
Not all coworking spaces have cracked the code beyond vibrant colors and an event-filled calendar. I, myself, was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of conscious thought that goes into the experience provided at The Hive; from ensuring the right balance of daylight and warmth entering through the windows to ensuring ergonomic furniture that doesn’t kill one’s back, every little detail makes a difference. These little things make an impact on the mood and productivity of people who work from our hubs.
So, whether coworking is the solution depends very much on choosing a space that works for you. One thing is for sure, however. The corporate names we know, who for years have urged us to innovate with time, have not been successful in identifying the outdated elements at workplaces that are making it hard for them to retain good talent and are being poached by smarter fish in the sea offering a more “joyous” coral than yours.
What to consider when deciding if a coworking space will bring you joy?
Considering to uproot your team from mundane office space to a more interactive and productive workspace can sound enticing until you realize you should have done more homework on the co-working space before jumping in. Not every shared office space is meant for you. It's all about the ‘fit’ that brings you and your company that ‘joy’ from working there.
There may be some generic ones that bring you ‘joy’ as an employer, ultimately making you the best boss version of yourself that brings joy to your team such as:
The need to hire and coordinate:
With the existence of coworking spaces, there is no longer an issue of hiring designers or architects for the sake of creating a hip space to make your cubicles fancier than before and still not getting the creative impact on employee output you hoped to gain. Wouldn't it be less stressful to join a coworking space that is strategically designed with elements to optimize work, creativity, community-building skills, and improve the productivity of residents of the workspace? Let the experts take on the headache while you move in with your team to begin your happily ever after.
Build up cost
What's a boss who doesn't have to worry about what it costs to build the game room your team uses to recharge and refresh daily? happy! that's what. it's possible to maintain your sanity as a founder of your start-up and focus on developing your business model rather than the financials it would take to build the boardrooms and huddle spaces to work in.
Coworking spaces simultaneously have other benefits than collaboration. Such establishments seem to offer a chance to grow as per need. Want to expand? Sure, get a larger office and vacate the current space. Want to downsize? No need to hold a larger office. Invest in the smaller room. Everything is the headache of the space-providing agency. You just see what works for your team at the current business cycle of your firm.
But to ensure a perfect fit, consider every touchpoint between the workplace and your team to establish whether the coworking space is the right ‘joyful’ fit.