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Building communities: Lessons in co-working for the enterprise world

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As enterprises continue to wrestle with the relative balance of efficiency and effectiveness initiatives in their workplaces, the emerging co-working movement is providing useful experience to guide these decisions. Fundamentally a co-working centre needs to provide a workplace experience that individuals and organisations believe is worth the price of entry. It is a market drive exercise that only succeeds if they achieve the right balance. The founders and managers of co-working centres make tradeoffs each and every day along these lines in deference to a growing percentage of the workforce who have the ability to self-determine where, how and with whom they work. This article is not a promotion of co-working centres, although I do believe they offer some of the most inspiring and effective places to work, but an exhortation to understand them and the way they operate in the hope that we might bring valuable insight back into the enterprise workplace. Within cost-effective environments they have managed to create meaningful communities and a trail of business and personal success stories from which we can learn. Properly interpreted and understood, many of their operational principles are applicable to the corporate world and will likely add great value to our musings on the effectiveness versus efficiency dilemma.
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Keywords: choice; co-working; collaboration; community; connections; employee-engagement

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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