Coworking spaces have begun to redefine the office norms, taking the term business casual to a whole new level. The open-concept, collaboration-friendly atmosphere of today’s coworking spaces make it easy for you or your team to feel at home while still in close proximity to other workers sharing the same or similar vision.
Since its inception, coworking spaces have been setting new standards, rules, and guidelines for working and redefining the old norms for the workspace and office industry. Here are a few of the key ways coworking spaces have given “business casual” new life and meaning:
Coworking spaces look different than traditional office spaces for a reason. Many will display an open-concept floor plan. This removes the hierarchical “business” aura and replaces it with a casual, inviting environment where all are welcome. Providers are intentional with space; many have cafe-type spaces invite conversation while their shared desks invite productivity.
A lot of the decor in newer coworking spaces is unique, as well. In order to promote a lively atmosphere, providers will often invest in artwork that pops and inspires conversation and brightens the mood. Individual workers and business teams are able to add their own touch as well in order to show that they are a part of the community.
Where coworking has really made a name for itself outside of general flexibility is in its distinct social benefits. Research has shown that most coworking space members:
- Have expanded their social networks
- Receive guidance and mentoring from other coworking members
- Partake in activities outside the workplace with fellow members
Being able to connect with others is a big reason why coworking spaces are popular, and many providers see themselves as responsible for cultivating community in addition to providing a space to work. And yet, it is not compulsory. Individuals choose when and how they will interact with fellow coworkers.
Depending on the provider, coworking spaces could sport social amenities like weekly catered lunches, planned happy hour outings, thought-leader panels, and workshop programming. These types of activities help nurture team culture and cultivate social networking.
Business casual doesn’t have to be a dress code, but it is a great place to start. While different businesses will have varying expectations around dress codes, the coworking environment changes these a bit with different individuals and teams working in the same space together.
Coworking space users are welcome to set the standard they feel is appropriate for their team, but some coworking space providers have decided to create their own. Alley wants its users to be comfortable and professional with this role: dress as if you were going to run into someone you want to impress. Why? Because coworking spaces can be a great space for open collaboration and meeting new partners, friends, and team members. They have a constant stream of new faces coming in and out for a place to set up shop or attend meetings and events. These are areas of opportunity everyday at every turn, so be sure you are dressing the part.
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