We tell our kids how to study, where to study and when. We don’t even consider their wishes and desires. Some people find it extremely difficult to see it in a typical classroom for the entire day. There are a lot of people who are learning better when they move — motion learners. There are smart and intelligent individuals who are being forced to work in an environment that does not support their unique needs. Such environments kill creativity and reduce productivity.
Paperback books and sitting desks worked for our parents. They were doing good with 45-minute study sessions. Millennials are different. We need different environments for work and studying. We need to reinvent the classrooms and offices. The new generation has new needs and we need to tailor work environments to those needs and not vice versa. It is unfair to try to fit a person into the environment and ask him or her to perform at their best. The workspace plays a huge role in the way study, create and work. A desk, a chair and coffee is not enough. We need to use technology and research to eliminate distractions.
Coworking spaces are defined as spaces, where people come to work independently or in small groups on a project. They’re great for freelancers who don’t like to or can’t feasibly work from home, and for startups, or small companies that don’t want to rent out a huge office space or don’t have the budget to do so. The fundamentals of coworking spaces and the office spaces are similar. In both settings you’re surrounded by people for long periods, in environments, you can’t control.
Networking – is one of the biggest advantages of coworking spaces. If you’re just starting out and looking to make contacts, this is a great way to meet new people and build your business directory. However, this can be also a disadvantage for introverts or the people who struggle with focus.
Coworking spaces are a great way to avoid procrastination. When surrounded by people who are also working hard, you’ll be influenced by them. If it’s a big space with a lot of people, this can create an overstimulating atmosphere — not the peaceful tranquillity required for deep focused work. This type of atmosphere can actually be a hindrance to productivity, a breeding ground for anxiety and turn your coworking experience into hell.
Everyone needs a quiet place at times, where they can get on with a designated task, without interruption or the feeling of becoming overwhelmed.
What are the downsides of coworking spaces?
Distractions. This is the major disadvantage of typical coworking spaces. Most of the people that work remotely, join coworking spaces in hopes to increase their productivity. Often times these spaces have the exact opposite effect. Some coworking spaces tend to be crowded, noisy, and distracting. While these can be ideal environments for brainstorming and networking, they are rarely good places to hunker down and get work done. When we are crammed in a room with 30 worker bees, we can’t concentrate on the job. How could we? The person in front of us is on the phone, the guy across the room is grinding coffee, and the lady to our left won’t stop popping her gum. And if you’d really like to ensure we get nothing done, throw in an office dog. Few facts:
- BBC reports that open offices lower workplace productivity by 15 percent, even when people don’t have ADHD.
- A University of Sydney study revealed that 25-30 percent of employees in an open office find the noise level too distracting.
- And the Washington Post says, “The open-office trend is destroying the workplace.”
Lack of Privacy. Another one of the disadvantages of coworking is a lack of privacy. You may also struggle to maintain privacy and confidentiality on phone calls with sensitive clients or keep private information protected in public areas.
Internet Security Risks. When you work in a shared office, you tend to use a shared network which might lead to data leakage due to security concerns. So the firms need to take all possible measures to ensure security.
High Costs. Coworking membership fees vary greatly depending on where you’re located and what services are provided. But oftentimes, the high cost of membership doesn’t turn out to be worth the low return that you receive for your commitment and loyalty.
What do I suggest?
- Design and build the space solely for deep focused work
- Take the concept and best practices of co-working spaces, but remove the “co-working” part. No collaboration only concentrated focused work
- Offer Internet security that coworking spaces lack
- Locate it more conveniently, in the suburbs, not downtown
- Work retreat. Shipping containers, converted into the office – located outside of the city. Promote on Airbnb. Escape their home office and just work. Strictly for work. Unusually high-speed internet connection.
I believe there is a huge unfulfilled need for dedicated, distraction-free workspaces for deep focused work. There is a need for a place where people can deeply concentrate on their studying or working. Such a place will be especially popular among students and creative people. CEOs, managers and executives will also find such environments extremely beneficial for their work performance.
- If you were to design your “focus paradise”, what would it look like?
- What technology would you incorporate?
- Will it be in the city or somewhere in a remote area?
- How much would you pay for a full day of productive, focused work?
- How much would you pay for inspiration and new ideas?