Industrious is a fast growing coworking chain that started in Chicago and now has spaces in a dozen or cities. Like the better known WeWork, Industrious spaces tend to be quite large by traditional coworking space standards.
What I really like about Industrious is how they've branded themselves. The call themselves "social offices". Key quote from their website:
We've created the social office—communities of 1 to 10 person private offices with plenty of common space and coworking for companies to share, socialize, and collaborate.
Our goal? To offer you the privacy you need to be productive, as well as the community you need to stay invigorated.
This theme is echoed by work being done by European coworking expert Jean-Yves Huwart. He's holding the Social Workplace Conference in October in London to explore the role of social interactions in work.
Key quote from the conference website on the question they hope to answer at this event:
How do mission driven values, authenticity, connections, and facilitated social interactions drive productivity, collaboration, innovation, and employee wellbeing?
Other management theorists have also been looking at this topic. The Strategy & Business article The Future of Management is Teal argues:
Organizations are moving forward along an evolutionary spectrum, toward self-management, wholeness, and a deeper sense of purpose.
The key quote, at least in my opinion, is around the very squishy topic of wholeness:
Teal organizations invite people to reclaim their inner wholeness. They create an environment wherein people feel free to fully express themselves, bringing unprecedented levels of energy, passion, and creativity to work.
We too have been exploring this topic. Our recent work clearly shows the importance of social interactions in coworking spaces and the role this plays in improving both productivity and member wellbeing.
Because of this, the social side of business and how it relates to productivity, work engagement and, yes, happiness and wholeness are becoming important topics.
We will continue to explore these topics - and especially how they relate to independent work and workers - over the next year.