Collaboration and integration within the workspace
It was proven in this research that the feeling of belonging to a community was strong and that the hosts are doing a good job at encouraging their users to interact within the dynamics of the coworking space. Emphasis in the survey was directed towards discovering what kind of communication goes on between coworkers, whether they are necessarily work-related, what value they add to the creation of workgroups, shared projects and collaboration in general.
The results revealed that the majority of people work autonomously. But the numbers also showed that many coworkers know each other’s names, which highlighted positive social interaction.
In Fernanda’s words, “one of the most important values in our community is the diversity. We love having different entrepreneurs working on a variety of projects and subjects and helping each other with the different skills. This is why we don't believe in focusing on a specific professional niche. We at Pto de Contato have all kinds of professionals here, but they all have something in common: they are all entrepreneurs, start-ups and professionals who want to be connected to other great people that can eventually help them on their projects or even be their clients.”
“Some positive outcome of how coworking can be a good start,” continued Fernanda, “for example, an e-commerce for baby products called Baby.com. They are today the largest e-commerce for these kinds of products in Brazil and they started at Pto de Contato. Also, the Brazilian office of Trendwatching is here on the same floor. They started their operations here with one person and now they are occupying one of our separate rooms that we reserve for companies that begin to grow and need a more closed structure. We even have a couple that met each other here as coworkers, started dating, and got married afterwards.”
In Pablo’s experience at the Hub, he explained “our focus: we are the enabler for social innovation. We don't call ourselves a coworking space, although we also offer collaborative space to work and learn. We see ourselves more as the enablers for social innovation, an incubator, a de-school and co-enterprising space. The Hub connects business partners and has made it possible for many companies to get started.”
A Coworker’s own workspace
The use that a coworker makes of their own workspace is finally a relevant indicator of their preferences. A reflection of the coworkers’ own requirements is that they also helped to indicate the quality of workgroups that are created. Although self-employed freelance work is the major workforce, fixed workgroups, small incubators, and start-up companies are also widespread.
Why did they pick this solution? The answer to this question offered a wide variety reasons. Cost-effectiveness, an alternative to working at home, and human interaction were among the most popular choices. Generally, fixed workstations are used during regular office hours; however, this is also due to the fact that 24-hour open coworking spaces are not yet widespread. The maximum number of workstations available in coworking spaces is around 34.44, while the average number of users present at the same time was reported be 15.31.
“In São Paulo today you can find many different places that escape from the traditional idea of a workspace. Google offices are a great example, located in southern S. P. They have innovative policies and modern organizational working methods, and many other places are starting to act on this as well. Another very interesting example is the Brazilian subsidiary of Phillips, which is known for having interesting office concepts. In some departments, for example, desks are not assigned but rather shared.”
When asked about his own experience as a founder, journalist for Movebla, and an expert on the coworking world in Brazil, Anderson explained, “Movebla was founded over two years ago as I started working freelance. In the past I had been collaborating with people in the world of the Hub Sao Paulo, which started here in 2008."
"In a few months it turned my head around, it was awesome to find myself doing that kind of thing. Soon enough I decided it was necessary to look deeper into the phenomenon of coworking and decided to start writing about it. I started by trying to answer all of the questions that I myself had in mind. It was necessary to gather data: how many spaces are there? Are they growing? In which cities do we see this growth? Whereas Deskmag researches globally and has many initiatives, I tried to convert this initiative to meet local feelings and the needs of the coworker. Movebla has become a vehicle of this in the Brazilian scenario.”
“The next step for this research will be trying to make the owners contribute to the survey. Ultimately we are studying new ways of working, coworking, and new office ways in general. It is a well-known fact around the world that start-ups are well suited for coworking spaces. One of the significant results of our data revealed that, in the Brazilian sphere, there are a quickly growing number of entrepreneurs. They have also found coworking as a great opportunity to find an environment that would make their job grow. We recently held a 24 hour-marathon about entrepreneurship, and with the growing economy it is everybody’s aim today to start his or her own business. It was called Virada Emprendedora."
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