I found this great article called “Building Community in the Virtual Workplace” and I couldn’t help but agree with the author about how companies can engage coworkers by having them meeting in an “office” setting one or more days. I’m going to highlight some things in the article that I thought was very good reasons why someone should use coworking spaces. There is a misconception that coworking spaces are only for entrepreneurs but the future Visionary Meetings Coworking space will be a balance of entrepreneurs and telecommuters.
“But perhaps the most important reason why the number of telecommuters has leveled off – the reason that I will explore in this essay – is that most employees don’t think that telecommuting can deliver the same social satisfaction that working in a “real” office does. While the substantive work may be the same, employees are hesitant to give up the daily interaction with co-workers and supervisors that makes a job enjoyable.“
“Companies blindly accept the notion that the Internet can never serve as a successful platform for human interaction; as a result, corporate support systems for telecommuting employees tend to focus on maximizing “real space” interaction for remote workers. 8 Some companies do this by requiring telecommuting employees to work in the office one or more days per week; 9 others ask employees to work out of satellite offices nearer to their homes;”
“Perhaps the biggest factor detracting from the popularity of telecommuting is the idea that on-line interaction cannot effectively replace face-to-face contact.”
“As commerce, entertainment, and information resources all shift onto the Internet, people’s lives also move on-line – and people, in turn, spend less time interacting within their physical communities. Perhaps to fill the void left by this withdrawal, “something akin to community seems to be re-emerging in the workplace.” 48 The social interactions that take place in the workplace are more important today than ever before. Thus, if we ever hope to shift a significant portion of our workforce into on-line work, we must respect the importance of social workplace relationships. The best way for companies to do this is by recognizing that Internet technology is not merely a communication device; it is also a very real space, replete with possibilities for social interation”
I believe that you can have your cake (telecommuting) and eat it too (personal interactions) that is why I believe the solution is coworking offices like the future Visionary Meetings in the West Bloomfield, Michigan area. Look for our office space to opening some time in 2014. Sign up for updates here.