The growth of coworking spaces across the globe emphasizes the modern trend of literally and figuratively breaking down walls that traditionally discouraged employees from looking up from their own work space.
This trend not only breaks down the physical barriers and encourages communication and collaboration, it breaks down the traditional barriers of interpersonal dynamics as well.
For example, traditional offices built on the classic basis of hierarchy include cubicles for the lower employees and private offices for the superiors. In this way, the physical space dictated how its occupants were meant to feel about themselves and interact with each other.
This leads to separated departments, resentment toward colleagues and bosses, and a dramatic impact on mental health and job satisfaction.
Open concept offices and coworking spaces, however, create an environment of equality and respect that is present simply by entering the space. No mission statement needed. This promotes fluidity between departments, empowerment among employees, and much higher work satisfaction because of the mutual respect between individuals for their efforts.
This is even the case in coworking spaces filled with members who do not work for the same company. Each member is doing a very different kind of work and, because there is no visible marker of hierarchy or comparison bias, members see it as ” I’m doing my thing, they are doing their thing, and we are here together focused on our work.”
This respect can also create opportunity for powerful networking and potential collaborations that would significantly support a member’s individual work.
A blog post written by an employee of Siemens Corp., a long-standing company one would not immediately think considers modern trends, mentions this structural change is imperative not only for the sake of professional success but also for the sake of greater human connection around the world.
Since Siemens is an example of a global company that has teams and moves individuals to locations all over the world, eliminating the psychological hierarchy of who is important and who is not creates a powerful connection between employees, superiors, clients, prospective clients, and new acquaintances around the world.
Respect, networking, breaking down barriers, and career satisfaction all comes down to the way that we form relationships. Whether in a huge corporation or in a small coworking space in Salt Lake City, we can all benefit from respecting those around us and connecting over how each of us can uniquely contribute to the world.