According to AllWork, there are over 35,000 flexible workplaces worldwide, and up until 2022, that number is expected to grow from 8-13%. In the past decade, there has been a rise in the number of co-working spaces in Nigeria, from Box Office Hub and Ventures Park in Abuja to CCHub, Lead Hub and Seedspace in Lagos, amongst others. Entrepreneurs and businesses have chosen these workspaces as opposed to the regular office spaces because of a number of reasons, cost-effectiveness, being one of them.  However, individuals have reported higher levels of productivity in co-working spaces that Harvard Business Review wrote:

There seems to be something special about coworking spaces. As researchers who have, for years, studied how employees thrive, we were surprised to discover that people who belong to them report levels of thriving that approach an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. This is at least a point higher than the average for employees who do their jobs in regular offices, and something so unheard of that we had to look at the data again.

Some of the reasons why entrepreneurs thrive in co-working spaces include:

1. Flexibility: Entrepreneurship is not an easy venture, and it gets harder for people who try to do work or business in our clime. First-time founders, especially, enjoy the fact that there is an aura of flexibility around these spaces. If they want a 4-person office space or a hotdesk in a shared space or the largest office, they can choose to get that, and even better, is that it is more cost-effective with numerous payment plans.

For example, at Box Office Hub, we provide entrepreneurs with various deals from the freelance day pass, regular private offices, and even an enterprise solution where they can be contracted to set up a customs office for clients. Coworking spaces simply allow business owners to keep their company agile, which is becoming increasingly important these days. With this flexibility, they are able to focus on the most important facets of their business and stay productive.  

2.Sense of community: There is an African saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” Every human needs a community, and many values one. It is vital for entrepreneurs, remote workers and businesses to be provided the opportunity to interact and learn from each other. Whilst communication is not imposed on any member, people need to know that they are part of a community and should need be, can reach out to anyone within that space for help. The Global Coworking Survey by Deskmag revealed that 62% of their participants reported that their standard of work been enhanced after joining a coworking space, with 85% feeling more motivated.  

Even tech’s biggest “surprise story” this year, WeWork emphasizes in its mission that, “We wanted to build a community. A place you join as an individual, 'me', but where you become part of a greater 'we'”. Wasteful spending aside, this worked.  
When an individual is surrounded by a group of people that are fighting to reach their work or business goals, and he/she can reach out to them at any point in time that spurs improvement in their performance.  

3. Potential for collaboration: Community gives way to collaboration, and collaboration fosters productivity.  It’s that simple.  In a co-working space, there is a greater likelihood of finding a business partner, a client and even, a mentor. This is not easy to obtain in a traditional work environment where everyone belongs to one firm. The right partnerships are key to business growth and goal-getting.  According to Forbes, a Stanford study found out that working collaboratively on a task can greatly improve performance.  

Participants in the research who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels, and a higher success rate. What's more, this impact persisted for several weeks.  

“The results showed that simply feeling like you’re part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges,” the researchers say.

In addition to all these, entrepreneurs thrive in these co-working spaces because of the relaxed and fun culture, well-designed workplaces, and the presence of a community. This keeps them motivated, helps them find meaning in their work, improves their well-being and provides an opportunity for them to grow their businesses.  

The simple difference between these spaces and the traditional office space that it makes users of the former thrive is that employees or entrepreneurs are provided the autonomy to be their best selves whilst also being presented the chance to collaborate with others outside their office.

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