Considering where you are working is important when it comes to evaluating job opportunities. For many people, it can be about accessibility, culture, the boss, or the clients. For introverts like myself, it can be a mix of all those things and more. This includes thinking about the kind of workplace environment: coworking spaces or offices.
As an introvert who finds comfort in solitude, working in a fast-paced, noisy, and hectic environment can be overwhelming. Thanks to the emerging working setups such as coworking spaces, work-related stress can be a bit more manageable. Ultimately, your environment determines your productivity and perfomance. And so, comfort in your situation is important to remain productive at work.
The popularity of remote today has helped us introverts to have more options. This helps in choosing a work environment that best fits our needs and personality. Choosing becomes hard when you are considering a long-term commitment to the work that you are interested in doing.
As someone who has experienced working in both office and coworking space, they bring affordances that are similar but not exactly the same. They do not only have differences in the environment. They also differ when it comes to how they promote productivity.
So, if you are an introvert like me and trying to figure out the workspace that suits you, here are two important factors to consider:
Coworking Spaces or Offices: Collaboration
Communication is key to any relationship – it can build and burn bridges on both personal and professional levels. For the younger generation, collaboration is important in getting work done. Sharing your skills and ideas with others is important in not only contributing to your organization but to your own growth as well.
People sometimes associate introversion with the lack of interest to communicate and work with other people. This is not always the case. I, for one, value growth in learning from other people. And so, collaboration is as important to me as it is to people who are more extroverted. At the end of the day, wanting to grow and be productive does not hold a lot of contrast across different personalities. It is a common goal for many.
Both an office and a coworking space allows collaboration in many ways. Offices let you collaborate with the other members of your team from different levels. You can learn from your bosses, interns, or even executives which can help you grow as a professional.
Coworking spaces promote collaboration by giving you the opportunity to meet people from different industries and walks of life. This does not only help you to learn more about the bigger picture of businesses but about cultures too.
In offices, you get to have a sense of belongingness and appreciate your role as a part of a team or organization. The same goes for coworking spaces. Aside from the relationships that you can form in it, coworking spaces can also become a space for you to meet a future business partner, client, or mentor.
Coworking Spaces or Offices: Management
One of the most obvious and apparent ways from which offices and coworking spaces become distinct is the presence of a management in the workplace. A management basically runs the show in the office. It creates activities, policies, and interventions needed to keep things afloat. The management team also makes sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to and that everyone is aware of their roles in a team.
The presence of a management is important, especially when an organization involves people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. It makes sure that the organization is united and is fulfilling the same goals. This is not something people who are working in coworking spaces feel and see immediately.
Since remote work comes with barriers to distance and time, the management of a company might work differently. For instance, the dress codes you follow at the office might not apply anymore since office decorums are no longer expected. Meetings might also be held a little less in number since people are more flexible with their time. Lastly, observations and supervisions might be more lenient with remote work. This is because no one is watching every move you make outside the office.
This might not be a known fact about introverts, but introverts are more likely to want autonomy. Autonomy lets us practice more independence with whatever we do. This is so that we can have more control of our work. Having a management telling introverts what to do and what not to do can be a factor affecting satisfaction. This is the same for the quality of work they put. In that regard, coworking spaces might be more freeing and liberating for you.
Work is a huge part of life. Although it is not ideal, many people get enslaved by their nine-to-five jobs even. They say that we spend ⅓ of our lives at work – that’s about 90,000 hours in a lifetime. So, it is only right to be mindful and deliberate when it comes to choosing a workplace that we are comfortable in. This affects the quality of work that we do. It also affects our overall mood and emotional well-being.
While being social is important, especially in the professional world, it is also vital that we explore the different ways to practice it. Be it with collaboration or having worked with a management, the social skills of anyone regardless of one’s cognitive functions can be enriched in ways that are not limited to what we used to.
This is not to say that introverts get to be picky at work. As people invest time and effort to work, there is nothing wrong with finding the right ways to compromise working and embracing who you are. Work dynamics and preferences differ for each individual. Figuring out how yours is different will help you have a more fulfilling personal and professional life in the long run.