People and companies are finally starting to realize, that there is a change in the world of employment. We are currently living in a Society 2.0, but the shift to Society 3.0 is inevitable. More people are working independently, and the number of freelancers, researchers and young professionals increases. Those people need a special environment to work at. Therefore, the concept of co-working spaces was created.
One of the most famous concepts in the world of co-working is Seats2meet.com (S2M), which was founded in the Netherlands in 2007. Here, they do not only offer Wi-Fi, a place to work at, a broad community, but also a „free lunch“ in exchange for social capital. Seats2meet.com does not only provide a “normal” office space. It is about human interaction and to create sustainable values. Entrepreneurs need a network, a community and a workplace. Opening an own business can be very difficult, even more when there is a money issue. Office spaces are expensive, but to be successful, a network is needed. Therefore a “free” place to work at is the ideal solution. Co-working is a career boost. It is better than the local coffee shop, because in co-working spaces people offer their skills, talents and knowledge to others, which creates a huge amount of valuable resources by that.
A research by the Erasmus University, which has been conducted at different Seats2meet.com locations shows, that the majority (65%) of people within the Seats2meet.com community are entrepreneurs, the rest are students (10%) and others are unemployed (5%). Seats2meet.com does not target a specific age group. However, most people are between 26 and 35 years old, and overall highly educated. People who ones worked at Seats2meet.com are very likely to come back. Most people (36%) come to S2M once or twice a week. 10% of the respondents come even more often to one of the S2M locations.
The reasons for people to join the community are very different. Some do not have an office on their own, and others like to have people around them while working, or they just like the feeling of going to work. The flexibility and the location itself are important aspects as well. 40% of the participants said, that a change in their workspace environment is one of the reasons. Nevertheless, networking is the most important reason. Most respondents are open to meet new people. This can be seen on the results – Serendipity is the key. One out of eight found a new job or temporary assignment while working in a co-working space. One in four users said they started professional partnerships or collaborations with other co-workers. 47% reported, that their business skills improved, and 41% stated that their products or service improved. That there was a development of new products or services while working said 37%.
It can be said that there should be more „free“ lunches. The shift from Society 2.0 to Society 3.0 cannot be denied anymore. The traditional way of working will not vanish completely, but there will be more independent workers. More people will represent themselves instead of a company. Therefore, a supportive community and a good network are needed. Co-working spaces offer the “best of both worlds”. Networking is essential in a person’s career. It helps to create social capital, which positively affects lives and businesses. Co-working spaces are the best way to create a network and to improve own skills and qualities. In Co-working locations such as Seats2meet.com people can benefit from each other – on a personal as well as on a professional level. The results of the research definitely prove that the concept is working.
For more information visit www.seats2meet.com.
Picture 1 (www.bluesteelesolutions.com), Picture 2 (www.h2splan.de)