April 2016

The Six Principles of Community in a Shared Workspace

The success of shared workspace is built on the same principles of interaction essential to the well-being of all human communities. Most of us have experienced their benefit on a practical level. The importance of the principles has also been demonstrated through compelling scientific research.

What are these principles of community building, and why are they important.

  1. Membership: To be a member is to be part of the whole, to be connected and included and to have the same value as other members. It is the antidote to isolation and creates a mutual identity that each person can embrace.
  1. Who is Who: The benefits of membership are optimized through relationship. A successful community building strategy facilitates interaction on practical, personal and professional levels.
  1. Boundaries: A sense of community brings the whole together with a shared identity and provides effective social and professional networking on personal and group bases.
  1. Influence: In healthy communities, everyone is given a voice. They are encouraged to take initiative, and their ideas, concerns, suggestions and plans heard when they do.
  1. Fulfillment of Needs: For the newly formed community to thrive, members must receive tangible benefits they would not have if not connected. Successful community builders employ tools for producing:
  • Practical benefits such as scheduling rooms and equipment in the shared work space
  • Social advantages such as new friendships and group activities
  • Career benefits such as professional development and new business opportunities
  1. Shared Experience: These are the building blocks of a thriving community. Healthy coworking networks are designed with easy-to-use applications for one-to-one and group gatherings across the social-professional spectrum.

An effective community building platform is designed with features that organically weave these principles into the practical experience of all who share the coworking space.