Collaboration Over Competition
In the hustle and bustle of the business world, it is easy to get caught up in what your company is doing. You find yourself focusing inward and see every other company doing anything remotely similar to be wrong and doing it worse than you. Of course, you’re better than the competition, or that is how you see it. But, the competition is looking at you thinking the exact same thing.
Most people view competition as healthy, as something that can push you forward and above the rest. Competition, if you let it, will seep into every aspect of your life: friends, family, even random people on the street. Always being the best can lead to detriment in your life if left unchecked. I am not saying all competition is bad! A little is what pushes us to keep going. I am talking about the kind that burrows deep and causes rifts in your work life, personal life, and more.
That is one thing I love about the coworking industry. Many other businesses promote competition, always being better than the person next to you and striving to be on top. Coworking just lends itself to more collaboration, within members and the industry as a whole.
On the membership side, it helps that many of the workers in a space are in different industries. There could be a graphic designer working next to a real estate broker who is working next to a writer. The nature of what coworking is doesn’t have room for competition. There is no office politics, there is no fighting for positions, just work.
Here’s an example. If the real estate broker needs a logo made for their business, they don’t have to go out and search for a designer. They know that they have someone who works alongside them that they could contact. This trade allows for both businesses, the designer and the real estate broker, to flourish.
We gain new perspectives when we collaborate with others. We see things from new angles, and learn things in a way we may not normally see. If someone is working on a project and needs an outside opinion, they can lean over to the person next to them. Coworking creates an atmosphere for more interaction, which leads to more innovation, creativity, and even profit. According to Entrepreneur.com, “environments that convey this kind of positive energy are a key reason that coworking is growing at a dizzying pace.”
The industry is also fairly void of competition. We are fortunate at Ment to not have any other coworking spaces in our town, but that doesn’t mean we don’t face competition, just in other ways. I find so fascinating the concept of coworking alliances. No other industry in the world could pull something off like this. A coworking alliance is made up of a group of coworking spaces in an area and they come together to support each other. They promote coworking as a whole, rather than an individual space. Cities like Orlando and San Diego have coworking alliances and they spread the values of coworking together. Arizona has one available for the whole state. An alliance can highlight the strengths of a certain place, but not one space is the top dog.
Coworking as an industry is amazing. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the curve and is the future of working. Many other industries could benefit from the model that coworking sets: a collaborative environment set on building everyone around you up.