In 2007, there were only 14 coworking spaces around the world. In 2017, there are 15 500 of them, mostly on North America and Europe and this growth is far from being over (study from statista.com)! Nowadays, these coworking spaces are valued by freelancers and startups but not only… More and more companies are joining coworking spaces to organize meetings in their private rooms.
Why ? Because this new framework enhance their productivity during workshops and meetings. The physical setting changes, but not only: working in a new environment creates a change in the emotional framework, conducive to effective collaboration.
Framework as an efficiency conveyor
When it comes to collaboration, framework has two meanings. The first is a physical change of setting: the place, the organization of the space, the occupation you make of it, etc.
The change of setting can also be emotional as with new methods to conduct meetings (pushed by digital collaborative tools or interactive activities, in particular): a specific agenda, a new leadership, a coach training, etc.
In order to establish a new framework, both emotional and physical setting should be taken into account. If both are mastered, it will undoubtedly enhance your team productivity. Your goal is a mens sana in corpore sano meeting (a healthy mind, in a healthy body).
Changing the physical setting, how ?
Space makes it possible to alter contributors habits and supports the organizer in his meeting conduct.
A new place
You can consider renting a room in a coworking space, for example. There are many benefits: you create a break with the usual work and make the occasion special. A moment of privileged collaboration, aside from everyday routine.
Our team regularly works at Närma, a coworking space in Paris inspired by Scandinavian countries where calm and serenity reign. The owner is very caring, so when we work in this space, our teams link the place with creativity and an effective meeting model.
What can be perceived as a disadvantage, the rental cost, creates a logic around the ROI model. This logic is far from being negative for meetings: organizers then mobilize each of the participants in order to reach upstream fixed objectives. The physical environment impacts the organization.
In case you do not know where to find a place, several websites allow you to find a room close to your premises, fulfilling your needs, such as Bird-Office in Europe, among others.
Organisation and occupation of space
The way you use the room affects the progress of your workshop: each device refers to implicit conduct. Here are some tracks to explore:
- A table invites to sit and reminds a well known framework: the office. The absence of a table, on the other hand, induces a loss of the usual landmarks and creates expectations, putting the organizer under the spotlights. Contributors are thus waiting for instructions.
- A round organization places all contributors at the same level and invites to discuss. A placement in U, puts forward a moderator and invites the participants to talk with each other.
- Furniture such as armchairs, sofas or coffee tables creates a familiar atmosphere, which breaks with the office framework. This setting is suitable for launching new projects or creative sessions.
Use the physical setting to create the emotional one
The place location and the space disposition and occupation constitute a solid basis which makes it possible to deploy a more subtle type of framework: the emotional setting.
By choosing a new place, you position yourself as a leader and affirm the desire to hold a different meeting from those that your employees attend on a daily basis. You impose yourself as the person who organizes this meeting and who is responsible for its smooth running.
Before the workshop, you can suggest a simple agenda, but at the same time strict and flexible. Be sure to link each moments of the meeting to goals or deliverables, the most S.M.A.R.T. possible (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) and present them straightforwardly. For example, for a creative workshop you can organize a Popcorn brainstorming session](https://www.beekast.com/blog/en/post/creative-brainstorming-popcorn-method/). Bring out ideas and select three ways to improve our onboarding process for example.
The calendar does not include schedules, but it presents the highlights of the day, as well as clear objectives. You impose the pace, a new leadership and a relaxed work atmosphere.
Mens sana in corpore sano - A healthy mind in a healthy body
Rethinking the framework of meetings is an art: play with the physical and emotional frameworks in order to get the best of each. Test new places, new workshops, new tools, etc. The results are very often surprising and positive!