[Published on Coworker.com, March 21, 2018
At Coworker.com, we value collaboration above almost every other characteristic of a working environment. In our dynamic, diverse world, there is a greater need for new attitudes towards the way employees work together.
As more people work remotely and turn to a digital nomad lifestyle, the ‘sharing economy’ is altering the way we do business. Now, social innovation is making more businesses consider the advantages of providing collaborative settings for the sake of productivity. By allowing professionals to collaborate all day long, business owners are realizing the value of constantly sharing ideas and of having a workplace that is both social and interactive.
But collaboration isn’t only good for business productivity—it’s also great for the soul.
There are many benefits of collaboration for the individual. It is undeniable that working in a collaborative setting boosts your ability to think-outside-the-box and to see projects from different perspectives. Just ask any of our digital nomads who spend time at coworking spaces around the world—collaboration is key to creativity, efficiency and, ultimately, fun.
Beyond what collaboration does for your work ethic, it is also extremely important to growing as an individual. On an emotional level, being in a collaborative setting allows you to ask constructive questions: how do the people around me feel about their work? What can I learn from these people? What can I gain from listening to their advice and experiences?
Once you consider these types of questions, you will undoubtedly learn more about your own work ethic, personality and goals. There is nothing quite as rewarding as hearing about another’s mishaps and mistakes, and learning from them so that you can focus on doing things right.
Sharing our stories with one another is one of the most powerful tools we have for growth, understanding and empathy. Use your stories, and see how collaboration can positively affect your personal journey.
By engaging in a collaborative setting like a coworking space, you can strengthen your soul in the following ways:
Being self-aware can be challenging when you are working on remote projects or growing a business. In some cases, you can be overly self-aware and lead yourself down a barren rabbit hole. Collaboration will help you distill your best qualities and articulate what you need to accomplish more transparently. Being honest about your weaknesses (and your strengths!) will force you to seek help where you need it and to determine how you can also help others.
Taking the long view
When you are working project-to-project, it can be hard to plan long-term goals. If your current collaboration isn’t generating the results you had hoped for, try to see beyond the present moment. Sometimes, collaboration may not be conducive to a project’s success, but this doesn’t mean you should never attempt it again in the future. All partnerships and collaborations are salvageable, even if they don’t work out as first. Taking the long view of how leveraging differences can actually turn into meaningful work is a great way to strengthen the soul. Plus, you can always appreciate the opportunity as one that helps to grow your network.
Learn, learn, learn
Some of the most successful people in the world see every situation as a learning opportunity. Here’s a theory to consider: There’s no winning or losing; there is only winning and learning. If you keep this in mind, collaboration will always be valuable. Entrepreneurs are almost always seeking new information and knowledge, making coworking spaces a wonderful place for shared learning. By learning something new every day through collaboration, you will grow as an individual.
To collaborate most successfully, you should always strive to let your ego take the back seat. Listening—and truly hearing what other people say—will allow your soul to grow. Simply being present and sharing your thoughts and ideas will prove to be much more rewarding than working on your own.
Next time you are in a coworking space, take out your headphones, turn down your music and seek out the opinions of others. Always remember that a simple conversation can lead to a successful collaboration—and so much more.