Coworking: Work Outside the Box

As a group sat chatting about business dealings, I thought to myself, "If someone had told me years ago that one day I’d see a group of grown business people having professional conversations while plopped on bean bag chairs, I would’ve told them they were crazy!"

Beanbag meeting space at TechPad
But this observation is not extraordinary in a coworking space, but a way of life in the lounge. Bean bag meeting spaces are a far cry from the leather bound office chairs and large wooden desks of the traditional business world, but that doesn’t make the ideas generated in them any less profound.

In the spirit of innovation and sharing of ideas perhaps our bodies should be as comfortable as our minds. It’s possible that this comfortable environment may even facilitate teamwork and creativity while fostering a feeling of equality among workers. While some feel that these less structured, even playful, work environments can create an unprofessional image, the growing popularity of such workplaces, especially in coworking spaces, demonstrates their success.

Is it possible that trendy coworking spaces with their progressive business environments could really be changing the way we perceive the modern-day entrepreneur? Will we view business people  in a bean bag lounge as having the same potential for success as business people in a stuffy office? Our grandparents surely wouldn’t have, but then again, this isn’t our grandparents’ business world.

In a time when degrees don’t always translate into careers, we’re chucking the old notion of “who is an entrepreneur” and replacing it with a fresh new idea. Consider Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook or Steve Jobs of Apple. The key to success often lies in being edgy, dynamic, original and innovative. It doesn’t matter where or how you sit, it only matters what you create. So if you want to think outside the box, perhaps it’s better to work outside the box.

Risa Pesapane is a member of the TechPad coworking community in Blacksburg, Virginia. She is the Project Director for environmental startup company Rural System, Inc.

Of further interest: Coworking:  Liken it to Simmering in an Interdisciplinary Pot by Risa Pesapane

Rural System, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Incorporated, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.

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