Coworking Gracia: an ideal space for collaborative work (Part I)
First coined in 2006, the term “coworking” is a concept created by Harvard professor Yochai Benkler that today is more relevant than ever in spaces like Coworking Gracia. When professionals and companies from different fields coincide in the same place, the creative and entrepreneurial possibilities multiply to give rise to great ideas. However, it is not enough to sit down over coffee to develop a new project. It is necessary to apply methodology and rigour if we want to join forces to achieve a common goal. Today we will look at the definition of the concept and its main characteristics and, in a second part, we will explain how to implement it in an effective professional cooperation strategy.
What is collaborative work?
The definition of collaborative work covers many more areas than we think. According to Yochai Benkler, its ideologist, it is a “system of production, distribution and consumption of information goods that is characterised by decentralised individual actions, executed through widely distributed media and outside the market and its strategies”. Let’s take it one step at a time.
With the accumulated experience of years in our shared work centre, we have witnessed the creation of great ideas that emerge from the combination of individual efforts. Without forcing anything, cooperation arises spontaneously and the final goal is agreed upon by all. Collaborative work is, by definition, a creative impulse in a group that requires a lot of communication and coordination so that it does not die in the attempt. Clarity, definition of roles, willingness and a common objective are key to achieving the agreed goal.
What are its main characteristics?
Horizontal leadership. In collaborative work, hierarchy does not exist because it is precisely about strengthening the qualities and skills of each person in the achievement of a common goal. However, the continuous search for consensus can be exhausting, so it is important to establish minimum conditions in which everyone is on the same page, in order to make decisions and move forward.
Continuous communication. Digital media have facilitated communication at all levels and it is no longer essential to synchronise agendas to meet at a specific time and place. Virtual meetings are great allies to speed up meetings under a fluid and continuous communication strategy. However, we cannot underestimate social meetings as mechanisms for exchanging ideas more naturally. In a space dedicated to work such as Coworking Gracia, there is room for physical and virtual meetings without interruptions or noises that hinder conversations. A place for creation that favours collaboration between different professionals.
Common objective. When you have defined the why and what for to do collaborative work, you cannot lose sight of the objective you have set. Each member of the team contributes individually to this group objective, even if there are different small goals to be achieved along the way.
Heterogeneity. One of the most fascinating characteristics of collaborative work is that everyone contributes their knowledge and personality to the construction of a common project. Differences enhance and enrich the development of ideas and this is something we cannot lose sight of at any stage.
Interdependence. The success of one is the success of all, and vice versa. Each member of the team must fulfil their assigned tasks and their role within the project responsibly so that everyone moves forward at the same pace. Thinking collectively is very stimulating because it allows to visualise the individual contribution to a joint goal and thus, each new achievement is another step in the construction of the joint project.
If you are thinking about a business idea or developing a new line within your company for which you require support from other professionals, do not hesitate to come to Coworking Gracia to find the ideal space for the concentration and stimulation you require. Because collaborative work is also a subject we are passionate about, here we help you with all the resources you need in the different phases of your project.