WeWork’s Secret Sauce For A Truly Creative And Collaborative Workspace

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WeWork is a co-working office space that began as a professional-cultural trend among startups and young entrepreneurs that no longer wanted to work at coffee shops, but couldn’t afford office space of their own. WeWork expanded to non tech-related jobs, and even to large organizations. They’re creating a community in different countries to enable small and big businesses to work whenever and wherever they want, with an automatic community around them.

This new model of work requires physical spaces designed to foster entrepreneurship, collaboration and overall, just getting things done. Today, massive corporations allow employees to alternate between the company’s HQ and co-working spaces in order to get exposure to an innovation-friendly ecosystem. Such level of flexibility and autonomy inspire individuals in new ways, and encourage them to go above and beyond, which drives productivity. WeWork is on a mission to create environments where success is measured by personal fulfillment.

The Shift in Workplaces

Patrick Morselli, Head of Global Expansion at WeWork, and Leo Ryan of Ogilvy UK, went on the stage at Social Media Week London for a fireside chat about how big and small companies can create collaborative work environments that allow creative work to flourish.

Leo and Patrick spoke about the shifts in the way entrepreneurs would like to work nowadays; shifting from the traditional corporate cubicle model to an anytime, anywhere plug-and-play experience. From the fireside chat it emerged that WeWork is not only a workplace, but also a community of entrepreneurs working together towards one common goal; growing their businesses and networking.

Patrick said “50% of members formed partnerships with another members” as a result of the networking opportunities organized by WeWork, along with the way the offices are designed in the US, UK, Netherlands and Israel. All offices at WeWork have glass walls where people can see each other, but of course everyone’s privacy is respected and protected.

Developing Community for Companies Big and Small

The management team at WeWork organizes events for their members to help them network. For example, they organized a dinner with fashion influencers in London exclusively for members. If one is a member of WeWork in New York, and he or she is in London for a few days, they can use WeWork facilities with no additional charges.

All members have access to a mobile app where they can communicate with each other. For example, if one company is looking for a freelancer, or members can share opportunities and events in different cities. This is how WeWork is helping to sustain a healthy community; through promoting a truly collaborative and inclusion culture.

Secret Ingredients for all Businesses

Patrick believes the secrete lies behind the glass walls where no one feels alone; everyone feels they are “part of the space”. WeWork designed every floor with a communal area for people to stumble upon each other. This is a new way to wok and the way to create the future businesses. Patrick finished by saying WeWork is expanding fast and they will be in Berlin and Mexico very soon.

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Social Media Week

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The Impact Of Collaborative Tools Into Education Innovation And Learning

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80 days until SMW’s June 8-12 Conference. Click to learn more.

Classroom and educational trends have undergone significant changes over the course of the past decade, and these changes affect how classes operate as well as how the people in them interact with each other. One of the most striking deviations is the shift in classroom structure. Rather than placing instructors as the unquestionable authorities at the top of a classroom hierarchy and keeping them wholly separate from students, today’s teachers are encouraged to be a more integrated part of the classroom and to interact with the students. They are seen as colleagues meant to guide a student’s learning and accompany them on their educational journey. This new view of a teacher’s role has led to another important change regarding how classes operate.

Instead of structuring classes around the lecture of an expert in the field in question, where students take as many notes as possible and try to memorize the given information, they are now expected to take charge of their progress. Students are encouraged to view their instructors as mentors rather than encyclopedias, and utilize them as aids in the discovery process. Students have become their own teachers, in other words, and, with help from their instructors, are able to conduct research and educate themselves and others. One of the main factors driving this reimagining of the education industry is the collaboration between students, instructors, and today’s technology. This not only helps students to get a better education, but also allows them to learn early on how to take responsibility for their own actions – something they will need when they enter the workforce.

New Design and Collaboration

Not only do classrooms operate differently than they used to – they look differently than they used to. Educational institutions are increasingly turning to new layouts known as “flipped classroom” or “active learning” environments when designing facilities. These classrooms are meant to facilitate collaboration and often combine new software and audio-visual techniques that actively adapt to the changing technological trends of today. Interestingly, the same design principles that have guided the formation of new classrooms is now being utilized in conference room design as well. The focus on collaboration, from students as well as professionals is an increasingly dominant trend in today’s workplace and educational institutions. Of course, the vision would not be complete without the tools necessary to make the new layouts functional and innovative – luckily, there is no dearth of software and technology advancements that aim to tie together form and function.

Next-Generation Technology

Next-generation technology being developed and implemented in classrooms are aimed at facilitating active participation and supporting collaboration. The goal is that technology will be seen as a peer in the acquisition of education rather than a mere aid. Potential software systems being developed with this idea in mind are placing emphasis on interactive learning where students are presented with real-time suggestions designed to effectively direct their attention in ways that enhance the learning process. This process is particularly interesting when the possibilities for new problem-solving opportunities is considered: students can share their tablet screen by screen sharing software and project their information onto a main display where it can then be discussed and revised with the input of classmates and instructors, enabling that collaborative effort. The potential of this kind of technology does not end with simple screen mirroring. The screen sharing software can also be used to measure how engaged students are in the work, and how often they are sharing and revising their work with the rest of the class.

True Collaboration

Technological progress is not a new idea, of course, nor is the ability to utilize different kinds of technology during both educational and professional meetings. The difference with today’s trends in education, however, is that the devices have moved from being a mere convenience – students utilizing an eReader instead of carrying around multiple books, for example, or a tablet where they can stay up-to-date on assignments even outside of the classroom – to being something truly revolutionary and necessary. Today’s technology is designed to make collaboration easy, be it across a board room table or across the globe, and also serves to enhance the acquisition of knowledge easy.

The changing face of education is fascinating in the rapidity and breadth of its transformation. Technology that is quickly becoming commonplace – the ability, for example, where students can share their tablet screen via a software – has the potential to further the idea of a collaborative classroom, and continues to revolutionize the way students learn and approach the world. Classrooms around the world are adapting to this new method of learning, helping students everywhere become more educated, valuable, and functional in today’s workforce.

 About The Author

John Reiley is an NYC-based senior business analyst. He has been helping small business owners plan their strategies for success since 2005.

 

Social Media Week

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