Your network can be the most critical component of your professional life. Our careers are often defined by who we know, how we interact, and the ideas we are exposed to. Exposure to ideas is a direct benefit behind the massive growth of experimental work environments like coworking and coliving spaces.
Coworking spaces are all about fostering a community of agile, idea-heavy professionals. We like to keep in touch with our community before, during, and after their time in our space. Not only do our members make lifelong friends and a powerful network, they provide great case studies on the effects of coworking.
One such case in our community is that of Joyce Mealey, a Marketer/PR and former member at General Provision.
Coworkers come from every industry
“I worked for 8 years at a record label in California.”
A pretty modest statement for someone who spent a bulk of her early career with Fearless Records. Started in 1994 by a music business amateur, Fearless helped launch the careers of award-winning bands Portugal, The Man and Plain White T’s.
“In the music job and like most other jobs you really sit at one desk for years. It is very easy when working in the same job, in the same field, in the same place, to become complacent about your process and how you do your job each day.”
Music marketing today, start-up coworking tomorrow
Joyce moved to South Florida in late 2014. Speaking on her prior experience with coworking, Joyce said she “was familiar with the workspace environment.”
“I had a few friends open spaces on the West Coast but GP was my first experience here in South Florida.”
Joyce’s experience is not uncommon. The amount of coworking spaces has increased globally by 2264% over the last 5 years. As soon as you learn about coworking, the subject seems to pop up everywhere.
Eventually, Joyce ended up at our Fort Lauderdale workspace. “I met my boss Laurie and she had her office out of GP – which I loved. It really wasn’t until GP that I started making friends, collaboratively working and really pushing myself to get more involved in the community.”
General Provision is nestled in the art and tech district of Fort Lauderdale, FATVillage. This neighborhood helps to define the type of professional we attract at GP.
Joyce certainly fits the mold: “I was new to the area and didn’t have too many friends, so I found FATVillage. This area is definitely my vibe. I like young, artsy, creative, collaborative people and spaces.”
Yeah, it’s our vibe, too.
Coworking as a profitable lifestyle
For those who decide to dive into the coworking movement, the process can be transformative. And not just at General Provision – coworking provides the highest employee satisfaction of any workspace arrangement (Harvard Business Review, 2014).
“I enjoy freedom in my work and [I] often travel. So, getting away from the whole desk mentality and having a lot of ‘things’ was something I was excited to learn and change about my life in 2016.”
As Joyce has found, coworking typically adds flexibility and mobility to the work environment both in and outside of the coworking space.
Member communication at coworking spaces can also have profound effects on productivity. Sharing the workspace with professionals from many different industries exposes coworkers to new ideas, methods, and practices.
“I really enjoyed working next to people who had completely different jobs and previous work experience. I enjoyed learning how others set up their workflow each day, managed projects, thought about marketing, applications they used for time management etc.”
“In learning these different strategies from others at GP, I was able to elevate my overall business management skills along with skills needed to be successful in my current position.”
Think like a founder, grow like a founder
“Knowing more about this start up/development world has allowed me to reach more clients, network at a higher level in the community and helped my workflow increase exponentially.”
At General Provision, we take pride in our founder community. General Provision is powered by Trim, a start-up studio that helps other start-ups… start…
But this isn’t just a community for founders – the mindset of a start-up community can be contagious.
“Being in a workplace like GP that is more technology and development focused I was able to learn more about web development, app development, the start-up culture, a variety of apps, how to automate my tasks and skills etc.”
From “shared desk coworker” to “private office company”
Joyce and Conceptual Communications launched their company out of General Provision with 2 employees. In 1 year, they grew their team to 6 employees, which prompted them to find their own space. This is an incubation success story for us–although bittersweet, we love when clients leave our space because the company has grown! The team understood the value of coworking, and Joyce still is a part of our community.
“I worked in GP for a year and we moved into our own office in July. Although our building is very cool, I definitely miss the workspace and worked out a deal with my boss that I can go and work at different workspaces throughout the year (which I am excited about).”
The workspace misses Joyce too. We’re comforted to know that staying connecting to the community is important to her.
And luckily, this is a trend among our members: 15% of coworkers work at multiple spaces . The cowork environment opens up the possibility of a mobile office.
“Something that was important for me in 2016 [was] to be more mobile. I now use my computer, my phone and a variety of apps and platforms to get everything done and I love that because now I am comfortable getting work done from anywhere.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Local cowork, global network
Joyce is one of many members whose lives have been transformed through coworking. Some of our members build startups that outgrow us, some of our members grow their companies solo. All of our members become more mobile, more agile, and more connected.
Joyce joins a graduate class of successful founders, marketers, developers, and designers. Her next product mockup, website, or marketing campaign is just a call – or a Slack message – away. We couldn’t be more proud of her.
In the spirit of Joyce’s journey, we’re inviting a new class of coworkers to join us at General Provision. If this strikes a chord with you, take a look below: