, ,  • October 17, 2018

When The Melting Pot opened it’s doors over 11 years ago, no one had heard of coworking. Work spaces designed to meet the needs of people from a spectrum of organisations, sectors and disciplines were a new phenomenon. But, the world of work has changed, technology allows people to choose when and where they work and the type of employment available is increasingly part time or freelance. A job no longer guarantees an office full of colleagues, so isolation and dwindling motivation are on the rise.

Coworking spaces like The Melting Pot were born out of the need for community felt by people in non-traditional employment. We started up to provide a place to find focus and a diverse, supportive community. This year we spent some time investigating the impact of The Melting Pot on our Members, you can find the full report on the resources section of our website but here we share some of the key insights.

We found that our membership has a near 50/50 gender balance, suggesting that our coworking community is inclusive and equally supportive to the needs of men and women, which is often not the case in traditional workplaces. The Melting Pot supports a large number of female founders. One third of TMP Members founded their organisation and 42% of the founders are women, compared to just 21% of SMEs UK-wide. Eileen Moir founded Turning Tides which provides coaching and consultancy for people and organisations navigating change, she told us that “Becoming a member of The Melting Pot was the best business decision I made after setting up my practice. It really helped me to step fully into my own light as an entrepreneur.”

Many of our Members mentioned the positive impact The Melting Pot has on their well-being. Poppy works remotely for DMA Global she tried another “coworking” space before coming to TMP but said that it was usually just her in the office! “Joining The Melting Pot helped me personally and professionally. I realised working from home was not good for my mental health, coming to an office-like environment every week gave me a sense of purpose.” We found that coworking reduces isolation, a problem that will only worsen as we follow the trends of the gig economy. We also found that almost 80% of our Members’ had increased professional confidence as a result of membership at The Melting Pot.

Coworking leads to greater impact. 98% of our Members said that access to TMP helps them deliver their work, but this isn’t the only way we help our community make an impact. Coworking increases inspiration and motivation, it helps people build skills and connections which often lead to collaboration. Our Members really want to work with each other, 80% were keen to collaborate with another Member of the community and 40% already had. Everyone that had been part of a collaboration said they were happy with the results.

The Melting Pot has always been about community and, although this report is the most comprehensive collection of feedback we’ve ever gathered from our Members, they have always been central to designing and delivering our services. You may be aware that over the last couple of years, alongside supporting our Edinburgh community, we have turned our attention towards sharing these insights with pioneers of coworking across the globe through the Coworking Accelerator. This report provides the evidence for the model we’re sharing through the Coworking Accelerator, developed over the course of a decade building a coworking business from scratch. At the end of October Claire and the team will be running the intensive, 2 day EXPLORE Quality Coworking workshop, sharing the secrets to creating a thriving coworking community in your local area, learn to provide inspiration, build confidence and stimulate collaboration.

Interested in how we do things at The Melting Pot? Check out the Coworking Accelerator, delivering practical resources and expertise to coworking leaders globally to help them build resilient, enterprising communities locally.