Ahh, working remotely… Sounds great, right? It’s relaxing and allows for that work/life balance you’ve been looking for. You finally get to spend some time in the money pit you call “Home,” and maybe you even get to go abroad now that you’ve secured some flexibility.
There isn’t any need to dress-up, wrangle your hair, or even get out of bed for that matter. Could life get any better? You’re working where you want, when you want, and your best friend is the neighbor’s labradoodle… Wait a sec, that doesn’t sound right.
Communication technology has reshaped how entrepreneurs, freelancers, and businesses are able get work done. Between instant messaging, emails, Facetime, and new cell phone tech; coworkers can create and distribute work from just about anywhere.
In 2018, employees may not actually need to see their coworkers in order to operate, however working remotely can get lonely. As a result, the coworking trend was conceived from improved communication methods, the ability to telecommute, and the rise of freelance opportunities.
“Coworking is not a workspace industry; it’s a happiness industry,” claimed Indy Hall founder Alex Hillman. Yes, this Philadelphian coworking space owner makes a lot of money on workspace rentals. However, Hillman’s point is this: coworking cures loneliness.
Most people don’t think of loneliness in terms of disease, but being around other humans and establishing a connection has considerable health benefits. What’s more, the lack of human connection can be quite harmful as well.
“Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity,” according to Harvard Business Review.
While coworking won’t remedy your current illness, being in a thriving work environment can ease the chronic stress that people often feel in a tightly-regimented workspace.
“Long-term or chronic stress leads to… higher levels of inflammation in the body… This in turn damages blood vessels and other tissues, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, joint disease, depression, obesity, and premature death,” according to Vivek Murthy, who served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States.
Murthy goes even further to say that loneliness and stress do not allow the human brain to operate properly. “Decision making, planning, emotional regulation, analysis, and abstract thinking,” are all affected by chronic stress.
Once you’ve found the coworking space that works for you, the lightbulb turns on… Soon enough you’ve made new connections, found people to bounce ideas off of, and maybe even someone you’d like to grab a drink with after your workday is over.
“The staff at the (co)working space makes everything completely seamless and welcoming,” said Paul McGuire after assessing his (co)working space membership. “How great is it to actually look forward to heading to work in the morning?!”
Furthermore, people who have joined coworking spaces are generally happier, more motivated, and show higher levels of engagement. Additionally, these shared workplaces serve as a shoulder to lean on when learning new skills, and as information hubs for new technology, infrastructure, innovative businesses, products, and services.
Obviously, the need for workspace will never die. However, it seems coworking specifically will only grow, considering humans’ innate need for physical and mental connection.
As a result, the number of employees clocking in virtually across America is increasing. Last year, freelance workers made some noise as new statistics revealed that 35% of the American workforce is freelancing either part or full-time.
Furthermore, there are now 43% of American workers who said they “spent at least some time” telecommuting to their job.
The option to work from home is becoming a hot commodity for employees and freelancers alike. As a wider variety of industries and companies are meeting this increased demand, the future of coworking couldn’t look brighter.
Stop talking to your neighbors’ dog today and book a tour at your local coworking space.