You might think that coworking is simply about WiFi, coffee and office space. Sure those are some things that make up coworking, but there’s way more to it than just that…
What is Coworking?
If you find yourself asking “What is coworking?” or “Why is everyone talking about these coworking spaces?” fear not. We’ve got you covered. For those of you curious about coworking or shared office space and think that it’s just about having a place to work, well you’re on the right track. But it’s way more than that.
Coworking is Not About Workspace – It’s About Feeling Less Lonely
It’s been over a year since I jumped for joy over an article in the Harvard Business Review. A memorable event, because when does anyone get that excited about something written in the HBR? The headline of the article jumped out at me for more than a few reasons. At the end of 2017 WeWork had already become a VC darling and it seemed like every day there were new players entering the space.
Easily distracted by the appeal of disrupting real estate, there was a growing frustration among many independent coworking operators. Sure, plenty of folks could tell you why you SHOULD cowork, but there was lack of awareness as to WHY people cowork. There have been people working from hotel rooms and homes for close to two decades. Why now are people starting to utilize coworking spaces and how did they become so trendy? It’s not just because
Side Effects of a “Gig Economy”
While reading King’s article you’ll find a battery of facts and findings from scientific studies that prove his thesis. It’s incredibly helpful to have access to such data, but also funny because anyone who has spent anytime in a coworking space, already knows this to be true! Some of the findings that King shares include:
- 87% of respondents report that they meet other members for social reasons, with 54% saying they socialize with other members after work and/or on weekends
- 79% said coworking has expanded their social networks
- 83% report that they are less lonely since joining a coworking space
- 89% report that they are happier since joining a coworking space
As more individuals choose to become contingent workers, turning to entrepreneurship, it’s only natural that they’d feel lonely both physically and emotionally. There’s a reason why I say that working from home almost killed me – and why coworking saved my life.
Many of you frequent flyers might also unknowingly be struggling with this type of loneliness as well…
The “Loneliness Epidemic”
The “loneliness epidemic” has been discovered to be a major health problem as well. One study claims that loneliness is “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.”
It’s clear from the research that a major driver of this (coworking) growth is the social aspects of coworking. Humans are social creatures who like being around other humans, and regardless of advances in remote work technology, this won’t change.Steve King, Coworking Is Not About Workspace – It’s About Feeling Less Lonely, Harvard Business Review 12/28/17
It’s not bad enough that social media and smart phones are spurring on this loneliness. What’s worse is that they have lead to a growth in remote work that only compounds these feelings. When I meet someone who doesn’t really understand what coworking or the “Future of Work” is, the first thing I have them do is read A Year Without Pants. There’s yet to be a better example for the struggles of navigating the evolution of how we will all be working, while battling with centuries of human instinct.
Get Coworking Today!
Are you someone who travels for work and does so alone? Or are you on an amazing adventure, enjoying a gap year, retirement or looking to start your next chapter? Do you find yourself yearning to be around other people, but not sure where to start?
If this strikes a chord with you, well then what are you waiting for? There are tens of thousands of coworking spaces all over the world. You’d be surprised how close the nearest one to you might be! Check out Coworker.com, Deskpass or some of our reviews here to find a space and give it a try!
The post Lonely While Traveling Alone? Try Coworking! was first published on Coworkaholic.