Today, more and more remote workers are switching from their home office setup to coworking spaces. Why? For starters, as social beings, we are known to perform better when in the presence of others.
The concept of working has changed radically over the years. Employers and employees have had to adjust on the fly once the scope of the global health crisis exceeded everyone’s expectations.
While trading office cubicles for a home office setup hasn’t always been an easy transition, employees and employers have managed to stay afloat… Thanks in large part to the recent evolution of different software and technology.
With this development, working in a traditional office has become more of an afterthought, prompting many employers to maintain a remote (or introduce a hybrid) setup depending on the employee’s preference.
This made way for the rise of coworking spaces, which, in the past, were more common options for tech startups, designers, content creators, and freelancers.
The origins of the first coworking space can be traced back to 2005 when a man named Brad Neuberg opened the first coworking space located in San Francisco, CA.
Since then, coworking spaces have come a long way, not just in the United States but the entire world.
As of this writing, there are over 1.18 million people worldwide working in coworking spaces, with that number expected to grow to over five million by 2024.
In its simplest form, a coworking space is an office space shared by entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers. Here, they can rent desks and offices by the day, week, or month and enjoy a variety of services and amenities depending on their membership status.
However, this definition only scratches the surface as to why most workers flock to this relatively new work setup.
As we see more and more coworking facilities spring up in different parts of the globe, this now begs the question: Why would workers and employees prefer working in coworking spaces over say, a traditional office space, or coffee shop when they can also offer stable internet connection, beverages, a social environment, etc.?
The answer is simple.
What’s making increasing numbers of people really amped up about working in coworking spaces is the opportunity to collaborate and network with other industry professionals. After all, where else can you find such a diverse and knowledgeable group of business-minded people all gathered in one location ready to provide assistance and support on your next project?
But it doesn’t stop there. The best coworking spaces can also offer:
Flexible payment options
Custom office layout
24/7 secure access
Designated areas for event venues
Private phone booths
Office equipment (paper, printers, etc.)
The primary goal of a coworking space is to give entrepreneurs and remote workers an appropriate space where they can work and take a break from all the isolation and distractions that come with working from home.
The truth is, working from home is much more complicated than simply having a laptop, skipping the daily commute, and attending virtual meetings; it’s harder to communicate your thoughts with others, achieve a healthy work-life balance, and stay motivated amid all the distractions.
Reports have even shown that working from home day-in and day-out can harm your level of creativity. This is caused in large part by the lack of opportunity to collaborate and interact with others.
As Laszlo Bock, chief executive of Humu once said: “There’s an element of social interaction that’s really important to a business. You can’t automate human qualities like empathy and collaboration.”
If you’ve been hesitant to work in a coworking space in the past or are seeking new ways to give you that jolt of creativity when performing tasks, here are some of the reasons working in a coworking space can help:
It’s been more than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In today’s innovation-driven economy, employers can only do so much to foster creativity within their workforce. After all, having to engage with your employees virtually will always have its limitations.
Working in a cooped-up office cubicle or within the confines of your home for most of the day can feel dull and routine, causing you to fall into a creative rut.
Coworking spaces, on the other hand, are designed to provide users with a vibrant environment that triggers inspiration and creativity - you’re free to use a wide range of amenities, engage with others in real-time, and limit the kind of distractions experienced in a WFH set-up.
There have been many reports of remote employees enjoying improved creativity and productivity once they start working in a coworking space.
82% of workers say that working in coworking spaces has expanded their professional network.
83% of workers say that working in a coworking space makes them feel less lonely.
84% of workers say that working in a coworking space makes them feel more motivated to complete tasks.
69% of workers say they have gained new skills from working in a coworking space.
If you’re looking for a place to hone your skills and learn from those who’ve gone through the highs and lows of just about any industry, a coworking space ticks all the boxes.
There are reasons why this shared office space concept has become so attractive to those who have been confined to working from home; it is a relief from the isolation and provides access to like-minded individuals.
We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. When you’re in a coworking space, you instantly become a member of a community where you’re free to engage with others as much or as little as you like.
If you're currently working in a coworking space and the environment hasn’t been conducive to collaboration, you’ll never maximize one of the biggest benefits of being in a coworking space.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, seek advice from those around you, expand your network, or lend a helping hand to help others. Sometimes, not charging for your expertise can yield huge benefits further down the line. As a social entrepreneur, Bryant McGill once said, “Giving is the master key to success, in all applications of human life.”
Nothing gets a person fired up to put their best foot forward than being in the presence of other like-minded individuals. Also known as the social facilitation theory, this phenomenon causes humans to do better on a task while competing or being in the presence of others.
When you work in a coworking space, chances are you’ll also meet people in the same industry as you who share a similar perspective - or one worthwhile learning.
While you may not necessarily communicate with each other regularly, just seeing others highly focused and working hard at their craft will stimulate physiological, cognitive, and affective reactions.
In fact, this theory was put to the test first by Norman Triplett, a psychologist from Indiana University, where he conducted a study on the effects of how a person (in this case, children reeling fishing rods) performs a task while in the presence of real, imagined, and implied people.
The study found that out of 40 children, half worked better while competing with others, a quarter worked more slowly, and the rest showed the same performance when performing the task with others or alone.
This theory teaches us that the people around us can have a significant impact on how we approach our work. Being around like-minded individuals gives us more freedom to be ourselves and share thoughts with people who understand what we’re going through while avoiding all the negatives of being in a toxic work environment.
As entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn once said: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Author Bio: Derick Quinanola is a dedicated digital marketer and regular writer for New York-based coworking and events company The Farm SoHo. He is based in the Philippines but has a global mindset and continues to find innovative methods to help businesses thrive in an increasingly digitized economy.