Starbucks is loud and distracting. Your bustling corporate office is where self-confidence and innovation go to die. Coworking spaces are designed to change all of that. Coworking is a proven haven for collaboration, networking, learning and most importantly, getting more stuff done---74 percent more, in fact.
Here are seven benefits of coworking and why it’s so effective.
1. Conquer loneliness.
For freelancers and solopreneurs, the feelings of isolation can become too real, too quickly. The staleness of solitude negatively affects productivity and creativity. Working alone at home is not only soul-crushing, it makes it hard to maintain a sense of purpose. At home, it’s unlikely one would get dressed like they were going to an office. Simple acts like getting out of our pajamas boots our self-confidence and even our basic skills, a phenomenon called enclothed cognition.
Work by yourself, not alone. Being alone at times is integral to the creative process. Being alone constantly, however, stifles creativity and limits our worldview. When we’re with others, we consume. We eat up new thoughts, ideas, inspirations and perspectives. Once we’re alone once again, we are able to digest stimuli and create something great.
Even employees at large, established corporations can feel lonely. The physical arrangement of an office (e.g. cubicles) can make human interaction difficult. Facades of professionalism can make employees feel the need to hide emotions to avoid appearing weak. Employers that provide a coworking space as an alternative to the office find that mental health and productivity are harmonious forces.
2. Collaborate with strangers.
While your mom, best friend or significant other may be full of great advice and ideas for your business, they are still limited by their experiences. Coworking gives you the opportunity to collaborate with people with no preconceptions of you or your product or service.
Fortune 500 companies can benefit from a stranger’s ear, too. Sending creatives, marketers and strategists from a legacy corporation into a vibrant, creative space a few times a week can spark new conversations and encourage innovation.
Strangers are less likely to candy coat feedback. Coworkers come from a variety of backgrounds and have experience and expertise in different arenas. Spending time with strangers makes employees and businesses stronger.
3. Network every day.
Coworking spaces are perfect places to hire and be hired. Run a tech startup? Your newest, most talented developer may be sitting at the desk next to you. Are you a freelance marketing consultant? Your next big client may have asked you to borrow a highlighter. As your business grows, a pool of independent go-getters like yourself are always within reach.
As part of a coworking community, freelancers and businesses are often invited to professional development events and meetups not previously on their radar. Coworking spaces are also common meeting places for speaking engagements, parties and seminars.
4. Like-mindedness, not groupthink.
It’s no secret that corporate culture doesn’t exactly lend itself to individual responsibility, autonomy or creativity. When companies are too quick to shack up with a cultural ideal, they run the risk of silencing crucial opinions early in their business’ life.
Coworking spaces are full of self-governing, hardworking and passionate people. Coworkers bring their whole selves to work rather than splitting their personalities between the office and the bar. Surrounding yourself with determined and talented people is inspiring and doing things your way is encouraged.
5. Purpose in community and community in purpose.
Coworking builds community. Coworkers are connected by their purpose to be the best in their field without sacrificing their freedom. In a space with no silos, people are more apt to talk about what they do outside of work. Volunteer opportunities, meetups and recreation sports leagues come out of the woodwork.
6. Money mindfulness.
Coworking reduces overhead costs. For some businesses, renting an entire floor of an office building is an unnecessary expense. Sharing the cost of a coworking space with other businesses frees up capital to move your business forward.
Equipment like desks, chairs and conferences tables can be a sneaky, but overwhelming cost for a young business. Coworking spaces take care of that so you can focus on improving your product, not your feng shui.
Hiring is hard on the bankroll. Precious time and resources are sacrificed to find perfect candidates. Coworking spaces are full-transparency, real-time vetting arenas. Organic hires made inside the space are better for businesses and their budgets.
7. Healthy habits made easier.
Compared to traditional office settings, coworkers reported they feel 70% healthier in a coworking space. Corporate offices are high stress places that are just now catching on that wellness of their employees doesn’t boil down to a paycheck. When we stress, most of us eat more, drink more alcohol and sleep less soundly. And it’s affecting our health and our work.
Didn’t get your workout in this morning? In a coworking space, returning to the office a sweaty mess isn’t a big deal. Coworking spaces, in general, are more likely to promote overall wellness initiatives and are often built in well-populated areas near gyms and parks. People who exercise and experience nature on a regular basis are happier. Happy people are more productive. It’s not rocket science.
Whether you’re part of a large corporation, budding business or a one-person show, coworking spaces are good for your mind, soul, body and wallet. Coworking spaces reignite fires that are squelched by loud coffee shops and confining cubicles. Coworking makes us see ourselves, others and our businesses differently. Coworking makes us better. Coworking is the future of work.