Homeworking has become increasingly popular as more and more companies seek to reduce their overhead costs, introduce flexible working conditions, and allow more and more people to work remotely.
We’ve also seen a shift in attitude towards remote working with visibility no longer being used as a measure of productivity.
Instead, companies are more focussed on output – a far better performance measure. Strong opponents of homeworking have now become their biggest advocates, and with improved technology, there is less concern that people are down the pub or chilling in the garden instead of sat at their desks working.
But in equal measure, we have seen the concerns about homeworking and its impact on our mental health and general well-being on the rise. During the pandemic, this was one of the major concerns for many businesses, with many people reporting feelings of depression and other mental health issues due to loneliness and isolation, feeling disconnected from their colleagues, and lack of variety in their working day.
What has now become apparent, is that a hybrid of home and office working seems to offer the best work-life balance. But what if you don’t have an office space to work in? Are coworking spaces the answer?
What is a coworking space?
Coworking spaces have been around for a while, but their popularity is on the increase, and the forecast is that demand for them will continue to grow. What was once a solution predominantly for freelancers, start-up businesses and businesses looking for an agile office solution, has now grown in popularity across the board.
But for those of us perhaps less familiar with this concept, a quick explanation of what a coworking space is might help. Put simply, they are a shared office space, somewhere where individuals can rent a desk in a shared office environment. Unlike ‘flexible working spaces’ that are typically used by one company only, coworking spaces are for everyone, from any company, anywhere – they are all about working together, independently.
What makes a good coworking space?
The best coworking spaces offer variety – somewhere to collaborate, somewhere to work confidentially, quiet places to study or think, perhaps the option to book out meeting rooms, and of course, they need to offer plenty of natural light and somewhere to refuel – so a chillout zone or somewhere to grab a drink and a sandwich. Most offer hot desks, some also offer you the chance to rent a permanent desk. Desks can typically be booked by the hour, day, week or even month.
The benefits of a coworking space
There are many benefits to a coworking space, here are some of the top ones:
Better work-life Balance
Working from home of course does have it benefits but working in the same space as you live can also have a negative impact on your work-life balance.
Burnout can quickly set in as your conscience and fears push you to your limits and you find yourself sat longer and longer at your desk or kitchen table trying to prove you ARE working.
The distractions of home then creep into play and have their impact too on your ability to concentrate. Your stress levels start to rise, your productivity falls, and your mental health suffers, and no matter what you do, the devil’s circle continues to turn. Having the option to work somewhere else restores that balance.
Being surrounded by other working professionals, regardless of whether you work with them, impacts motivation, and creates a sense of community, which can boost productivity by combating feelings of isolation.
Having a dedicated space to work allows you to build a schedule that allows you to be productive and by removing yourself from the distractions of home life, you can focus better and be more productive.
Many coworking spaces offer several amenities to promote good health and wellbeing. This can range from a fitness class to a café or even somewhere to sit outside, all helping you to find that all-important balance throughout the day. Also, setting a limit to your working day that doesn’t spill over into your free time will contribute towards your wellbeing and reduce your stress levels.
Flexibility & Cost Savings
A coworking space gives you the freedom to pay only for what you want, when you want it. It’s a needs-based arrangement and is cost-effective.
For companies, this means greater flexibility, allowing them to expand or relocate without the pressure of a long-term lease or cost-savings by not having to invest in permanent office premises.
For the individual, it means less pressure on your pocket and the capability to construct your working day or week in line with your personal commitments, needs and obligations.
We know of course that coworking spaces are great locations for client or team meetings, but they also provide unique in-person networking opportunities. Many coworking spaces offer regular on-site networking events, giving you the chance to get to know your fellow co-workers on a personal level and not just a professional one. For more information on the value of networking see our blog
This is of course, non-negotiable. A strong, secure, and totally reliable internet connection is imperative, and all good co-working spaces should guarantee this.
Most coworking spaces offer 24/7 access allowing you to work when you want or need to. So, whether you are a night owl or a 9 to 5 person, someone who just wants a quiet place to study at weekends or are looking for that Monday to Friday professional office space, coworking spaces cater to all.
Our Final Message to You
Coworking spaces are so much more than a place to work. They are about working together, independently, a place to share energy, ideas, and space, somewhere to thrive. So, what are you waiting for? Why work alone when we can work together!