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Coworking - the new way of working

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.

Increased Productivity

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.