Coworking Spaces vs. Working from Home (WFH)
Working from home has become hugely popular in recent years, but it can also be an isolating experience. Luckily, coworking spaces can offer something different…
Do you remember when WFH never happened. You couldn’t log onto your emails from home, you only called in sick if you were suffering from a deadly variety of man-flu and it was considered a treat when someone brought in doughnuts to have with the office Nescafe?
If you’re a Gen X (43-58 years) or Millennial (27 – 42 years) then it’s highly likely you’ll remember this space in time. If you’re a Gen Z (11-26 years) you’ll probably be slapping your foreheads and asking yourself, what is this hellish kind of work-life you’re describing? Yes, it’s true, the nineties, noughties, and the tens were very much about traditional ways of working. Where you rocked up to work regardless of the environmental factors thwarting your desire to work.
Twenty years ago, and less, agile work spaces and flexible options did exist in most major cities but it’s only been in recent years that the nation has fully embraced shared working spaces as an alternative to working from home or the office.
The benefits of a coworking space
One of the most recognisable benefits of coworking spaces is the element of community. That increased connection can be incredibly important. For some the alternative might be working from a shared space in the house or your kitchen table but with a community around you, isolation can be reduced.
Those small and seemingly irrelevant but friendly chats or communication through body language can unknowingly boost your mood and give you those all-important oxytocin hits. That community feel and human connection is more important than you might think. Many don’t realise they’re missing it until they’re surrounded by others again.
It’s these moments with others that binds coworking communities and allows a sense of belonging. From your walk to work, a chat with a barista before work to attending planned community events, there’s inspiration, connections and companionship to be found.
Unlike traditional office settings, coworking spaces bring together individuals from diverse industries, backgrounds, and expertise levels under one roof. This vibrant ecosystem fosters an environment for networking and collaboration. Whether you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, or remote worker, the chance encounters at the communal coffee machine or during events can lead to unexpected and fruitful connections.
Everyone is different. However, most people find that coworking spaces enhance their productivity. The choice of desks means that people aren’t fixed to the same spot, wall or window each day. That flexibility, change and buzzy atmosphere can help people to feel fresh, motivated, more creative and productive, as a result.
The blend of break out pods, large desks or meeting rooms is inclusive of different workstyles and provides more variety than a traditional office. Ultimately, productivity comes easier when working in spaces that have been designed for inspiration and getting the most out of your working day. It’s the little things such as design-led furniture, the colour pallet, greenery and plants, natural light, music and moderated temperatures that all contribute to a workplace that feels energising and productive.
Flexibility and Cost Savings
Many solopreneurs and freelancers find coworking spaces more flexible and cost effective. However, they aren’t just reserved for individuals – established organisations and businesses also find these agile spaces helpful. For firms who need that extra capacity, a choice of locations, flexible options for part-time or remote workers, coworking also fits the bill.
If you don’t need an office space for traditional 9-5 hours, 5 days a week, if your team (and you) need that flexibility, it is a smart option which means you only have to pay for the space you need, when you need it. Coworking also overcomes the need for leases and large investment in rent or owning property, as well as saving on other amenities like printing facilities, utilities, internet and IT infrastructure – all of these extra concerns can be eliminated from the equation.
Flexible workspaces help individuals to choose their hours, creating a balance that suits their needs. Whether it’s taking a break to recharge in a cosy lounge area, attending a yoga class during a midday break, or heading out for a walk between client calls, coworking spaces understand that work is just one part of a well-rounded life. This blend of work and personal life within the same environment fosters a sense of well-being and can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction. In essence, coworking spaces are more than just places to work; they are spaces that encourage individuals to embrace a holistic approach to life, ultimately helping them strike that elusive balance between their professional and personal aspirations.