Importance of Community on Wellbeing
Sometimes it takes a pandemic, or even a smaller event such as a sabbatical from work, to realise the importance of human interactions on our wellbeing. For many solopreneurs and small businesses, the idea of working for oneself, from home, sometimes leads to a period of elation. A space to do things my way, to have flexibility and the ability to work from home more. This is going to be GREAT.
Then very slowly, people get used to working alone, some find it more challenging than others. Some might think things are going pretty well. The actual state of affairs might not be apparent until you spend some time in a supplier meeting with great banter or during a visit to a client’s buzzing office with lots of infectious energy.
Only then do you notice the dopamine hits you’ve received from being around others, and realise, hang on, am I missing a trick? Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, a long period of time working alone can indeed sometimes lead to changes in our overall wellbeing.
Importance of community
So why are work-based communities vital to our life? A work-based community can be essential for many because they offer us social connection but also a sense of belonging to something. We can create bonds with others when we encounter those who have likeminded values, goals or attitudes. Discovering these commonalities can help us live a fulfilling work life.
There are several other factors that contribute to our overall wellbeing, including the physical and social environments we find ourselves in. We may find ourselves part of other communities outside of work, places where we share interests in hobbies, sports, family activities and other clubs. Just think how you feel being part of these inspiring communities in your life. Work is no different. For many people, establishing a work community can really make a difference on how you feel about your work life, the inspiration you experience and your overall wellbeing too.
Feelings of companionship with others can help provide a sense of purpose and belonging, and in turn, can have a positive impact on wellbeing but also your productivity too. (It can also help resilience and promote recovery from illness.)
Benefits of a Work-Based Community
- Motivation & Inspiration – let’s face it, when we’re surrounded by others who are trying to activate game-changing work, this can really inspire and motivate us to do the same.
- Making Friends – if you are a solo worker, making friends can be tricky, especially as work or home-life becomes more demanding. However, being part of a community provides you with a golden ticket to meet other likeminded folks. Sometimes a good work friendship can completely save a tough day at work.
- Development Opportunities – there will always be someone you work with that knows more than you do about something. Working in a community allows you to lean on others, ask questions, find advice – and do the same in return for your peers.
- Stress Relief – we are social creatures by nature and so time spent with other people can give us the chance to interact, let off steam, and have a bit of banter every now and then. This can be a great stress relief tool, without you even realising it.
- Working the Room – working in an environment where you can interact with other businesses or solopreneurs can lead to some excellent networking opportunities. When one door closes and another one opens, especially in a working environment.
Lack of a Work Community
Without work colleagues, this can sometimes lead to barriers to social connectedness, which may or may not impact our overall health, stress levels and wellbeing. Working alone can sometimes lead to lack of connection, which over time, can impact motivation, will power, productivity and resilience.
Being Part of a Thriving Work-Based Community
We’ve seen first-hand here at Adapt just how powerful it can be to utilise a coworking space. It can help improve your work-life balance by offering a dedicated space to work or provide remote employees somewhere outside the home to work from. Plus, we’re often told by you that with a dedicated space for work, it can be easier to build a schedule that allows you to do what you need to be most productive.
We always encourage businesses based here to take the time to get to know their coworking colleagues. From informal café gatherings to lunches, connecting with peers can provide a sense of community, while also offering up some exciting prospects for new business or other kinds of collaboration.
Ways to Build Community at Work
Here are just a few ways to make some new connections…
- Consider organising a time and place to explore community-based issues. This might be through inviting a member from each organisation based at Adapt to meet up for coffee to discuss the needs of the broader team
- Arrange out of work activities or meet-ups. Find something you truly enjoy doing or places you love to go. It’s about making work socialising as fun as possible
- Invite peers to join you at lunchtime for a walk or for a cup of tea in the fresh air
- Offer up skill swap sessions where you exchange advice and tips on specialisms
- Arrange work-based fundraisers or activities – the right occasion and reason can really foster the community
- Lastly, it’s not essential to arrange activities or meet-ups all the time, every now and then, it’s more beneficial to simple evoke that community spirit and attitude when we’re engaging in our interactions. That’s the best way to incorporate community Ultimately, to integrate it into the fabric of our interactions with others.