The Psychology of Coworking
Whether you’re a freelancer working from home, you’re thinking of starting your own business, or you’re negotiating a remote work agreement with your employer, you might be considering going to work from a coworking space.
Though the idea of shared workspaces is relatively new, the coworking movement has grown a lot over the last ten years, and there are now over 8,000 coworking spaces in cities all over the world.
It’s expected that 40% of the US workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contracts and solopreneurs by 2020, so it doesn’t look like co-working is going anywhere anytime soon.
If you’re thinking about making the switch, we know it can sometimes be a difficult decision and we want to try and make it a little easier for you.
So without further ado, here are 5 reasons people all over the world are thriving in shared workspaces.
- They are less stressed
Work breaks are essential to rid the body of the stress that inevitably builds up throughout the workday. However, the environment in which you rest is just as important.
It may be tempting to stay at our computers and check social media but the reality is that our brains recharge best when we are involved in activities that are simple but completely unrelated. Daydreaming, going for a walk, laying in a hammock, playing pool or ping pong – these are all ways to lower stress and refocus our attention.
On the other hand, if you spend your break surfing the web or looking blankly at the screen, your brain doesn’t get the opportunity to refresh.
Fortunately, shared workspaces can help with that, and the 2nd global co-working survey found that 70% of coworkers felt healthier than they had in a traditional office setting.
- They have more control
There is no faster way to take the passion and energy out of someone’s work than to take away their feeling of being in control.
Working in a traditional office can seem like an extension of schooling with everyone sitting in rows and constantly trying not to upset the authority.
Feeling like you have someone looking over your shoulder is hugely damaging to productivity, which is why people often fare much better in a co-working environment that is more communal and democratic and feels more like home than school.
- They feel part of a community
While corporate work environments can be competitive and the interactions can sometimes seem forced, co-working spaces allows you to meet like-minded people who often have the same attitudes, interests, and struggles as you do.
In doing so they provide you an organic way to grow your personal or professional networks.
If you’ve worked from home, you’ll know how lonely it can feel – and how easy it can be to get distracted. Even simply having others around you that are working, whether or not you’re doing similar work, is enough to give you some added motivation.
- They see more meaning in their work (and out of it)
Because freelancers, independent contractors, and solopreneurs tend to have more autonomy over the projects that they take on, they usually find more meaning in their work.
This is compounded by the fact that after finding the right co-working space, most coworkers find that they’re more satisfied with their workspace, the interactions with their coworkers, and their work-life balance.
What many of us fail to realize is that meaning is created not only in our work time but also in our downtime. This means if you have more control over the hours you don’t work, you’re more likely to organize your leisure time so you spend it doing things that re-energize you for the following workday – as opposed to sinking into the couch and just watching whatever’s on T.V (though there’s nothing wrong with that).
- They can work when they are most productive
One thing that traditional work hours don’t take into accountant is that everyone has different times of day when they are the most productive. Some of us find our best hours are between 9 and 11am whereas others find that they can’t get the day started properly till mid-afternoon.
With most co-working spaces offering late hours, many even 24 hours, those of us who work best at uncommon times of day are far more likely to get important work done.
In fact, 64% of coworkers report being better able to completely tasks on time since joining a shared working space, and 68% say they’re now better able to focus.
Are you interested in joining a like-minded community of thriving co-workers in the heart of Barcelona?
We’d love to hear from you!