Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces
This summer marked my transition to a new city. After two years of digital nomadism, the urge to plant some roots beckoned – even if just temporarily.
I’ve been freelancing ever since the pandemic, which rendered my former travel marketing job temporarily – and quite literally – redundant. It was a big shift. Transitioning from daily commutes, collective brainstorming sessions, and the spirit of office camaraderie, to embarking on a solo venture. It took some getting used to.
And while the autonomy and freedom of remote freelance work is pretty sweet, it’s not without its hurdles. There are days when I find myself missing the collective enthusiasm of a team as I struggle to self-motivate. On the upside, the tea rounds are now a total breeze. Then again, solo lunch breaks at my desk often make me ponder about the outside world and my infrequent interaction with it. That was until I joined a new coworking space…
What is a coworking space?
Coworking refers to a setup where folks from diverse teams and organisations operate within one single, shared space.
The rise of these spaces isn’t surprising, given the shift in work culture. They’ve come to the forefront, especially as many people report feeling more accomplished in these environments than traditional office settings. In fact, a 2015 study revealed that on a 1 to 7 scale, professionals in coworking spaces averaged a high score of 6 in terms of their professional fulfilment. But why?
Let’s dive in and find out why people thrive in coworking spaces:
Collaborations and Networking
Coworking spaces inherently bring together myriad professionals, cutting across industry lines, paving the way for collaboration and networking. It’s not just about shared workstations. It’s also about community and collective learning. These communal spaces are often a hub for events and seminars which allow its members to share, learn, and grow together.
Coworking spaces champion flexibility, granting members the liberty to define their work hours. With round-the-clock access and amenities like top-notch internet, meeting rooms, and printing facilities, you can work hassle-free, sidestepping those mundane logistical issues you might encounter in a cafe or at home.
Routine and Rhythm
As delightful as it is to lazily rise, and start work just a few steps from my bed, it also deprives me of those cherished moments I once overlooked during my routine walk to the office. A pedestrian commute isn’t just about physical activity and fresh air, but it’s a chance for introspection. A moment to reflect, feel, and ideate. Or even sneak in that podcast episode before diving into the day’s tasks.
As someone with undiagnosed ADHD, I found my old, open-plan office environment…well…a lot. These days, I understand myself so much more. I know now that what was really missing for me was a quiet space. A serene corner to escape the barrage of sensory overload, and settle into my hyperfocus.
This is what’s great about inclusive co-working spaces. They cater to diverse needs, from quiet nooks for focused tasks to interactive areas, apt for group endeavours. Evidence even suggests that these shared workspaces propel productivity.
Beyond just a workspace, coworking hubs are centres of continuous learning. With tons of workshops, training sessions, and mentorship opportunities, you can hone your skills and take your career to the next level. On top of this, the huge network of members presents the chance for mentorships, collaborations, and even new ventures!
Community and Mental Health
That sense of belonging and community that coworking spaces offer can be so pivotal for our mental wellbeing. Chatting with peers, getting involved in social activities, and having access to health-focused amenities, like meditation corners and wholesome snacks, can really uplift your mood and mental health. Well, it’s definitely made an impact for me!
Coworking Spaces To Try
I can’t write a blog post about the benefits of coworking spaces without giving a big shout out to a few of the awesome ones I’ve encountered over the years.
Starting with the coworking space that I recently joined in Bristol:
This is my new work gaff for one day a week and it’s really breathed some life into my routine. This place is all about sustainability. In fact, they’re Bristol’s only carbon neutral co-working space, offering a range of flexible hot desking and fixed desk packages. On top of all the usual amenities, they also have super fast wifi, a lovely garden area, bike storage, showers, wheelchair access and unlimited tea and coffee.
Disclaimer: I have never actually joined this space myself, but I’ve attended a few meetings at Platf9rm’s mothership office; Towerpoint. I also know a bunch of Brighton freelancers who hot desk here frequently and love it.
Similarly to Future Leap, they offer a ton of community and cultural events, on top of their cowork space offering. Not to mention some pretty lush sea views and a super-central location – just five minutes to Brighton station.
Love, love, LOVE this space! Second Home are all about giving entrepreneurs the tools and connections they need to break new ground and grow. Plus as a B-Corp business, they’re even more committed to planet friendly initiatives. They use 100% green energy and are involved in a whole lot of projects and activities to make as much of a social impact as they can. Oh, and their office space is so green and leafy – such a calm space, and definitely worth visiting if you’re working away or digital nomading in Lisbon.
Have you felt the benefit of joining a coworking space? We’d love to hear your thoughts – head to our Instagram to join the conversation.