Working remotely has many benefits: flexible hours, no commute, and autonomy and control over how you work, to name just a few.
But as any remote worker will tell you, there are also considerable challenges. According to a variety of studies, isolation and loneliness are among the biggest complaints. Working remotely means missing out on the human interaction and social aspects that being in an office provides.
Research conducted by Harvard Business Review on coworking spaces shows that these shared, member-based workspaces where remote corporate workers, startup employees, freelancers, and others “work alone together” can substantially reduce the isolation and loneliness associated with remote work.
Key findings from the research show that:
87% of respondents report that they meet other members for social reasons, with 54% saying they socialise with other members after work and/or on weekends
79% said coworking has expanded their social networks
83% report that they are less lonely since joining a coworking space
89% report that they are happier since joining a coworking space
As a society, a growing number of people are facing the isolation and loneliness associated with remote work — and they’re working alone longer. Gallup reports that, despite a few high-profile examples of firms moving away from telecommuting, the number of corporate employees working remotely continues to grow. Gallup’s data shows that 43% of American employees report that they work remotely at least some of the time, up from 39% in 2012.
Future of coworking
The coworking industry has been growing at a rapid pace for the past five years. The current forecast is for this growth to continue, with the global number of coworking space members increasing from roughly 1.6 million today to about 3.8 million in 2020.
By creating community and reducing isolation and loneliness, coworking benefits both organizations and workers due to greater levels of work engagement, productivity, and worker happiness.
Source: Harvard Business Review