Co-working, a breath of fresh air in the new “working from home” era

Yeng Hang Wong

Traditional office working may be a thing of the past, as working from home seems to be an intuitive choice during the height of the pandemic. However, as the office doors start to open again, should you keep working from home, or maybe you’re considering a co-working space as an alternative?

What is co-working?

In the simplest sense, co-working represents a shared place where workers from different companies come to work, meet and devote themselves to their business endeavors. Coworking space is defined by shared tools, services and facilities. 

Before the pandemic, the main targets for a co-working model were often remote workers, travellers, digital nomads, independent scientists and independent contractors. However,  in the past few years, the demand for co-working has increased significantly across the globe.  

The benefits of co-working space

Networking opportunity. One of the most noticeable perks of working in a shared space is the opportunity to expand your professional network. Specifically, you would unlock the potential to build strong relationships with like-minded individuals, maintain new connections and facilitate future collaborations. 

Increased creativity and productivity. When you’re working from home, the surroundings can play a significant part in occupying your focus and interrupting  workflow, for example, kids, household chores, noisy neighbours, etc. In contrast, when you’re in an environment where everyone is 100% paying attention to their work, it’s very difficult to delay tasks, slack off or procrastinate.

Decreased sense of loneliness and isolation. It is scientifically proven that humans have a biological drive to belong. People seek out social contact not solely because of the life functions it can fulfil, but also because it is inherently rewarding. Human interaction does not only help people to cope with the stress and major changes in life, but also in knowing that one is valued by others, it helps one to forget the negative aspects of life, and think more positively about one’s environment.

Better physical health. Berkman and Syme (1979) found that the mortality rate among men and women with the fewest social ties was more than doubled compared to adults with the most social ties, irregardless of their health behaviours, socioeconomic status and other variables that might influence the risk of death. Additionally, in a 2010 report published by The Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, low quantity or quality of social ties is linked to a host of health conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, repeat heart attacks, slowed wound healing and the development and worsening of cardiovascular disease. 

Greater flexibility. Most co-working spaces allow short-term leases and flexible pay-as-you-go terms, which is beneficial in terms of cost-saving for startups, freelancers or new companies that just entered the market. Furthermore, by sharing the internet, infrastructure and facilities, etc. with other enterprises, co-working is also a very cost-efficient choice. 

Evidently, co-working is a great choice when it comes to cost-saving and the well-being of the employees. 

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