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August 26, 2021 (Updated April 3rd, 2024)

Is coworking the answer to 2021’s agile working boom?

by Caragh Medlicott posted in Lifestyle.

Ayoa | Is coworking the answer to 2021’s agile working boom?
It goes without saying that the pandemic has permanently altered the working landscape. In early 2020, employees all around the globe left the office and learned to adapt to working from home. With the vaccine roll out of 2021 well underway, and a cautious return to normal life, many workers have been left to ponder the question: to continue working from home, or not? Though – on the whole – working from home has been received positively by the bigger proportion of workers, doing it full time can become isolating.

This is especially true for those who are freelance and without colleagues. The lack of in-person interaction can be demotivating and make the days feel monotonous and long. This where coworking comes in. Coworking refers to the practice of working in a shared space with other people who aren’t your colleagues but other professionals seeking an office environment. Considering that many companies have now done away with offices completely, plus the increasing number of freelancers in the digital age, coworking may just provide a solution to those seeking the best of both worlds when it comes to flexible working. Keep reading to hear more of the benefits of coworking and why it might just provide the answer to 2021’s agile working boom.

Improved mental health

One of the key motivators for those opting to use a coworking space is the increased sense of mental wellbeing which comes from being around people. Lots of people are empowered by working from home, but still like to have the choice to spend time around other professionals for at least a few days a week. One issue with working from home full time is that the boundaries between work time and home time get blurred leading to feelings of stress and agitation after the working day has ended. It’s something which has become even more apparent during the pandemic. Without a commute to and from the office there’s not such a sense of separation to help bookmark the day. Whether you opt to cowork full time or part time, that chance to leave the house a few days a week and operate within an actual office environment can be very rejuvenating, meaning better mental health for workers overall.

Increased work productivity

Everyone wants to work at their most productive level, but productivity doesn’t just come from the work you do but also the environment you work in. Of course, most people prefer to work in quiet conditions and would rather not have the bustle of other people talking and answering phones. Yet, working from home can also present its own issues and distractions with all your life admin and home clutter surrounding you while you’re trying to get into the zone. Coworking spaces are now in abundance and you can select one which fits your needs, whether you prefer a bustling office environment or a calm one – there are options out there for every need. Overall, the option to chose when, where and how you work is sure to improve your productivity hence coworking perfectly facilitates that flexibility.

Networking opportunities and friendship

They say that no man is an island, and neither should he (or she!) work like one. Everyone needs breaks away from their desk and those breaks can be made all the better by a bit of company. One of the main reasons people chose to cowork in the first place is so that they can enjoy being around others and relieve the sense of isolation that they might feel if they were just working from home. Work friendships can be incredibly important, after all, we spend up to forty hours a week working, so being able to enjoy that time is paramount. That’s not to mention that coworking can also provide a whole host of networking opportunities, from coffee mornings to lunch breaks, you’re bound to meet plenty of interesting professionals from many different careers and industries. This is one reason why coworkers often have solid professional networks – not to mention that for freelancers it can even become a way of sourcing new clients!

Flexible and adapatable

When you really boil it all down, the most important thing offered by coworking is its flexibility. In the past, many people’s work lives were completely static and rigid. It involved going into an office 9-5, five days a week. There was no wiggle room for flexible start and finish times, for working from home or selecting your personal work space. Some coworkers might work out of the house all week while others might just have a day or two in the office, the beauty of the setup is that you can do what feels right for you. When all is said and done, people do their best work when they feel happy, motivated and focused. Opting to use a coworking space can help workers achieve exactly that, providing a perfect compromise in a world increasingly looking to agile work options.

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Caragh Medlicott

Caragh Medlicott is a freelance writer and interim Editor of Wales Arts Review. After graduating with a First-Class Honours degree in English Literature and an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University she began a full-time writing career in Wales. She is the author of several published short stories and was shortlisted for the Lunate 500 award in December 2020, and a finalist in Narrative’s 30 Below competition in 2021. She is a regular contributor to BBC Wales' The Review Show.

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