Co-working spaces are shared office spaces that allow the self-employed, remote workers and small teams from diverse businesses to work side by side. Roughly 1.18 million people worked in co-working spaces globally in 2017, according to Statistica.
But just what is the appeal of these spaces? Learn about the benefits of co-working spaces so you can determine if joining one is right for you.
In a survey by Deskmag and Deskwanted, 74 percent of members of a co-working space reported increased productivity. That boost in productivity could stem in part from the access you gain to a dedicated desk and office equipment. Work essentials that might be available in a co-working space and not at your home office.
But it's also due to the escape you get from the many distractions at home, from the television to barking dogs. Free of these interruptions, you can finally enter and stay in the "flow." A term used in psychology in reference to a mental state of total immersion in and focus on the task at hand. A decade-long study by McKinsey found that business executives were five times more productive while in the "flow."
It's difficult to shift gears between your personal and professional life when there's no physical separation between the two spheres. Working from home or even a local café can create this blurred sense of reality.
Joining a co-working space creates a physical barrier between the home and office. The dedicated workspace allows you to leave your work at the office and your home life at home. It's no wonder 71 percent of co-workers reported being more relaxed at home after becoming a member of a co-working space, according to a survey by Deskmag.
Much like joining a running club or embarking on a new diet with a friend, having peers on the same journey helps keeps you accountable for meeting your goals. One of the benefits of co-working spaces is that they offer that same measure of accountability.
Mingling with other co-workers, inevitably you'll meet individuals on the same path who can share in your successes and failures. Joining a mastermind session at a co-working space is a great way to sync up with co-workers. It's inspiring to be around people who share the same enthusiasm and have the support of peers.
The social aspect of 9-5 life is one that many self-employed individuals miss after starting a solo venture. Even business owners who know how to maintain a healthy work-life balance experience isolation to varying degrees.
However, you can enjoy those watercooler discussions again by joining a co-working space. By design, these spaces recreate the bustle and energy of office life, with co-workers milling about and bouncing ideas off of one another.
The people you'll meet and the ideas you'll share at a co-working space will help reinvigorate and re-engage you in your business. They'll also teach you the value of forming close bonds with your peers. Remember, there's more to life than work.