Editor’s note: Emily Wells Emily is Greenlight Community Broadband’s Marketing & Sales Manager.
“We human beings are social beings. We come into the world as the result of others’ actions. We survive here in dependence on others. Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”- Dalai Lama
WILSON – It is not a far reach to suggest that 2020 was the loneliest year of most people’s lives. Lockdowns, masks, canceled events, and work from home orders left many people feeling like a shell of the person they used to be. A February study from Harvard University reported that in a national survey, 36% of respondents experienced “serious loneliness” which had significantly increased since the start of the pandemic. An additional 37% reported occasional feelings of loneliness. *
As we’ve pushed through 2021, the ramifications of those feelings are still being revealed. Despite new variants, people are slowly starting to emerge from isolation and construct new daily routines. Two of the biggest questions that remain to be answered are how and where should professionals work? There is still a reluctance to return to the office, but work from home amplifies feelings of isolation. For many, coworking is the solution.
Coworking allows professionals to enjoy the autonomy they feel when working from home in an environment with less distractions. At the Exchange, there are no laundry machines, barking dogs, or piles of dirty dishes. There are, however, other members around you that share your desire for a workspace that is safe, practical, and welcoming. In a coworking space you can work alone, together with other members.
The community experience you get when you join a space like the Exchange helps to reduce feelings of loneliness. In a study of coworking space members, 83% reported feeling less lonely since joining a coworking space. 79% reported that coworking had expanded their social networks. **
These new connections are not only beneficial for your social life, but for your professional life as well. Our coworking members represent a vast range of industries, ages, and backgrounds that could be potential clients or partners to your organization. Working amongst other professionals will also hold you accountable and increase your motivation to do your best work. 68% of coworkers noted increased focus when coworking and 64% were able to complete tasks on schedule.
Combine friendly peers and newfound productivity with gigabit wireless connection, business amenities, and an invitation to regular social and educational events, and that home office is looking pretty dull. If you’re ready to shake off the work from home blues, give coworking a try. It may just become your new favorite place to be.
The Gig East Exchange is accepting new members.
* Richard Weissbourd, Milena Batanova, Virginia Lovison, and Eric Torres, “Loneliness in America: How the Pandemic Has Deepened an Epidemic of Loneliness and What We Can Do About It.” February 2021.
** Steve King, “Coworking Is Not About Workspace — It’s About Feeling Less Lonely.” December 2017.