Co-working: How to beat the work-from-home blues
The pandemic brought changes to the way we do business; many firms adopted a work-from-home policy as an employee ‘perk’. Whilst flexible working is still desirable, the focus now is on what we produce rather than where we work from to produce it.
Recent research suggests working from home is not quite the dream. HomeWork surveyed members and ad-hoc users across its London co-working sites in Fulham, Putney, Southfields, about their experiences working at home versus using flexible workspaces.
Working from home has its advantages. However, it is easy to overlook the disadvantages including, poor mental health arising from isolation and a lack of social interaction and the inability to ‘switch-off’. Working from home continues to bring new challenges.
Typically Blue Monday – the third Monday in January – is considered the most depressing day of the year. People often struggle around this time of year financially (given the long post-Christmas payday wait) and because of the gloomy weather and wanning resolutions.
Remote workers must prioritise their mental wellbeing by switching up their work-from-home habits.
Happier and more productive when co-working
It is clear that many people have fallen out of love with working from home full time. 94% of respondents to the HomeWork member survey said they are ‘happier’ working from a professional workspace than at home.
“Social interactions, even micro social interactions make a big difference.” Home life draws me in with chores and household stuff, there’s always something to do. At the workspace my mind is a lot clearer and therefore more focused.”
Christopher Hughes, Southfields.
Importantly for employers of remote workers, almost all (98%) of remote workers that took the survey admitted to being ‘more productive working from a professional workspace’.
“I like the detachment of home and work life – making it easier to switch off at the end of the day, and I value the short commute.” Joe Phillips, Putney.
Co-working spaces offer more than a physical base
Flexible workspaces offer the benefits of a traditional office but at a location convenient to the individual. However, a great co-working space is more than a physical base. It is a supportive business community people want.
As well as increased productivity levels, over half (53%) of respondents said ‘inspiration from the environment and people around me helps me stay focused on growing my business and meeting my goals’ was the biggest benefit when working from a professional workspace.
“Being together with my team in person, even if not 5 days a week, is invaluable.”
Andy Wood, Southfields.
At HomeWork, we help you to expand your network and grow your business. Our face-to-face networking events allow you to connect, collaborate and grow your business.
Improve your work-life balance with co-working
Remote and hybrid working gives people the opportunity for a better work-life balance, but this shouldn’t be at the expensive of their mental wellbeing and ability to progress professionally.
When asked about the main disadvantages of working from home, ‘getting distracted’ was the biggest problem for 68% of respondents. ‘Feeling isolated from a lack of social interaction’ (62%) and ‘overworking/ability to switch off mentally’ (57%) and ‘staying motivated’ (45%) were also significant issues for survey respondents.
Reducing office space may make business sense for some companies, but rather than seeing it as a cost-saving, they should look to re-invest. New flexible-working policies allowing employees to choose to work from convenient co-working spaces as part of their working week would improve overall engagement and performance amongst teams.
The benefits of interacting with people in real life, even just brief interactions whilst making a coffee, shouldn’t be underestimated. Yes, people want to break free from the traditional office in favour of working flexibly, but homeworking isn’t necessarily the right solution.
If you’re looking to grow personally and professionally, look no further. Welcome to HomeWork Workspace. Your new favourite place to get things done. To find out more about our networking opportunities or to book a desk, get in touch today
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