The dictionary definition of co-working is “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” However it is defined, there’s no doubt about it, co-working is good for your health. 64% of lone workers have said they have experienced loneliness and psychological distress at some point. And while starting your own business is exciting, it’s also challenging and having the support of like-minded people around you can help.

This article gives 5 reasons why a co-working environment can offer freedom and flexibility, while still offering a sense of camaraderie with colleagues which will help to avoid feelings of isolation.

1. Combats loneliness and reduces mental health issues

The British Occupational Health Research Foundation has revealed only 30% of employees who work with other people have experienced stress and depression in the workplace. Whereas freelancers are at the highest risk of experiencing mental health issues, including anxiety and stress.

Although it may seem like a great idea at first to work alone, as it gives you more freedom and flexibility than the traditional 9-5 employment. You can plan your own day, take breaks when you want and not have anyone keeping tabs on you. This all may seem preferable to sitting in an office, however, doing it day in, and day out, can get lonely and lead to anxiety and depression. Additionally, freelancers working from home may feel as if they have less support if they suffer from a mental health condition, as they have no one to turn to if they feel down.

If you work in a co-working environment, even when you pop to the water cooler or to get a coffee, there is always someone there to have a chat with and who also understands the challenges of running a business.

2. Prevents the blurring of lines between ‘work’ and ‘home’

The survey found that only 13% of office-based workers took their laptops with them on holiday.  In comparison, it found freelancers found it harder to switch off, even when on holiday, if they worked mainly from home, with 54% reading work emails when they were supposed to be taking a break.

The act of driving to and from a place of work, such as a co-working space, even if it’s not every day helps to break up ‘work’ from ‘home’ enabling you to unwind from the challenges of being an entrepreneur. A co-working office space offers this opportunity.

3. Gives you more flexibility

Research shows that a flexible worker is happier and more productive than one stuck in the rigid routine of a traditional office. If you offer your employees flexibility in their work, you will probably find that they are off sick less, achieve more and work longer hours than regular office workers. With communal spaces and break-out rooms incorporated into these co-working spaces, it is easier to take a break and socialise within the working day.

Co-working office spaces can offer flexibility for your business as well. For example, the ability to scale up or down your operation is useful. Many businesses at the Aldershot Enterprise Centre have found our easy in-out terms and ability to expand or reduce office space a benefit. As Colin from Kraken Print, a long-term tenant of the centre says,

“The ability to easily move into the centre and change units within the centre without signing complex costly leases was a big win for us.”

4. Helps you connect with others

We all recognise that spending all day at a desk is not good for you. So, there are obvious health benefits to taking a break from your work and moving into the communal areas that co-working spaces offer. Aldershot Enterprise Centre manager Lorna Oldham has noticed that after the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of their tenants came to them,

“We saw an influx of enquiries from sole traders who just wanted to get away from the four walls of their home office, after being stuck at home during Lockdown, trying to run their business and home educate their children. We are a friendly bunch here and always offer an ear when a tenant has a query or just wants to vent.“

5. Helps you forge business relationships and networks

Once you take the plunge and move your operations into a co-working space, the immediate benefits will include losing that feeling that you’re “out on a limb” and finding yourself naturally networking – a vital part of the business world.

Aldershot Enterprise Centre often runs coffee mornings for tenants which gives them an opportunity to network and discuss any issues they have with like-minded entrepreneurs.

If you are a pre-start, start-up or small business owner who needs office space, the Aldershot Enterprise Centre offers a friendly co-working environment with many of the benefits discussed in this article. What’s more, our refurbished building in central Aldershot can accommodate up to 50 businesses at whatever stage they are in their business journey. We have a large Co-working Space with desks for hire from as little as £5.00 + VAT per hour, Serviced Office Space is competitively priced in addition to Meeting Rooms for hire at affordable rates.

For more information, please contact us.

Some of the content for this article was sourced from an article by The Headspace Group.

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