In light of the drastic increase in remote and hybrid work, accelerated by the pandemic years, many workers across the globe are now in a more flexible position that allows them to work when and where they want. No longer being bound by location, many choose to work from home; however, in the long run, WFH can become repetitive, tedious and isolated for many.
For this reason, coworking spaces have seen a significant surge in numbers across the U.S., with a 10% growth even in just the span of one quarter in 2023. This goes to show that demand for flexible workspaces is high and getting higher, as remote workers can opt for a coworking space close to home or while traveling and benefit from a well-equipped, professional space where they can also network and connect with like-minded people.
But let’s get a more in-depth look at five core reasons why coworking spaces have emerged as convenient solutions for remote workers and what makes them beneficial to their work endeavors, as well as their personal lives and mental health:
1. Gaining Real-Life Office Experience
In this day and age, many young adults enter the workforce in the midst of the remote work revolution. Others have simply never had the chance to work in an office environment due to the nature of their jobs (being freelancers, digital nomads, etc). In this case and for the ones who don’t have a traditional office to work from, coworking spaces offer them the opportunity to gain real-life office experience and work in a professional, yet flexible space, among a community of people that might share their interests and professional journey.
Plus, while the need to socialize and be part of an office-type workplace is deeply personal, coworking offers an option for those who might occasionally feel the need to experience more than just their home office or busy cafes.
2. Access to Tech Equipment
One of the everyday struggles of working remotely and especially from home is the lack of tech equipment that generally makes one work easier and faster. From reliable Wi-Fi to extra monitors to printers, projectors or audio/video gear, many components can be hard to get and store in a home office and especially during travels.
In fact, a 2023 survey revealed that many digital nomads experience a frustrating lack of proper gear while traveling, which makes their work more challenging. Generally, a coworking space membership includes access to all these tech equipment, like monitors, printers, scanners and even more complex ones, used for larger meetings or events.
3. Enhanced Location & Schedule Flexibility
If the changes brought forward by the pandemic taught us anything, is that, when it comes to work, a one-size-fits-them-all approach is no longer cutting it for most workers. In fact, due to a newfound work flexibility and the rise in remote work, many professionals have moved from bustling urban cores to more spacious and affordable homes in the suburbs.
At the same time, due to higher schedule flexibility, some workers are now able to take on a side job, balance their work and personal lives or simply make more time for their passions. Coworking spaces are known for offering more overall flexibility, whether it’s in terms of location, opening hours or the way in which members work. As opposed to a traditional office space in just one area, coworking spaces are easier to come by, being distributed across multiple areas of the city. Moreover, many of them have flexible hours and allow members to access the space at their own convenience, whether that’s early in the morning or late at night.
4. Mental Health Benefits
Previously overlooked in many instances, mental health and wellbeing have become a major topic of conversation among the changes in the general work sphere. And, despite most workers still putting in their 40 hours a week, now more than ever, it’s important to focus on how, where and in what conditions they do so.
A great benefit of coworking spaces is that, due to their distribution throughout a city, their availability and often wise, their proximity to points of interest like shopping centers, restaurants or entertainment facilities, they help users to save valuable time on commute, which they can spend in other areas of their lives. At the same time, coworking users get to decide when and where they work, which gives a higher sense of autonomy. Last but not least, the idea of belonging to a group, especially after years of working solo, can positively impact one’s mental health.
5. Opportunities for Socializing & Networking
Closely tied to the overall mental health benefits of coworking spaces are the opportunities they enable in terms of socializing. Despite coming from different companies, backgrounds and walks of life, many coworkers manage to develop meaningful relationships that help them grow professionally and personally.
Casual everyday interactions can even lead to finding new business prospects or partners and in many cases, coworking operators strive to organize regular events and gatherings that help the community get together, gain insights from one another and why not, have fun as a group.