The Advantages of Coworking with Strangers
Coworking spaces come with plenty of benefits: low prices, great amenities and pre-furnished offices, to name just a few. One of the more popular advantages is the ability to work alongside professionals from other companies.
Let’s look at how coworking alongside strangers helps you and your business.
The most obvious benefit to working near other businesses is networking. Intentional or not, every conversation you have with someone in your coworking space is a form of networking. Whenever business needs arise, and your office neighbor can meet the demand, you’re far more likely to give them your business — and vice versa.
In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, 82% of professionals occupying coworking spaces report they had expanded their professional networks, and 64% said their coworking networking was an important source of work and business referrals.
Networking can be tough when you’re a solopreneur just starting out. Coworking spaces give professionals a low-stress, natural way to meet other professionals and get your business’s name out there.
In the same Harvard Business Review study, survey participants were asked what they felt the most valuable aspect of working in a coworking space was. The results? Most stated social ties as the thing that kept them coming back. They also asked coworking members to list five words associated with coworking; interestingly, three of the words that were noted related to the social aspects of a shared workspace: community, fun and social.
The Harvard Business Review study isn’t the only one coming to this conclusion. Steve King from Harvard Business Review explains findings from other studies:
“For example, researchers at the University of Michigan found that coworking members report much higher levels of “thriving” than traditional employees. Their work shows this is in part due to the community aspects of coworking spaces, which allow members to socialize and interact with other members.
Another study, Coworking Spaces: A Source of Social Support for Independent Professionals, reports that the main reason most members work in coworking spaces is for the social interactions.”
Having friends where you work is underrated; thankfully, coworking offices provide the opportunity to make new ones.
Reducing Remote Worker Loneliness
Imagine you work in Chicago, but your company’s HQ is in San Francisco. You’re the sole Chicago employee; you are the Chicago division. That’s the reality for many employees in today’s age of the remote worker. According to Gallup, 43% of American employees report that they work at least some of the time remotely, up from 39% in 2012.
Remote working typically goes hand-in-hand with isolation. If you work from home all day, barely interfacing with other humans, loneliness is bound to creep in. Coworking can help reduce that terrible feeling of isolation that many feel.
King makes the point that “humans are social creatures who like being around other humans, and regardless of advances in remote work technology, this won’t change. The early coworking pioneers recognized this and focused on building supportive communities that included social activities. One of these early pioneers, Alex Hillman of the coworking space Indy Hall, went so far as to say ‘coworking is not a workspace industry; it’s a happiness industry.’”
Coworking spaces surround workers with other professionals, facilitating organic networking opportunities. Additionally, coworking with strangers benefits both organizations and their workers due to higher levels of worker happiness.
Not a bad deal!
Avenue Business Center’s private office space presents you with more voluntary interaction opportunities than your standard open-space coworking office. With most of our occupants falling under the professional services label, it’s no surprise that beneficial relationships still find a way of forming.