When coworking spaces first appeared, their main goal was to provide an office alternative. They were primarily aimed at freelancers and startups, giving these groups a quiet yet professional space to work in.
However, as the years progressed, the social aspect of coworking spaces came into the limelight. Turns out that, for many, the social side of things was one of the biggest appeals of a coworking space, leading to more and more coworking spaces trying to enhance this as much as possible.
Although many large corporations are now turning toward coworking, coworking spaces still tend to be most frequented by freelancers, remote workers, and startups. These are groups of people that would struggle to lease a traditional office space, usually because of cost. Some may be able to manage without an office space, making the leasing of one a waste of precious capital, while others may only need a working space for a couple of days a week, which doesn’t justify the amount that they would be spending overall.
As a result, they end up working on their own. Many do this from home while others make use of nearby cafes. Either way, this can quickly feel quite isolating. Spend every day working on your own with very little interaction with others and it won’t be long before anyone starts to feel lonely.
This is where the social aspect of coworking spaces really shines. Even the biggest introvert will feel less isolated when they’re surrounded by others. In fact, one report discovered that 83% of people found that they felt less lonely after joining a coworking space. This is a huge figure, showing just how impactful the social side of a coworking space can be when it comes to reducing isolation.
A Sense of Community and Belonging
The sense of community exuded by many coworking spaces goes a long way in reducing workplace isolation. From the very moment you enter through the doors of your coworking space, you’ll feel as though you belong.
It goes without saying that this feeling of togetherness can really help to improve a person’s mental health. After all, human beings are social creatures. We function at our best when we feel a sense of connection with others.
That said, this sense of belonging also helps to boost productivity. Research shows that 88% of workers would strongly agree with this. Working in an environment where they feel accepted, included, and safe gives them the motivation that they need to work to their full potential. This is why productivity often soars when a person joins a coworking space.
Peer Support and Shared Learning
Back in the day, coworking spaces used to be dominated by those working in tech-related industries, but that’s no longer the case. Pay a visit to a few coworking spaces and you’ll more than likely notice that the people in attendance come from all walks of life.
This diversity can be a huge game-changer. Strike up a conversation with a few of the people around you and you’ll find that they have a broad depth of skills to offer. This can be invaluable when you’re looking for new inspiration. Talking through your ideas with people that are able to offer a completely different perspective can give you a sense of support that you would never have otherwise had.
Skill sharing is also becoming a major boon offered by coworking spaces. Want to know how to set up a website for your new business? Or perhaps you need someone to walk you through how to capitalize on that new social network that has emerged. Whatever the case may be, there’s a good chance that someone at your coworking space can help you with this. In return, you’ll be able to lend an ear to their ideas and perhaps give them something new to think about in relation to whatever they happen to be working on.
Of course, this concept of shared learning can turn into official collaborations too. Whether you need a new marketing manager, a tech support worker, or a graphic designer, you’ll have access to a wide range of professionals when working at a coworking space.
Professional Networking Made Easy
It goes without saying that coworking spaces are perfectly set up for networking. As mentioned, you’ll be surrounded by so many different professionals, making it easy to meet new people.
Of course, striking up a conversation with the person sitting at the desk next to you isn’t always easy, unless you happen to be a big extrovert! Since all of the people around you are working, interrupting this flow for the purpose of socializing can feel a little awkward.
This is where networking events come in. Organized events are a great way to break the ice. These events are held solely for the purpose of encouraging interaction, meaning that there’s no awkwardness when it comes to talking to new people. After attending a networking event hosted by your coworking space, you’ll then be much more likely to socialize with the people that you have met afterward, even if it’s just a quick chat as you’re heading over to your desk.
At Circle Hub, we have an action-packed events calendar for you to pick and choose from. Whether you want to meet new people over breakfast or you’d prefer to keep things super-casual at a yoga networking session, the events organized by Circle Hub can really help a person to expand their social circle.
A Boost in Workplace Wellness
More and more people are now paying attention to workplace wellness After all, this directly impacts how a person performs. The fact that wellness has been a big trend in recent years really helps too.
Many workers find that their sense of workplace wellness improves when they make the move to a coworking space, largely due to the social aspect.
Although wellness is something that’s hard to measure, it’s inextricably linked to health. People working in coworking spaces tend to feel healthier than those working in a traditional office space. Of course, if you feel healthier, then chances are that you’ll be healthier since your attitude and positivity have such an impact on your health.
The coworking spaces that first started to spring up around the world were mostly based in cities. After all, cities are perfectly placed to be accessible to the wider population. This helps to cut back on commute time for many.
Of course, the social aspect of coworking also benefits from city-based locations. There are so many places outside of the coworking space in which people can socialize, helping to strengthen those initial connections that have been built at work.
Take both of Circle Hub’s locations as an example. Our Ventura building is just a short distance away from the beach. It’s perfect for those who want to relax and enjoy some downtime after work. This location also tends to attract beach lovers, so you’re very likely to meet other people with similar interests here.
Likewise, our Northridge location is just a short walk away from the buzzing Northridge Fashion Center. With numerous bars, cafes, and restaurants, this location helps to provide continuity to those who want to build on the social connections that they’ve formed at our coworking space.
Of course, many small towns are now witnessing the arrival of coworking spaces too. They may not be able to offer the vibrant buzz of a city, but they still give people in these more rural areas the chance to meet other professionals. This is something that’s often much harder to do when based outside of a big city. As a result, these coworking spaces can really help to encourage social interaction that wouldn’t have otherwise happened.
Not All Coworking Spaces Prioritize the Social Aspect
It’s easy to see how the social aspect of coworking spaces has such an appeal. It can be transformational in so many ways.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all coworking spaces prioritize the social side of things. If this is something that you want to benefit from, then you’ll need to ensure that the coworking place you pick puts socializing at the forefront.
Hourly Rates vs Monthly Fees
For example, many coworking places charge by the hour. It goes without saying that this does absolutely nothing to facilitate social networking. If you’re paying by the hour then you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. This means that you need to get as much work done as possible.
However, at Circle Hub, our members pay a monthly fee. Once you’re a member, you can turn up at our coworking space whenever you want, for however long you want. Even if you don’t have much work to do, you can still hang out in our common areas and spend some time focusing on socializing.
Speaking of common areas…
This is something else to keep an eye out for if you’re looking for a socially-connected coworking space. As we mentioned earlier, it can sometimes be difficult to converse with people who are in the middle of working on what could be an important project with a tight deadline. However, once you’re in a common area, the vibe is much more relaxed. This then makes it much easier to speak to those who are around you.
At Circle Hub, we have a variety of common areas that our members can hang out in. Our shared kitchen is particularly popular. With plenty of tables, as well as loads of space, our members can make the most of our complimentary beverages while socializing with everyone else that’s making use of that space at the time.
We also have an on-site gym, as well as a gaming room, where you’ll be able to meet other people who share similar interests.
When it comes down to it, the social aspect of coworking spaces is extremely important. It helps to distinguish a coworking space from a traditional office space, while also offering up benefits that can’t be experienced if a person were to work from home. Socializing is a huge part of mental well-being and it can significantly affect productivity too, making it important to take advantage of any potential social connections that can be made when you’re working at a coworking space.