Coworking Spaces Address Loneliness of Working from Home

Coworking spaces have been on the rise in North America in recent years.

Whether that’s renting a dedicated desk or buying a membership to an open-plan space, it’s somewhere to go besides home or a coffee shop for remote and freelance workers. Benefits touted are fewer distractions than a coffee shop and a more professional setting than a home, as well as a higher chance of collaboration and innovating through socializing—but perhaps something more personal is the main draw of a coworking space.

“I’m selling you work-life balance, happiness, inspiration, and I’m selling you human contact,” Liz Elam, founder of Link Coworking argues in a Bloomberg News piece.

In essence, people get lonely while working. Maybe they don’t like a strict office environment. But they do like to be around people.

“When we’re surveying people who work from home, the biggest complaint is loneliness,” Steve King, founding partner of consultancy Emergent Research, told Bloomberg.

Flexible work arrangements are the holy grail for both Canadian employees and management, according to a mounting body of evidence.

A study by Regus, a provider of flexible work spaces, found that 71% of survey respondents said flexible working makes employees more loyal. 59% of workers said they’d turn down a job if flexible working wasn’t an option. A full 73% of those polled believe that flexible working lowers stress levels.

In a similar study, Rogers Connected Workplace concluded that a third of Canadians value flexible work arrangements over other perks. 33% of their respondents said they would sacrifice something (including salary, vacation days and employee benefits) to work remotely and over half (59%) of Canadians agree in the future, flexible work hours and the ability to work from anywhere will be top priorities in their choice of employer.

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