Coworking is more than an interesting, some would say fun, way to work. Coworking engenders many images of uber-sophisticated professionals gabbing at their workspace, or even better, attending happy hour at any of the number of cocktail bars in Melbourne, Sydney, or maybe better yet, Brisbane, an up and comer in the coworking space scene. While coworking involves a lot of socialising, coworking is work.
In fact, professionals, in the commission of working, find themselves socialising, but socialising is not necessarily a bad thing either. The social part of work that requires humans engage each other daily on any number of topics can make any job more bearable, and this is also the case with professionals who choose coworking over other office formats. The psychological effects of being able to connect in the workspace, whether coworking or not, does have an impact on employee productivity and morale.
Let’s take a closer look at how coworking, and more specifically group work, has a positive psychological impact on employees.
Professionals who choose from premium coworking locations across Australia do benefit emotionally from the effects of working in groups. Most coworking spaces are organised to promote, even encourage, social interaction. Because there are very few walls that act as barriers, professionals have the opportunity to make connections with others from a diverse array of professional backgrounds, which allows for a certain autonomy.
In a typical office, the walls and partitions that act as boundaries separate professionals based on the business they work for, and in a sense can be limiting. With boundaries that establish who you engage with, professionals are not primed for social interaction unless they are proactive about getting to know others in the area. The coworking space, alternatively, not only provides businesses with the platform for developing relationships, but it also allows professionals and businesses the chance to choose who they work with based on personal taste or business need. Ultimately, being in a place where you have the freedom to choose who you work with is definitely beneficial to your mental health.
Another major reason coworking boosts the mental health of professionals is because, through building relationships, professionals build a strong support network. When trying to build a business, your professional network can create opportunities for friendships, but more significantly, they build opportunities for mentoring relationships. Friendships can lead to opportunities within and outside the coworking space, but mentoring relationships can be beneficial for a few reasons.
Mentors can, first and foremost, be a resource for getting information. However, these experts can also be a sounding board for ideas, and they can also help give great business counsel. When having problems with your professional life, mentors can be a great place to turn to for emotional support.
Through the many opportunities to interact socially with other professionals, you get the chance to learn about other industries, you get to contribute to conversations that might develop into business opportunities, and when collaborating on projects, you get the kind of the reinforcement that builds your self-esteem. More importantly, you become confident in your abilities to function in your business. The coworking space can ultimately be a place where self-efficacy takes root and where you establish your competence within the business community at-large.
Collaboration Instead Of Competition
Coworking, conceptually, suggests that there is something to be said about promoting relationships that encourage social interaction within the coworking space, so professionals work together as opposed to competing against each other. Competition suggests an antagonistic relationship that pits professionals against each other while collaboration promotes an atmosphere where professionals work with each other. For emotional health, being able to trust other professionals can do wonders on professional attitude and morale.