Creating a positive work environment for your employees is essential for your productivity, and your bottom line. Shared office spaces can promote a healthier environment through smarter working.
Desk jobs aren’t healthy. Cubicles aren’t good for your mind. Open plan offices don’t seem to help either. And work as we know it – the usual 9-to-5 grind in a clunky and sterile office – is almost designed to make you feel tired and unmotivated.
Mental fatigue and burn out are just two ways that sitting at a computer and trying desperately to meet deadlines or please your higher-ups can leave you feeling depressed and anxious about the next day, and your ability to keep up your performances.
Do Shared Spaces Promote Positive a Work Environment?
The answer to our burnout isn’t to stop working altogether, of course. It’s simply to work better, and smarter.
There are ways to circumvent many of the problems associated with desk jobs and office jobs today, from smarter floor plans and healthier hours to better time management, more engagement, and a communal setting.
Shared offices and coworking spaces are doing a fantastic job of taking what we currently understand about sedentary work and all the ways it can be improved and implementing these improvements to help today’s and tomorrow’s generation work better, healthier, and smarter.
The benefits aren’t something we only stand to gain from in the future – they’re here right now.
1. They Provide More Flexibility and Relaxation
Few people are able to sit down and concentrate on a single thing for more than an hour or so before experiencing mental fatigue and a loss in overall efficiency. Sure, you can do something – anything – for much longer than thirty minutes, but you’re likely to get worse at it.
This is true even for professions that require concentration for several hours, from truck drivers and airline pilots to surgeons. Our reaction times slow, and our vigilance drops – we become slower to notice mistakes and our thinking is diminished.
There are ways to change this – the brain responds well to:
- Incremental training
- Frequent breaks
- Greater stimulation
Taking breaks to stretch, meditate, or just look out into the sky can help you recharge.
The same goes for work. But many workplaces don’t account for this, and don’t have efficient ways to help remind workers to take breaks or help them manage their time in such a way that they can optimize their hours at the office. However, coworking spaces give you this flexibility.
Focus and concentration, as well a motivation and willingness to work are also linked to things like mood.
The more depressed you are, the easier it is to procrastinate and seek distractions. And the harder it becomes to focus on a single task and get things done at work. You find yourself checking your emails more often, listening to music, dozing off when you attempt to concentrate, and quickly finding yourself under increasing levels of pressure.
2. Coworking Spaces Are Communities
Traditional office spaces are often conducive to both a lack of breaks and increased depression.
They provide workers with fewer opportunities to take proper breaks due to increased workloads and a lack of amenities, as well as often driving workers into isolation due to:
- Poor office design
- Long working hours
- Increased pressure to produce and be productive at the cost of any social life
A shared office space can create a positive work environment and alleviate some of the pressure by:
- Featuring better office design
- A greater focus on the communal and social aspects of work
- A series of amenities both designed to help improve worker productivity and focus
- Provide further spaces for collaboration and human connection
As valuable as technology is, it does not fully replace the critical element of physical interaction. Coworking spaces re-emphasize how important it is to be among other people, often rejuvenating workers that spent years working non-stop hours out of stuffy cubicles.
People work better as a community, and it shows.
3. The Collaboration Breeds Positivity
There’s no doubt that there are plenty of economic benefits to collaboration. But it’s more than just about the money. If you’re a business with a moderately-sized crew, then it’s in your best interest to find ways to maximize productivity without grinding your workers. That means maintaining a positive work environment through their job satisfaction and general mental wellbeing.
A mentally healthy person is a smarter, and faster person. They’re more likely to be motivated and take on a greater initiative within the company, as well as come up with better ideas.
One of the ways to promote a positive work environment through mental health is to generate collaboration. And this is something shared offices and coworking spaces excel at. While competition is a basic part of human nature, we’re actually better at collaborating than we are at competing.
And while all startups and companies have to compete regardless of where they work, it’s much harder to partner and collaborate with other businesses if you don’t have a physical presence anywhere where other people work.
There’s no doubt that shared offices help companies come together and find ways to work together on projects, often improving them beyond what either party could have hoped for.
Are Coworking Spaces Always Better?
A shared office often creates a positive work environment and is usually a healthier office, mentally and socially. But there are some cons to consider as well, and it’s important to remind workers and businesses that coworking spaces are not the end-all-be-all.
It’s difficult to create a unique office culture in a shared office blended with other companies. While collaboration is healthy, there’s always the fear of competition. There are plenty of conversations and crucial decision-making steps that you should have with your company in private settings.
Depending on how you work, some of the amenities and social gatherings in shared offices can make it difficult to focus and concentrate, rather than helping you be productive.
In the end, it’s important to take from the best of both worlds to create a genuinely positive work environment. Take advantage of the incubation and flexibility of coworking spaces, while learning to develop better and more productive practices in the future.