Coworking and the Pursuit of Workplace Happiness
When it comes to workplace happiness, most people are willing to compromise. We don't see being happy in the workplace as a realistic goal; after all, the workplace is where we go because we have to, not because we want to. As long as we don't get fired, that's a good outcome for many of us already.
The fact is, when it comes to workplace happiness, we can have our cake and eat it too. We recently conducted one of the most in depth study into coworking spaces, and the data that has emerged has convinced us that for many of us, the key to being happy at work might just lie in coworking. But first thing's first.
What is Workplace Happiness?
While there is no one agreed upon definition of just what constitutes being happy at work, according to a report released by Steelcase, there are 6 key factors that need to be met to create a sense of workplace happiness:
- Optimism: Optimism is arguably the single most important ingredient to being happy, and by extension, at work as well. It means regardless of the stress or overwhelming challenges at hand, you're able to stay positive.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a state wherein you're able to find enjoyment in your surroundings while staying focused on your tasks. All work no fun is a recipe for becoming unhappy.
- Authenticity: Having to put up a front constantly is exhausting, and is one of the key reasons people are unhappy at work. Authenticity means being able to just be yourself at work without fear of judgement.
- Belonging: Humans are tribal, social beings, so it's no surprise the immeasurable impact a sense of belonging- or inversely feeling left out- have on our sense of happiness and self worth.
- Meaning: For most of us, the sense that what are you doing has meaning or is making an impact is a crucial component to staying motivated and happy at work.
- Vitality: Vitality is the sense of being alive and active both physically and emotionally.
When all or at least most of the conditions above are met, there's a good chance you will feel happy at work.
Coworking and Workplace Happiness
So how does coworking fit in in the pursuit of workplace happiness? If we examine each of the conditions above, we can see that coworking by its very nature can fulfill a lot of what's missing in a traditional office or even working at home to bring genuine happiness to work.
Working with like minded strangers brings optimism as we hear people's stories of success, trials and tribulations. We're able to just be ourselves without pretense. There is no boss to impress, no singular culture to conform to. A strong sense of belonging is inevitable as we meet people sooner or later that share the same values and dreams as us without actually being in competition. With the myriad of different people stream in and out of coworking spaces, there is never a bored moment as each day brings new surprises and stories from characters from all industries and walks of life.
The Proof is in the Numbers
In our comprehensive curation of coworking related statistics in 2019, we were able to find many data points that supported the assertion that working in coworking spaces makes for happier, more productive workers. Some of the most startling ones are:
- 89% of coworking members are happier while 83% feel less lonely after joining a flexible workspace.
- 70% of coworkers report feeling healthier.
- 87% of users meet their coworkers for social reasons with 54% socializing with other coworking members after work and on weekends.
- 74% of coworkers are more productive.
- 64% of coworkers are better able to meet deadlines.
- 68% claim to have better focus.
- 69% of members have acquired new skills, and 68% have improved their existing skill set because of coworking.
Can coworking significantly contribute to your happiness and overall sense of well being at work? Can it really be that simple? The numbers seem to back it up.