With nearly 30% of the working age population in the US and EU now identifying as self-employed or freelance, it’s no wonder that coworking spaces are becoming ever more popular.
But while these new spaces might simply seem to provide some welcome variation from working at home, research has shown that coworking can have a hugely beneficial impact on both you and your business.
Networking and Collaboration
Coworking offers self-employed people and small businesses networking opportunities that just aren’t accessible to homeworkers, whether that’s networking with like-minded professionals from your own industry or collaborating across sectors.
In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review’s research into interpersonal relationships in coworking spaces, 82% of respondents said their professional networks had expanded since moving into coworking. 64% said that their coworking network had become one of their most important resources for finding more work and referrals.
Balance and Sociability
Working from home can be a lonely business, especially if your industry doesn’t require much face-to-face time with clients or other professionals. Coworking provides a space in which to build social connections as well as professional ones. 87% of coworkers report having met up with other members of their space for social reasons, while 83% of freelancers report feeling less lonely since joining a coworking group.
Many homeworkers also report difficulties ‘switching off’ from work mode; coworking spaces help freelancers to differentiate between work life and home life. 60% of participants in the Deskmag Global Coworking Survey said they felt more able to relax at home since they started coworking.
Flexibility and Freedom
Perhaps one of the reasons that coworking relationships are so successful is that they come without the pressures of office politics and in-team tensions. In fact, coworking offers freedom from a lot of the pressures associated with traditional offices — not least when it comes to finances.
Coworking provides an affordable way for freelancers and new businesses to enjoy all the benefits of an office space without being tied down to long-term and expensive costs. Most coworking spaces offer flexible contracts or drop-in bookings that give freelancers access to vital facilities with no financial pressure.
Productivity and Creativity
This important blend of a professional atmosphere with freedom and flexibility has a proven impact on freelancers’ ability to do their job. Several studies have shown that coworking boosts both productivity and creativity, with 85% of respondents reporting that they feel more motivated in comparison to when they work at home.
Being around other freelancers in similar or complementary fields can also be highly motivating and inspiring. 71% of coworkers say they feel more creative, while 62% say their work has noticeably improved as a result of their move into coworking.
Happiness and Success
A whopping 89% of surveyed freelancers said that they feel generally happier since joining a coworking space.
Since happy workers are productive workers, as the saying goes, these happiness stats translate into real business success, with 41% of coworkers saying they’d experienced a rise in income as a result of their new work space.
If you’re currently renting expensive office space or would like to break away from home-working, we’d love to have you here at D-Lab — fill out our contact form to get in touch today and see what coworking can do for you.