How can coworking benefit your mental health?

When it comes to your work it can be easy to focus on material benefits when making decisions, but the value given to how much your work impacts your mental health has grown enormously in recent years.  

People now want a solution that allows them to be productive and chase their career goals while still maintaining a work life balance and keeping a focus on their mental wellbeing.

It is important for employers to pay attention to the mental wellbeing of their staff, as studies have shown that poor mental health in the workforce correlates with higher levels of absenteeism and a negative impact on productivity and profits.

The World Health Organisation has highlighted mental health in the workplace as a concern globally, stating that depression and anxiety cost the global economy the equivalent of $1 trillion US Dollars globally.

Whether you are looking to improve your personal mental wellbeing as someone who is self-employed, looking for a solution that suits you and your employer as an employee, or looking to support your staff in a better work-life balance, coworking could offer many mental health benefits.

Avoid isolation

For remote workers and freelancers, isolation can be one of the biggest downsides to work.

A survey conducted by Buffer earlier this year showed that while people enjoy and seek out remote work, 20% listed loneliness as the biggest struggle they face, and a further 20% said it was collaboration and communication that they found difficult.

These statistics highlight how highly we value social interaction and how much it impacts us when we lose that connection to our coworkers.

Coworking allows members to interact, whether it is a general chat over coffee or turning to a likeminded entrepreneur to discuss any challenges you’re facing with your business.

Reduce stress of office management

Office management can be a full-time job, and when you run a small business a lot of these responsibilities may fall on the owner or other members of staff and distract them from their main jobs.

In a coworking office, there will normally be a designated office manager who will take care of these tasks, whether it is making sure there’s ink for the printer, a fresh supply of refreshments or keeping the space clean and tidy.

This can reduce stress for those working in the space, as they know these routine tasks are taken care of.

Office managers in coworking spaces also often organise and arrange fun, morale boosting events and treats, which could be as simple as buying something nice for breakfast or getting everyone together for Christmas drinks. These small perks can have a big impact on mental wellbeing and motivation.

Benefit from perks

As well as the everyday perks your office or community manager may arrange in a coworking office, there are often other perks or benefits built into your membership that could contribute to a more positive work life balance.

These may include discounted rates at a local gym, or discounts at local cafes and restaurants.

Access to these amenities in close proximity to the office can save you both time and money and make it easier to live the lifestyle you want around work.

Meet likeminded individuals

As well as generally having people around you to talk to, coworking spaces offer you the opportunity to meet people who may work in a similar field or share similar experiences to you as a freelancer or business owner.

Being able to share your challenges and successes with likeminded individuals can go a long way to lessening the burden and can become something of a support network for you going forward.

As well as meeting people within your coworking space, new opportunities for networking may also become available to you, whether it’s events held within the space, advertised by the space or simply meet-ups that you become aware of through word of mouth.

Allows autonomy

Self-Determination Theory, which refers to people’s ability to make choices and manage their own lives, suggests that people are motivated to grow and change by three psychological needs – one of which is autonomy.

Feeling in control of your own behaviour and goals can have direct links to mental wellbeing, and also to your performance in the workplace as you are more likely to be accountable for your actions when you feel autonomous.

Most coworking spaces encourage autonomy, with members free to come and go, share innovative ideas, and collaborate as they see fit.

If you’re finding yourself increasingly stressed, anxious or depressed, whether as a result of work or another event in your life, it can be really helpful to talk. Here are a number of mental health charities, organisations and support groups who can offer advice, or check out Touch Network, who share real life stories of everyday people who keep going through hard times and come out the other side.

SO Fourteen is a fantastic coworking space located in the heart of Southampton, so if you’re ready to make a change to the way you work call us on 023 8112 5014 or get in touch via our website.

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