New study shows employees are resorting to coworking spaces to prevent loneliness and isolation.
Research shows that loneliness is a growing problem for working Americans, and the shift towards remote work may be making it worse.
The solution for many of these employees is not a return to the office but rather working from socially fulfilling spaces outside the office.
Connie Hadley, an organizational psychologist, teamed up with Ben Marks, founder and executive director of the #WorkAnywhere Campaign, and professor Sarah Wright to study the issue of social connection and remote work.
The trio surveyed over 800 employees in spring 2022. “Results showed that people are creatively solving their loneliness issues by finding a pseudo-office in third spaces, which include coworking sites”
“These third spaces are more socially fulfilling than working from the office or from home. Respondents found they could get a sense of relaxed but welcoming community from going to these sites.”, Hadley said.
The researchers agreed that employers concerned about employee well-being need to think beyond the either/or choice of working in the office or at home.
The study found that the main benefit to remote workers is that they are working in a space that is purposely designed to get work done.
“There’s also the intention to build community,” the trio explained. “That’s the difference from just working in a public space. Without the conversations around the coffee station or lunch table, you’re still alone in public.”