We Need Human Interaction
Most everyone has heard of or participated in the gig economy: an entire marketplace based on businesses pairing up with independent contractors that specialize in niche tasks. Although its arrival has made it easier than ever before for entrepreneurs to do what they love, it has also introduced a new wave of loneliness that is entirely unprecedented.
Solopreneurs, freelancers, and start-ups certainly enjoy their fair share of benefits:
- individuals can now do what they love
- on their own schedule
- technically from anywhere in the world
It’s the opposite of a 9-5 job. It comes with loads of freedom. With freedom comes just as many challenges, such as focusing on the loneliness that comes from working entirely alone. Within the same four walls. Day in and day out.
When we work alone, we miss the face-to-face interaction that is essential to mental stability and happiness. As someone that specialized in face-to-face events for many years, I know the value of this interaction cannot be underestimated. Humans are biologically social creatures, which means we need to socialize to feel fulfillment at the end of the day.
Loneliness: What Is It and How Do You Measure It?
Sadness because one has no friends or company.
Since we are built to be social, that means part of our psyche is only fulfilled through talking, touching, engaging, or collaborating with other human beings. This is nothing new, has been around since the beginning and is one of the reasons that the event and exhibit industries continue to thrive.
A social term like “loneliness” is not necessarily easy to measure. Different institutions and psychologists have taken a stab at creating a loneliness scale. I particularly like how the “Campaign to End Loneliness” summed it up: nobody who wants company should be without it.
Three statements are used to gauge loneliness:
- I am content with my friendships and relationships
- I have enough people I feel comfortable asking for help at any time
- My relationships are as satisfying as I want them to be
If you work for yourself, or from home, then chances are, you disagree to some extent with at least one of those statements. When technology wasn’t as pervasive, people had to interact with other people to do just about anything. Isolation wasn’t a common part of the economy. Today, we are seeing a drastic shift that only points to more isolation as the gig economy is expected to swell in the coming years.
It’s a topic that you should not take lightly as we all work to find solutions to this new age of existence.
What are you to do?
Since 84% of coworking members report being more engaged and motivated when in a shared work environment, one possible solution is coworking.
Part 2 will address the specific benefits that coworking brings to the human experience.
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