Why is worker productivity declining? According to Robert Gordon of Northwestern University, whose book The Rise and Fall of American Growth, “Most of it (the economy) is operating by the same business methods and procedures that have been in place for at least 10 years.”
It has little to do with social-media-inspired slacking off and more to do with workers having outgrown existing technology and closely linked to the growing loneliness epidemic.
UPDATE 2021: Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the shift to remote work has given rise to a workforce suffering from more loneliness and isolationism. Working from home isn’t a long-term solution for many and having policies that allow for flexible coworking will be mandatory to attract the best employee.
UPDATE 2022: After two years, employers are looking to bring workers back to the office. Workers have found they like the flexibility working remotely provides. And it’s clear they won’t give it up easily since 59% prefer a hybrid work location according to a Gallop poll.
One answer to a potential productivity issue is coworking. Coworking creates a collaborative workspace, a concept that started in areas like San Francisco and New York, but has grown and continues growing like wildfire because of how well it works for solopreneurs, start-ups, small businesses as well as remote workers. Employer sponsored coworking provides solutions to several issues that remote workers and their employers face each day.
Real Estate Expenses
Let’s get real: do you want your employees maintaining a building or working on your core business? Coworking reduces businesses expenses when it comes to a variety of different operating costs, with the biggest being real estate. This is something that is especially important as your company grows and evolves, requiring more (or less) employees to maintain. Colliers International estimates that coworking decreases real estate expenses approximately 16%. Businesses typically save on furniture, office supplies and technology as well. Employer sponsored coworking offers a business a lot of flexibility. A seasonal business can expand temporarily during their busy season without having to worry about an expensive (and long-term) lease. Businesses who utilize coworking can also better accommodate employees that travel a lot or if they need to work on a project off-site.
Personal and Career Growth
Remote employees working from home can miss out on the thing all people crave: human interaction. Employer sponsored coworking provides a place for learning and growth potential through such interactions. Coworkers can work independently or reach out to work together closely. With a diverse group of other coworkers, they are able to brainstorm with and ask advice. People learn better from other people, which is why schools focus so heavily on group projects. Not only can employees learn more in this type of setting, but they are also able to grow their network. A larger network is great for both the business and the employee.
One part of the productivity equation is the the increase in happiness an employee feels in the coworking space. This is important because a happier employee is a more productive employee. They will have a more positive attitude, which will reduce the amount of stress that they experience while at work. Aside from the happiness factor, global research by Deskmag indicates that 74% of coworkers state that their productivity is increased since they feel better able to meet deadlines and are more creative. Not to mention all the tools available to remote workers now.
Why should you believe me?
Sure, I own a coworking business and have quite a few remote workers at Alkaloid Networks. You could say I was biased but studies continue to weigh-in on this concept and have shown that this can be an exceptional tool for any business. And I understand how it feels to be isolated in a home office first hand. I worked at home for 10 years and, as much as I love my cat, she didn’t provide the face-to-face engagement I needed with other humans.
Employees thrive in coworking environments, having better focus and drive to complete projects on time. OfficeVibe shares further research that an estimated 70% of employees feel as though they are healthier working in a coworking setting rather than a traditional office setting.
There are many reasons as to why a business should consider employer sponsored coworking as an option for remote workers. You can also expand your business without spending a fortune. Coworking is the future of the business world.
Find a membership level that works for you and your organization here.