Why do shared offices beat working from home?

Chris Polizois

It may catch you by surprise to learn that there are over 15,000 coworking spaces — also known as shared offices — around the world. These new workspaces are rapidly springing up, especially in urban hubs such as New York City, Houston, London, and Madrid.  Yet the coworking wave is still far from hitting shore, with a projected 35,000 additional spaces opening in the next five years.  Commercial real estate, restaurants, and even campers are being redesigned and repurposed to suit this exploding market.

Why is this new work concept exploding?  It’s simple: we are social beings and enjoy being in contact with other humans.

We often feel lonely when working from home, disconnected from the world. We miss those spontaneous conversations by the water cooler. It’s fun to hear from a peer about that trendy new Greek restaurant or that must-watch Netflix documentary about cryptocurrency.  And yes, despite 75% of the workforce projected to be millennials by 2025, we still actually communicate outside of Facebook.

We all can agree there is merit to being around other like-minded people. This is why digital nomads, who can work virtually anywhere with an internet connection, choose to pay monthly memberships to coworking spaces.  And without sounding too much like Tony Robbins, it’s safe to say shaping your environment with entrepreneurial, innovative minds will undoubtedly have an impact on your creativity.

Furthermore, the benefits of coworking spaces go beyond just people – environmental psychology is a factor too. Some remote workers, myself included, are fortunate enough to have a home office. But despite having a fancy standing desk, I still found myself frequently camped out at the kitchen table or hunched over the coffee table, neither designed for productivity.

A smiling woman in front of a colorful, striped background, holding an ice cream cone.

So how does a workspace coordinate with the task at hand? Well, people have preferences. Chocolate or vanilla? Spicy or mild? The beach or the mountains? Similarly, having control over your workspace leads to creative thinking. Good coworking spaces are typically filled with lots of natural light and decorated with soft, calming colors. Leafy green plants add a peaceful escape from the busy outside world. Natural woods and light diffuser scents are present to add to your contentment. With your environment playing so much into your mood and thoughts, wouldn’t it be wise to settle into an office more conducive to working?

Image of a modern, coworking space lounge.

When thinking about the usual office amenities, printers and stale coffee are typically the first things that come to mind.  With an increasing number of documents being stored digitally, and people springing for caffeine in other healthier forms, what other office amenities matter to the average employee? Snacks, high speed internet, video conferencing rooms, and even fresh fruit juices are staples in any coworking space. Having a range of amenities paired with a balanced blend of bright professionals make working from a shared office more productive and enjoyable than the anti-social home office.

Want to work closer to home? Ask your employer about the Upflex App to gain access to beautifully inspiring coworking spaces around the world.