How Coworking Can Boost Your Health

Coworking promises to boost your creativity, offer valuable networking opportunities, and increase your productivity. Could there also be some hidden health benefits to boot? It would appear so. Coworking brings individuals and businesses together in an environment like no other. This results in a positive effect on both your physical and mental well-being. In fact, 70% of coworkers claim to feel healthier, as opposed to those working from traditional office environments. Meanwhile, 60% are more relaxed at home since they have started coworking, a research tells us.

It definitely makes perfect sense. The standard 9-5 working week can be counterproductive to good health. Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle can harm us. So do you believe coworking can boost your health? Several scientific studies would suggest so.

Coworking = Longer Life?

First off, coworking can boost your health by providing you the opportunity to interact with other coworking members. In this environment, you get to create strong professional and personal partnerships. Social relationships, according to PLoS Medicine, are key to good health. Their study further said:

“Quite remarkably, the degree of mortality risk associated with lack of social relationships is similar to that which exists for more widely publicized risk factors, such as smoking.”

Claiming a lack of social interaction is as dangerous as smoking may seem a little far fetched for some. However, it is still a core principle to ensuring good mental health with 90% of coworkers claiming to feel more confident when working in these space. So yes, coworking can boost your health.

Professor Clay Spinuzzi, from the University of Texas, completed a 20-month survey across nine Austin-based coworking spots. His goal was to investigate the benefits and services such spaces provided.

Spinuzzi later said:

“Many of the coworkers I interviewed emphasized mental and emotional health. One, in particular, said that when she tried to work from home, she got severely depressed and had a hard time working. Others had less severe experiences, but did report feeling disconnected from people when they worked from home. Coworking lifted their mood simply because they could talk to people... It gave them a greater sense of emotional security because they had built friendly relations with other coworkers.”

A great place to build relationships

Coworking is also the perfect environment to foster relationships, compared with coffee shops and similar locations.

As Perttu Salovaara, adjunct assistant professor at the Stern School of Business, New York University, said:

“Simply put, human connection, other people around to talk to, is something that drives people to coworking. Home, cafés or an occasional few words with a fruit seller do not suffice.”

The adaptable nature of coworking and other flexible working initiatives also bring positive mental health effects, the research reveals.

The Coworking Workout

These days, many coworking companies are offering their members with health conscious benefits such as gym memberships, free fruits, yoga classes and others.

Here at The Farm SoHo, for example, we've actively started hosting fitness classes on a weekly basis ranging from Zumba to yoga to meditation. We're also taking steps to give members access to organic/local food from farms at reasonable prices.

Furthermore, some coworking spots are taking things one step further by putting health and wellness at the forefront of their offerings. Case in point, the recently-opened Primary NYC promises "an array of amenities designed to help people feel good while working to make their businesses thrive."

Indeed, coworking spaces have an increasing responsibility to improve the health of their communities. Farm SoHo marketing manager Sancar Ayalp put it this way:

“Coworking spaces will grow to eventually become central to businesses and individuals all around the world, so the responsibility of coworking spaces will grow with their ubiquitousness. Health is the first and foremost front where this needs to happen since it has direct correlation with employee productivity on a business level and happiness on a more personal level.”

The crossover between exercise classes, for example, and improved productivity are clear. Ansel Liu, founder and MD of Nomad, a web platform and iOS app that helps people find coworking spaces, likewise explained:

“When you work from a coworking space, once you’re focused, you might not get a chance to meet the people in the space. When you have a class or an event to bring people together, like a healthy breakfast or a pilates session, it creates the perfect situation to make new business connections and friends. It sounds oxymoronic but it’s a bit of ‘organized serendipity’. ”

Conclusion

The health benefits of coworking are clear to see and come down to the one key feature: interaction. Coworking encourages interaction, from conversations to kickboxing classes. They stimulate both the body and the mind to give their communities a much-needed boost both from a mental and physical health perspective.

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