Need a Happiness Boost? Try Coworking

At this year’s Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) in Berkeley, Ca., Jacob Sayles, co-founder of Office Nomads in Seattle, presented the results of the spring coworking space member survey. A partnership between Office Nomads, GCUC, and Emergent Research, the survey found, among other things, that coworking makes people happier.

This is no surprise to those of us who cowork. Coworking is, at its finest, about so much more than just sharing office space—it’s about creating thriving communities. Coworking breeds professional success and grows networks, but it also helps people grow their skillset, their personal circle, and their happiness. Just how much do coworkers value coworking? Here are some of the key findings from the survey.

  • 84% said they were more engaged and motivated when coworking
  • 80% said they turn to other coworking members for help or guidance
  • 69% reported they learned new skills
  • 68% reported they improved their existing skill set
  • 87% report they meet other members for social reasons
  • 54% saying they socialize with other members after work and/or on weekends
  • 79% said coworking has expanded their social networks
  • 89% reported they are happier
  • 83% reported they are less lonely
  • 78% reported that coworking helps keep them sane

These are whopping numbers. A work environment that has 89% of people reporting that they are happier for being there is impressive, indeed. The objective for the survey was to better understand the role work-related networking played in coworking spaces, but the overwhelmingly positive personal benefits are impossible to argue.

“[D]espite our research being focused on the work aspects of coworking, the social and learning sides of coworking came out loud and clear,” wrote Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research. “To be honest, this surprised us a bit.”

You can see more survey results at Small Business Labs, and keep an eye on the GCUC website, where the full survey results will be posted in the near future.

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Image: Carlos Almansa (CC-BY-NC). Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter

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