How Coworking Spaces Are Critical for Mental Health
Coworking has become more and more popular over the years. As businesses shut down their physical spaces, it is likely to become even more popular. Coworking is great because it can accommodate a lot of different types of businesses. There are spaces that are best for jobs that require sitting at a computer all day, some spaces cater to artists and cooks, and others cater to therapists. If you’re worried you don’t have the type of job that would do well in a coworking space, it is worth doing some research, a space for you probably exists.
Coworking is about more than just providing a desk for you to sit at while you work, these spaces also provide community. We spend so much of our lives working and when we don’t feel good about our work day, our mental health suffers. Coworking spaces can help boost positive feelings in several different ways.
Coworking Helps You Be More Creative
Inspiration is often hard to find when you’ve been sitting alone staring at your computer for 8 hours. One of the big benefits of working in an office is that there are people around to inspire you and to bounce ideas off. Many ideas come to us when we aren’t trying too hard and are just going about our lives. Someone might be in a completely different type of work, but their idea might help you with your next project or help you feel inspired. Being creative and feeling inspired boost productivity and feelings of happiness.
Coworking Provides a Social Outlet
Humans are social creatures. Connections with others is what gives our life meaning. Although in some ways we have been able to connect with more people during this pandemic by increasing our use of virtual meetings, it hasn’t been quite the same as sitting with someone and having a coffee or sharing a meal. It’s hard to pick up on certain emotions and cues virtually which can lead to feeling disconnected. Even if it is a simple greeting or a smile, small, positive interactions with people can boost your mood.
Coworking Helps Create Boundaries in Your Life
A lot of us fell into the pajamas on the bottom, work shirt on top routine over the past year. Some days that’s great and it’s nice to not have to put on real pants. But, over time this starts to not feel great, motivation starts to dip, and your work day has no defined beginning or ending. Having boundaries with your pajamas is a good thing (#pajamaboundaries) and although commutes are not always fun, they provide an important signal to the brain that work time is either starting or ending. Doing work at home makes it much harder to disconnect from work and focus on fun things. And if you do work in your bedroom, it can actually disrupt your sleep. Putting on some pants and traveling to your local coworking space will leave you feeling much more refreshed when you get back home.
Coworking spaces foster community, create an environment where you can be productive, and help give you boundaries between home life and work life. All of these things are critical for maintaining good mental health. To check out some amazing coworking spaces in Atlanta, check out the Atlanta Coworking Alliance.
Anne Rice, LPC, has a practice, Firefly Wellness Counseling, in Avondale Estates, Georgia. She also runs a coworking space for therapists called Blue House Wellness and is an advisor for RightFit.