Coworking Impact On Mental Health
This is the fourth segment in a six-part series about the impact of coworking on local communities (parts 1, 2 and 3). We continue the series with a focus on mental health by Anne Rice, Founder of Blue House Wellness located in Avondale Estates.
As a mental health therapist, I have seen the devastating impact the pandemic has had on our mental health. As an owner of a coworking space, I have seen the tremendous support these communities can provide during difficult times.
Coworking spaces provide so much more than a desk for you to sit while you work. These spaces also provide a vibrant community helping you feel more motivated and connected. Much of our day is spent working and when we don’t feel good about our work or even the space where we are having to work, our mental health quickly suffers. With many of us continuing to work from home, while some businesses are shutting down physical spaces completely. Although working from home can be fun (at first), going to an office has major mental health benefits.
Coworking Provides a Social Outlet
Humans are social creatures, even those of us who are introverted. Social connections give our life meaning. We have been able to connect with many people during the pandemic thanks to virtual meeting but that does not provide the same type of connection as grabbing coffee with someone or having a meeting over a meal. Verbal cues and emotions can be hard to pick up virtually and that can lead to feeling even more disconnected. Small, positive interactions as simple as passing someone on the way to get water and smiling, can boost your mood.
Coworking Helps You Be More Creative
Inspiration is not usually found by staring at our computer for 8 hours straight. It is found by interacting with the world— with nature and other people. Coworking spaces are amazing because oftentimes there are people who do completely different work than you. Talking with people outside your field helps you see things differently which can increase creativity and help you get moving on your next project. Inspiration and creativity boost feelings of happiness which in turn, helps increase our productivity.
Coworking Helps Create Boundaries in Your Life
It was easy to fall into the pajamas on the bottom, work shirt on top routine over the past year. Initially, this might have been fun and felt freeing but over time, this starts to make us feel less motivated. When your work day has no defined beginning or ending, which often happens when you work from home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by work responsibilities even when you are trying to relax and watch your favorite show. That couch that used to be a refuge is now where you are making stressful work decisions.
Having a defined work space and a defined relaxing space is critical for mental health. Our homes should feel like a safe space we want to be and not a space where work problems are constantly running through our heads. Having a coworking space provides that boundary making us feel much happier when we are spending time with our family at 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 find some amazing coworking spaces in Atlanta, visit the Atlanta Coworking Alliance.
Read Part 1: Coworking Impact on Local Retail
Read Part 2: Coworking Impact on Local Services
Read Part 3: Coworking Impact on Local Communities