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Co-Working: A Cure for the Internet?

We here at CO Work'n are pretty convinced that co-working facilities are the offices of the future, and it was only recently that we realized why exactly we have that belief. Since the concept caught on a couple years ago, it has spread like wildfire, and if you give it a bit of thought, it's not hard to see the appeal. The press about co-working has grown exponentially since the concept first caught on, and with more data than ever now available about the working style, the odds are stacked firmly in our favour.

In a Harvard Business Review article entitled "Why People Thrive in Coworking Spaces", a study is referenced that discovered overall "thriving" in employees was reported as a full point higher (6 out of 7 total points) by those in co-working environments as opposed to their non-co-working counterparts. The article goes onto highlight three main findings that they discovered through interviewing a series of co-workers. Nearly everyone mentioned these points in some form: 1) co-workers see their work as meaningful, 2) they have more job control, and 3) they feel part of a community. Although all of these are relevant points, #3 really hit the nail on the head and explained why co-working is about so much more than just getting your job done and going home, as well as why we are pretty sure communal work spaces are onto something big.

In a Forbes article entitled "Text or Talk: Is Technology Making You Lonely?", contributor Margie Warwell discusses the widely accepted notion that the Internet is making our real-life relationships increasingly less meaningful, as well as eroding our social skills. To quote the article, "Recent studies have found that despite being more connected than ever, more people feel more alone than ever. Surprisingly, those who report feeling most alone, are those you’d expect it from least: young people under 35 who are the most prolific social networkers of all. Another recent study found that 48% of respondents only had one confidant compared to a similar study 25 years ago when people said they had about three people they could confide in. So as we have built expansive social networks online, the depth of our networks offline has decreased. So it seems that because technology makes it easier to stay in touch while keeping distance, more and more people find themselves feeling distant and never touching. Or at least not enough to avoid us feeling increasingly alone."

Co-working is the solution for the unforeseen consequences of being too connected: if companies all worked towards a co-working style office instead of cubicles, employees might just feel their quality of life improve overall. It is undeniable that the Internet is becoming a bigger part of our lives every day, and it is unlikely that the tech age will end anytime in the foreseeable future. With jobs in the technology field multiplying daily, it isn't difficult to understand how a cubicle is no longer a healthy or viable option for today's employees.

What do you guys think about that? Do you think co-working is helpful for tech-induced loneliness? Or do you prefer a solo work space? We want to know!

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