Co-working spaces are more socially fulfilling than offices, finds new research from Selina.
The research, ‘Social Connection in Remote Work’ also found a link between working from home and loneliness.
The ‘most lonely’ employees spend more time working from home (77.2%) than ‘least lonely’ employees (64.1%).
It was also found that ‘home’ ranks lowest when employees rate how socially fulfilling they find their primary work location.
On the other hand, co-working spaces were reported as the most socially fulfilling work locations, even more than offices.
A staggering 42 percent of all respondents said they feel most socially fulfilled and connected to other people in ‘third spaces’ (compared to 33% ‘in office’ and 26% ‘at home’).
When asked which ‘third space’ they feel most socially fulfilled and connected to other people, an overwhelming majority of 60.7 percent said ‘co-working spaces.’
Unsurprisingly, 68 percent of respondents believe making social connections during the workday is important. Also, 59.7 percent of respondents want to make stronger personal connections with ‘neighbours and people in the community.’
This suggests that workers wish to make social connections throughout the day.
Loneliness and disconnection
“Organizations are struggling with how to create a sense of belonging to combat employee loneliness and disconnection. This research examines what steps organizations, policymakers, and workers can take post-pandemic to bolster social connectivity and well-being at work, no matter where it is conducted” said Dr. Hadley.
She continued, “Importantly, the results pertain to not just organizational employees but also to the large numbers of contractors and freelancers who contribute to our global economy.”
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness website, loneliness is estimated to shorten one’s lifespan by up to 15 years and may cause serious ailments including strokes, heart disease, dementia and more. It also impacts attitudes towards work, and the SCRW study found that the ‘most lonely’ employees think about leaving their job more often than the ‘least lonely’ employees.
“After two years of lockdowns and social distancing, many people associate remote work with isolation and disconnection. Those advocating for a widespread return-to-office have cited loneliness as a key reason,” said Ben Marks, Founder & CEO of #WorkAnywhere. “This study was launched to answer this crucial question with hard data, and we hope it will help policymakers and businesses protect and empower workers.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.