This great blog was posted on the Groundwork New Bedford website. Written by Sarah Athanas the founder of this dynamic co-working space. This blog speaks to the productive work habits a co-working space can provide.
Would you like to feel more satisfied, balanced, and maybe even inspired at the end of your work day? I recently asked a few Groundwork members why they like coworking, and some of their answers surprised me. I’m sure you’ve heard all the conventional reasons for joining a coworking space: networking, cost-savings, flexibility, coffee, etc. But did you know that a coworking space is a magical container that practically guarantees you’ll have better work outcomes?
You see, when you step inside these doors, there’s a collective energy that keeps you on task, and can even help you stay away from the cookie jar. And while I’ve known that intuitively for years, hearing our members share some personal stories made this concept crystal clear.
Need your own cookie police?
There’s something about being in a public space and being “seen” all day that makes it a little harder to sneak extra snacks. Is it food shame? Less of the boredom that propels us into the kitchen? Who knows. Whatever the reason, Groundwork member Marlissa says that she “eats one cookie instead of five” when she spends the day here.
Facebook shame (one kind of shame that might actually be helpful)
We’ve all done it: You tire of the task at hand and open a new tab to stare mindlessly at Facebook, only to awaken from a trance 30 minutes later. Do you realize that every 30 minutes on Facebook/IG/Pinterest/etc. is 30 minutes more that your workday will stretch into the evening hours? This is not a good thing. Fortunately, it seems that most of our members feel too shameful to browse social media out in the open of a coworking space. GW member Pam confides “When other people are working and getting things done, I feel too embarrassed to look at Facebook or recipes.” Sometimes a little public visibility isn’t such a bad thing.
Work breaks that are actually productive.
Work breaks at home can sometimes be productive– you might take out the trash or throw in a load of laundry. But more often than not, you are wandering into the kitchen for a little pick-me-up. One of our members, Midori, pointed out that when she takes a break at Groundwork, she often ends up chatting with a member, which can lead to a great idea, a new insight, or a breakthrough at work.
Sometimes you need to change your seat.
Sitting in the same seat all day long can put your brain into a rut. GW member Margo, a productivity coach, says that she loves being able to move around the open coworking space at Groundwork. “When I’m at home or in a private office, there’s only one place where I can work. At Groundwork I can move to a different space, which makes it easier to transition between tasks or meetings.”
Be around people, without being with people.
I’m an introvert, but I need to be around people. Yanno what I mean? I learned a long time ago that working alone in a private space (home or office) was not good for my mental health.
And yet I’m shy. I don’t love always being social. Coworking is the best of both worlds. I can be around people and feel like I’m part of the community, but I only have to engage in conversation when I want to. It’s an introvert’s dream come true!
It’s like the coffee shop, without the coffee hangover.
Hanging out in coffee shops is great. I miss doing that, and I hope it will return soon. But when you’ve got several hours of work to do, you have to keep consuming coffee and sugar to justify occupying your table. As Pam pointed out, coworking is like being in a coffee shop… without the caffeine hangover. (Side note: we provide bottomless, locally roasted coffee to all our members. But you don’t have to drink it all day.)
Not being isolated is good for us.
I could go on and on… I got pages of notes from our members! Hopefully you can see the theme emerging. All of these examples point to the positive value of not being isolated at work. Being around other people really does bring out the best in us, and that’s what coworking is all about. It’s the best productivity “hack” I know. So if you want to break out of your bubble and feel the connection of working alongside other people, give Groundwork a try. You can book a tour online and see for yourself.