The Australian workforce is rapidly changing: the e-business revolution, technology, remote work teams, and an increase in freelancing and flexible work conditions has led to an explosion in the number of people working from home. And whilst this independent, flexible work is still the envy of many stuck in the nine to five grind, the reality for many workers in the lifestyle is quite different.
For a growing number of people, the freedom of independent work is leading to feelings of isolation and depression. It is not uncommon for freelance or independent workers, especially those living alone to have long stretches where they have little to no engagement with people outside of email. So, with a national uplift in loneliness, exacerbated by an increase in solo workers, how can people avoid ending up talking to an inanimate object like Tom Hanks in Castaway?
Adventure can be lonely…even in business.
The answer is not a new one, create opportunities for interaction. Co-working as a work lifestyle has for the last ten years revolutionised the way independent workers connect and engage with their professional environment. Many co-working spaces (especially the independent spaces) strive to create more than desk opportunities but a community.
How this is achieved can differ greatly from location to location, so it is important for prospective co-workers to find a space that suits their needs. This might mean finding an industry focused space; or a space that provides better opportunities to network or engage in professional development; a place with a dog and a ping pong; a space with amazing Friday night social events; or it might be all of the above.
The flexibility and affordability of co-working also appeal to the often tight budget of the startup/ freelance space. Sometimes even one day per week is sufficient to keep loneliness at bay. Many spaces offer flexible co-working options and it is important to explore an option that fits within the budget of the business.
Recently, Inspire 9 at Richmond launch a new membership that includes 4 days per month in the space as well as all the other perks of the community for as little as $100 a month, making professional socialization more flexible and affordable than ever before.
According to a Lifeline CEO Peter Shmigle “For a society that is more technologically connected than we have ever been, these results suggest we’re overlooking good old-fashioned care and compassion when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing,”.
If this article resonates with you, rather than slowly going crazy at home in pyjamas wondering how Tom Hanks survived as long as he did, why not explore co-working today and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a tour today.
She looks after all things resident related including organising the speaking and education program, social event, supporting i9 community and its alumni and well as stakeholder and partnership engagement.
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- Co-work your way to happiness: How freelancers can avoid isolation - November 5, 2018