Before COVID-19 interrupted our lives, loneliness was already an epidemic. The structure of our lives continues to leave millions of us feeling alone, yet we don’t talk about it and instead, try to ignore it. When stay-at-home orders were announced across the country, the forced isolation skyrocketed the loneliness epidemic overnight. People who were connected suddenly weren’t anymore. People who felt strength through their social networks found themselves instantly alone. We were all left feeling apart, adrift, and lonely. We were all left without human company, camaraderie, and accountability. The good news: It doesn’t have to be that way.
Did you know that the coworking industry was practically built to combat loneliness? While coworking may not be for everyone (and there are certainly apps and co-living organizations that take different approaches to solve the loneliness epidemic as well), Haven Collective has been on a mission to end isolation for a few years now, so we get it.
Studies have shown that CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and remote-workers continue to experience higher levels of loneliness, anxiety, stress, and depression than those who work in traditional offices. Many of those feelings come from carrying the weight of making every decision and making them alone. Beyond that, the majority of those individuals admit that the feelings come from the isolation of working from home without coworkers and not having a sense of community around them.
Today, millions of people have been asked to self-isolate, work from home, and socially distance when outside the house. Increasingly, companies are either allowing employees not to go back to the office or they’re announcing they will go entirely remote with their workforces for the foreseeable future. So now even more people are trying to cope with the loneliness that’s been brought on by the pandemic. The good news is that this “new normal” doesn’t mean you have to stay by yourself forever. Coworking is available to help end isolation and defeat the loneliness of working from home.
Here are four ways you can defeat loneliness with coworking
Community. Do you know who belongs to coworks? Like-minded professionals like you. Coworking comes with a built-in opportunity to collaborate, share, and build community. Haven’s collective of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and work-from-home professionals connects virtually as well as in-person in safe ways that follow CDC guidelines. A 2017 HBR piece found that coworking offers many professional benefits – among them, it was the social benefits that were reported most often to help members of coworking spaces.
Networking Opportunities. A great network, either professional or personal, is built over time by actually meeting new people and making connections. We actively facilitate connections every day based on the individual needs of our community members. Regular events are held virtually or in-person and are another great way to network, share what you do, and form real-world connections. And of course, many people make new friendships that go beyond the workplace from networking, too.
Workplace Wellness. Mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, and events led by life coaches are some of the most popular perks of many coworking memberships. And yes, we’ve got them, too! Our community enjoys these perks as a regular benefit that helps us all de-stress and stay present.
Accountability Partners. Do you have one? One thing that solopreneurs, small business owners, and many work-from-home professionals miss most about working in an office is being able to work with a partner or a team, and the way having others help keep them accountable can motivate and drive them forward. Beyond connecting directly with your fellow coworkers, you can access private coaching and group masterminds we’ve specifically designed around accountability, support, and getting results.
Loneliness can be as bad for your health as many long-term illnesses according to experts. If you’re suffering from the impacts of isolation, you might as well smoke 15 cigarettes a day instead! Physically, loneliness can present (that’s the word the doctors use) as heart palpitations, panic attacks, low energy, and lack of motivation. Increased social isolation can also be both a cause and a symptom of mental health disorders. So, it’s important to recognize your feelings and experiment with strategies (like coworking) to see what works best for you. And don’t forget: it’s okay to ask for help. You’re not alone.
As our society continues to change, especially as the number of people working remotely increases (and for longer periods of time), we’ll continue to fight the fight against isolation and loneliness for you and with you.
Coworking to shine brighter, together.