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A Solution to Combat Loneliness and Improve Mental Health

In recent years, the United States has seen a dramatic rise in loneliness. According to a Harvard study, 36% of all Americans, including 61% of young adults and 51% of mothers with young children, report feeling "seriously lonely." This issue extends beyond personal lives and permeates professional settings as well. While remote work offers flexibility and convenience, it can sometimes amplify feelings of isolation.

Coworking spaces provide a solution to counter these trends, offering a supportive community where people can find meaningful connections and enhance their well-being. Gone are the days when coworking spaces were marketed solely for reliable WiFi and desks. The origin of "coworking" lies in "community + working," and these spaces now offer environments that nurture human connection and improve mental health. At Workbar, we updated our tagline to “We saved you a seat” to convey a sense of inclusiveness and belonging. 

Here's how coworking can positively impact your mental health:

  • Building a Sense of Community and Belonging
    • Human Connection: Coworking spaces bring together professionals from diverse backgrounds, creating opportunities for organic conversations and meaningful connections. These interactions foster a sense of belonging that can be deeply reassuring. Workbar has been around since 2009, and we've tried measuring community in countless ways. Time and time again, it comes down to seeing our members arrive as strangers and leave as friends who hang out outside of Workbar.
    • Shared Experiences: Whether you're a freelancer, entrepreneur, CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or remote employee, the challenges of professional life can often feel isolating. Being surrounded by people who understand your struggles can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness.

  • Reducing Isolation through Networking and Collaboration
    • Collaborative Opportunities: Coworking spaces host networking events, workshops, and social gatherings, helping you expand your professional network while providing social stimulation. Want to get away from your desk during lunch? Join one of the many events happening in the space or sit down at a table with other people. We saved you a seat (see what I did there?).
    • Natural Interactions: Unlike traditional office settings where teams can be siloed, coworking spaces promote spontaneous conversations over coffee or during shared breaks, leading to genuine connections.

  • Access to Wellness Programs and Support
    • Health and Wellness Activities: Many coworking spaces offer yoga classes, meditation sessions, or fitness facilities that encourage a healthy lifestyle. At Workbar, we specifically chose locations close to outdoor spaces. Workbar Needham is across from the Cutler Park Reservation, and Workbar Arlington is on the Minuteman Bike Path. These are not accidents; we purposefully chose these locations so members could easily access outdoor spaces.
    • Mental Health Resources: Some spaces provide access to mental health professionals, webinars, and events focused on stress management and resilience.

  • Fostering a Positive Work Culture
    • Supportive Environment: Coworking communities are built on the values of openness, collaboration, and mutual support, fostering a positive atmosphere that reduces the competitiveness often found in traditional workplaces.
    • Encouragement and Inspiration: Being surrounded by driven and innovative professionals can inspire new ideas and approaches, helping you stay motivated and positive.  At Workbar, one of our most popular events is our weekly “Workbar Wins” where our members share their wins for the week.
  • Flexibility to Choose Your Ideal Work Environment
    • Customized Spaces: Whether you need a quiet corner for focused work or a buzzing environment for creativity, coworking spaces provide different zones to suit your preferences. Our coworking neighborhoods are zoned by noise level, and the Community Norms are displayed for everyone to see.
    • Regional Network: Our regional network of spaces allows you to maintain a consistent work routine while traveling throughout Greater Boston.

In an age where loneliness and isolation are increasingly common, coworking spaces offer more than just a physical location to work. They provide a supportive community, a structured environment, and resources that can significantly boost mental health. Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking like-minded individuals or a remote worker craving social interaction, coworking spaces could be the key to enhancing your productivity and well-being.

If you're looking for a way to combat the loneliness epidemic and improve your mental health, consider joining a coworking community. The shared experiences, connections, and positivity you'll find might be just what you need.