In case you’ve been living in a cave over the last few months, Deskmag recently put together their Third Annual Coworking Survey. Lots of interesting data in the report, but the one item that really caught my eye was the claim that “Former home-workers increase in their income and productivity above all else”.
When we talk about “productivity” — if ever there was a more loaded word, by the way — people sit up and take notice. Can coworking make those of us home workers more productive?
According to the Deskmag study, and I quote, “The biggest benefits experienced by ex-home-workers, however, is increased productivity (23% more than ex-office workers) and an increase in income (32% more).”
So, if I read this correctly, those folks who decided to kick off the slippers and make the big move to a coworking space experienced not only greater productivity than those coming out of a traditional office experience, but also greater income! So the question ringing in my ears is; why?
Since the report doesn’t delve too deeply into the why’s or wherefore’s, here are a few of my own. And I’d like to hear yours.
Other people around us keep us more alert. We physically and mentally perk up when there are people around us. Have you ever noticed the tendency to “show off” a little, when we’re around our peers? We want to demonstrate that we are on the track to success. The inverse of that is sitting hunkered down at home. The stimulus is gone!
Home offices may be less than business like. That’s sort of a euphemism for: Stuffy home office, probably doubling as a guest room, or storage space for all your cast-off furniture, and other unmentionables. If “you are what you eat” or “you’re only as good as the company you keep” the natural extension might be “you are only as businesslike as the office you work in?” The script in your head is: After all, I’m only working at home, how serious am I about success? Not a productive mantra.
Neighborhood distractions — Dogs barking, kids outside, babies crying, the dryer or dishwasher going on and off. Or… just silence. Hearing the sounds of productive coworkers around us, helps us get and stay focused and be… well… productive.
But here’s the defining difference. The one that stands apart from the rest. We are paying for the coworking space. Few things are more motivating than getting the most out of what we pay for.
So with all these obvious reasons, plus a study to boot, why isn’t everyone coworking? Are we home based workers just too comfortable in our bunkers? What would it take to dislodge us? I have a few theories coming soon.