After a year cooped up at home, many people who have worked remotely since the pandemic’s early days in mid-March 2020 are ready to mingle. Even the most introverted among us is likely ready for a bit of in-person human interaction.
Research shows that the prolonged withdrawal from our daily lives and connection with coworkers and others outside our homes has taken a toll on people. The Conference Board survey, conducted in September, shows a 40% increase in the number of people reporting mental health problems and a 35% decrease in people reporting high levels of personal well-being.
Once the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available, people will be eager to see one another, meet up, and discuss things in person. Zoom and Teams have proven business-saving tools, but they are ill-suited to supporting the kind of impromptu conversations that build camaraderie and culture – the kinds of interactions that lead to true employee engagement.
Again, coworking provides interaction-hungry people with an ideal solution. Not only can people chat with coworkers, but they can also once again make new friends or business contacts from a different company in the shared kitchen space or make weekend plans over coffee.
Challenges still lie ahead in 2022 for all of us, but with the right approach, coworking providers can help make the best of the difficult hand we’ve all been dealt and not only give businesses a viable, flexible option, but also help employees re-enter the working world as comfortably as possible.