CAN WORKING IN A SHARED OFFICE SPACE REALLY MAKE YOU HAPPIER?
The potential benefits of working in a shared office space are somewhat self-evident: shared costs of office staff, supplies, internet and IT support, access to conference rooms for client meetings, an essentially free referral network, to name a few. But what about the emotional and mental consequences of sharing office space? Is it possible that sharing office space can actually make you happier?
Research says it can. Deskmag, an international online magazine about coworking, conducted a Global Coworking Survery of 2,007 people in 2012. The survey suggested that there is a difference in the level of satisfaction based on whether the lawyer formally worked in a traditional or home office, however there are significant benefits to self-esteem and productivity in both situations.
Lawyers that come from a traditional office space to a shared office space report a 90% increase in self-confidence. While more controlled research needs to be done sampling a wider variety of lawyers using shared office space nationally, these results suggest that the improvement in emotional and mental contentment may be staggering. The Deskmag study concludes that this increase in self-confidence has two main causes: the flexibility that a shared workspace provides and the opportunity to pick your coworkers. Many lawyers coming from a traditional office appreciate the 24 hour access that some shared spaces offer. They also tend to choose office space that is closer to their home, decreasing their commute and consequently reducing work-related stress (Foerstch). Lawspacemath.com has a feature to match you with a space close to where you work and play with our simple zip code match. We can match you with a place where you can choose your hours and your coworkers to create a healthy and supportive work environment.
Lawyers that formerly worked from home generally tend to appreciate the flexibility of a shared office space less than their traditional office counterparts. While only one in two report that they feel “healthier,” they benefit from decreased isolation and being a part of a community. The shared office space provides a “family” of faces each day, something that many home practitioners find they miss when going at it alone (Robertson). Even more importantly, former home workers experience a huge increase in productivity (23% more than lawyers coming from traditional offices) and an increase in income (32% more). Both of these factor into an increase in self-confidence.
Regardless of whether a lawyer is coming from a traditional office or a home office, the mental and emotional benefits are significant. The ability to influence your work environment allows a lawyer to create a supportive and beneficial work environment. Nearly all lawyers reported an increase in productivity and income, which contributes to positive self-esteem. At the very least, a shared office space provides the discipline and routine that makes lawyers feel more like invested business owners, increasing their chances of success (Elefant).
¹ Foertsch, Carsten, “Advantages of Coworking Spaces Over Other Offices,” Deskmag.com, October 11, 2012. <http://www.deskmag.com/en/advantages-of-coworkig-spaces-over-traditional-and-home-offices-581>
² Robertson, Mark, “The Essentials of Office Sharing and Executive Suites,” Law Practice Today, May 2009. <http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/bkr05091.shtml>
³ Elefant, Carolyn, “Would You Rent Office Space if it only Cost $500/month—And What can We Do to Make That Happen?” MyShingle.com, April 10, 2013. <http://myshingle.com/2013/04/articles/trends/would-you-rent-office-space-if-it-only-cost-500month-and-what-can-we-do-to-make-that-happen/>