Whether homeworking works for you or not, it’s true to say that this year has given most of us the chance to find out. In fact, many of us are considering whether we will ever work a full week at the office again, with the latest research suggesting that 32% are expecting to work at least partially from home post-lockdown.
This year, we’ve proved we can overcome many of the perceived hurdles of homeworking, so there’s no reason we can’t continue working more flexibly to achieve the age-old work-life balance, and perhaps, through doing so, become even more productive in the process. As the UK begins to ease restrictions, our workforce has reached a crossroads: 1) return to the office; 2) work from home, happy to be alone; or 3) adopt a more flexible approach incorporating elements of both homeworking and coworking.
A coworking space provides the social side of work that is lost when you work from home, plus a number of other benefits including improved mental health. In fact, in a recent survey among coworkers, 90% said they feel more confident when coworking rather than working from home or in a traditional office, 70% feel healthier in general, 74%are more productive, and 64% are better able to complete tasks on time. For these reasons, coworking is fast becoming the perfect compromise between home and office.
So let’s take a look at the benefits of coworking vs commuting in more detail:
Time (and timekeeping)
The first thing to consider is whether there is an inherent need to return to the daily schlepping up and down to London on the train, or equally, battling with the M25. By coworking, you could be at work in just a few miles (or a few steps), catch a few more moments of shuteye and do far less clock-watching. Before lockdown, as a commuter, you were likely to be out the house for 12+ hours a day, whereas with coworking, you can dictate the length of your working day. The headaches of precise timekeeping or commuting hazards, such as traffic jams or cancelled trains, simply won’t factor.
If you’re weighing up the time factor involved in commuting, ask yourself: How much time could you get back by cutting it out of your day? What could you do with the extra time? You could fit in a walk, eat breakfast at a more leisurely pace with the family, and still have time for those otherwise frantic moments spent getting ready for work. Ditching the daily commute could really help to slow us down in this fast-paced world. So if you’re one of the many who are constantly protesting: “I haven’t got time” or “I can’t fit it all in”, then coworking should be a serious consideration as we head out of lockdown.
Let’s face it, whether you travel by train or car, commuting costs are huge. If you’re travelling from Staplehurst to a London terminal, your season ticket alone will set you back around £5,200 per annum. If you also need to the use underground, this will bump it up to at least £6,000, not to mention station parking charges at around £25-30 a week.
All told, that’s about £600 a month. But what if you didn’t commute? By becoming a member of a local coworking community, such as The Hive, you’d be making a 66% saving on commuter costs immediately. And all this before benefiting from far more value for money on sundry expenses such as food and drink throughout the day.
Meanwhile, if you’re commuting to London by car, your fuel bill – plus congestion charges – will cost you thousands of pounds every year, before you take into account the accumulative wear and tear of long journeys each day. Just think about what you could do with the extra cash each month: spend it on your home or garden, start a new hobby, days out, holidays, pay off the mortgage a bit faster…
Protecting the planet
It goes without saying that fewer train journeys, or fewer miles in the car, will all add up to a big tick for the environment. Over lockdown, we’ve seen amazing aerial photos of the UK’s coastline looking like the Med, largely because the nearby roads have been deserted. If you’re making a conscious decision to cut out the commute and consider coworking, why not take this one step further and choose a place that’s also playing its part in promoting eco-friendly practices.
One thing’s for sure – the way we work has changed forever. Flexible working will be the norm. We’re all inherently social beings, but by coworking, we can be social butterflies within our own rural community of 30,000 (as opposed to a city of 9 million) and restore our much-needed work-life balance. Dolly Parton will have to think of a new song, with the 9-5 day going the same way as the typewriter and the fax machine…out of the door!
To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of The Hive’s Buzz Pack community, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 0129 555.