we all some of us have been waiting for has finally arrived: reentering the workspace. For those who have been cooped up at home, possibly with kids, this is something of a godsend—a set 9-to-5 schedule and in-person meetings are your friends, sans constant interruptions from the small ones terrorizing your living room.
For others, the return to office chatter and fluorescent lighting is marked with a certain kind of dread. Maybe you’ve been more productive at home (as has been the case for many) or you simply enjoy eating lunch whenever you darn well please. You’d just really like to keep some elements of this newfound work freedom.
The good news is, bosses are being inundated with requests from employees to continue working from home, so you aren’t an outlier here, and many workplaces are opening up to hybrid models or pure WFH situations. Whether you need to convince your boss that this new lifestyle is a better fit for you as an employee (if so, be sure to highlight work gains), or you’re able to stay 100% untethered from your cubicle, certain aspects of work life during the pandemic remain: You’ll likely still need to digitally access team meetings and have a quiet space for calls. Coworking spaces like ALX Community are equipped with core technology pieces for just this, along with meeting rooms with push-button screen sharing capabilities and roomy conference tables ideal for what is hopefully the final stretch of social-distancing.
Whether you’re new to coworking or a seasoned pro stepping back into the game, here are some positives to consider as you make the transition.
1. Increased productivity thanks to… noise?
We’ve written about how to maximize productivity before, but there’s another angle to consider here, beyond taking regular technology breaks and brisk strolls around the block. After months of sitting home alone in mostly silence, reentering the workplace means you’re facing a level of activity you might not be used to. However, an unexpected bonus of coworking is actually its noise level (stay with me here) as the noise in a coworking space can actually enhance productivity. This is due to its source. Research shows that when four groups of workers were tested in environments with different sound levels, those in the 70 decibel group—or similar to background chatter in a coffee shop—significantly outperformed the other groups. This wasn’t due to the noise volume, but rather, the topic of conversation. When we overhear unfamiliar topics of conversation, as often happens when coworking, it’s less distracting than when overhearing familiar topics, which is often the case when sitting near chatty coworkers in a typical office environment.
2. Maintaining personal health preferences
While vaccines continue to be rolled out, creating a much more familiar sense of the world as we once knew it (AKA 2019), there are some who are vaccinated who might wish to continue wearing a mask and social distancing. Thankfully, this is easily feasible in a coworking space such as ALX Community, which has two spacious floors at its Waterfront location, plus an outdoor patio, and opportunities for further privacy in our new single office spaces. Regardless of where you sit, we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness in order to ensure you feel comfortable as you work.
3. Networking opportunities abound
While working from home can feel pretty isolating, one fantastic perk of coworking is the physical interaction humans naturally crave. This lends itself beautifully to networking, too, since you’ll meet individuals from a wide variety of careers and backgrounds, whether in the kitchen area or at a community happy hour.
4. A good reason to go shopping
By now you know the joke: You’ve been wearing sweatpants for a year+, and dressing up for work now feels like such a chosre. But actually, there’s some interesting research behind why you should dress more formally for work—five different studies have shown that wearing more formal clothing was associated with enhanced cognition, as well as how we process abstract parts of the outside world. While you can of course dress however you please, it’s nice to know that something as simple as tossing a blazer on might just help you nail that Zoom presentation.
If co-working at ALX Community sounds like a good fit for you, you can schedule a 30-45 minute tour here. Whether it’s at our Waterfront location, or a hard hat tour at our newest location, the ATRIUM, you’ll get a sense that your membership at ALX Community is so much more than a desk (or office)!