By Catarina King, co-founder Society1.
I am going to start straight off by saying I do not think this is an ‘either / or’ situation. The two things are mutually beneficial and both are great in their own ways.
In a normal scenario, I can work pretty well from home. I get myself set for the day. I always have a shower and get dressed, no pyjamas at midday! I sit at a desk and have some music on. I can even do it with an 11 month old in tow.
Lockdown forced a lot of us into home working. I know some people have enjoyed it, often I did too especially when the sun was shining! I did miss interacting with people though, did you notice how many people said hello when you passed them in the street during lockdown….I think it’s human nature to want contact with others.
At the start of June we reopened at Society1 with members returning. Brendan is there day to day, I have been in one or two days a week when childcare allows. My goodness it feels good! To leave the house and go to the office. Seeing people!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy working at home some days. It is lovely not to travel and have home comforts but there is something really special about working at Society1. Firstly, I get loads done but it’s those little interactions with other people that make your day come alive. The number of times I have had random chats and coffees with people that have turned into new initiatives or created new ideas together. It’s hard to quantify this type of thing. It’s not tangible but it’s a real benefit.
People often use terms like ‘vibe’ and ‘buzz’ to describe the atmosphere at Society1. They are terms that come from the fact that Society1 is so much more than desks, meeting rooms and office space. The heart of our business and our passion is the people here. That’s what makes it. A colourful, dynamic, fun group of people who share common goals. To get on in their work but enjoy to connect, share, support and have a laugh along the way.
Lockdown highlighted the things that we love and missed about coworking. Here are somethings members have mentioned to us in their feedback about what they missed during lockdown:
1. Our amazing community of people. We keep the chat and support going virtually but there is nothing like face to face (socially distanced) contact.
2. A professional space, a proper desk and chair.
3. Leaving the house.
4. Seeing other people.
5. Good coffee on tap.
7. The extra bit of the day you get from being out of the house and around other people.
The question of where do you like working, at home or in a coworking space, shouldn’t have to be a choice of one or the other. Coworking compliments working from home. It’s flexibility and versatility allows you to do both to suit. Working at home can be amazing and a real treat. Mix that with a community of decent and friendly people at a coworking space, it enriches your life personally and professionally. Joining a coworking space doesn’t mean you have to commit to coming in everyday. Some of our members come in a couple of times a month. We stay connected with virtual tools in between too. We have a group slack channel and we send out updates and comunications with information about all sorts of things going on in the area and with our local partners, not just what’s at Society1.
I’m a huge advocate of coworking (obviously) and lockdown has reminded me of its value and why I love it so much. I am looking forward to seeing more and more people return to Society1, the community we love to see and support. Let’s hope we can all enjoy the best of both worlds and get to escape the house more soon.