I don’t claim in any wise to be a psychologist or to have any expert training in the psychology of a work day. My motivation for writing this article lies solely in my experiences throughout my career, things I’ve observed, noticed, and experienced working from home and being a solo for a good portion of my career.
I used to be a web developer and for roughly 12 years, I either worked mostly alone, either in a secluded office or at home alone with my 3:00pm bed head and sweat pants. I did pretty well as a web developer. I made a little bit of money, I enjoyed the daily challenge, and I got to work on some projects that really captured my imagination. Still, I remember struggling through a mental arc everyday that started with me being fresh and clear thinking in the morning and ended with me feeling drained, kinda crabby, and definitely not at my best mentally. Now I think this is a fairly natural progression for anyone, but I noticed my overall psychology – my feeling of happiness and contentment really decreased the more isolated I was.
Because of this, I started working the whole coffee shop circuit. Yes, I was one of those that ordered a $2.39 coffee in the morning and stayed all day long. And for a time, that helped how I felt by the end of the day, because being around people and seeing the sun really, really helped. I was still working solo, but at least I was next to a living, breathing human being. After a while, this mode of work was no longer acceptable because I discovered that as my career matured, the whole coffee shop scene undermined my legitimacy as a professional. How could I find the warmth and humanity of a coffee shop and also build my track record as a serious professional? And this is when I found coworking.
Since opening NiCHE Workspaces, I’ve come to find a perfect balance between focused professionalism while also staying emotionally healthy throughout the day. The impact of being happy can’t be overstated, and it’s my personal theory that internal happiness is one of the main reasons why people cowork. Who wants to be alone and isolated all day, every day? And who doesn’t struggle emotionally under days and day of isolation? And when emotions are dull and down, who does their best work? I know I don’t. I need people, whether I know who I am working next to or not because it makes a huge difference in the quality of my work and the quality of me as a person.
Yes, as a coworking business owner, I want people to come work at my space, I freely admit that. Still, I also want people to come cowork because being professionally fulfilled and happy really matters to me, and when you cowork, you can have both.