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The Mental Health Benefits of Sharing Office Spaces

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by Startacus Admin


Andrea Szell, Founder of Spare Desk shares some insights on the positive impact that sharing a workspace can have on our mental health.

Remote working increased tenfold due to the recent pandemic. It was already on the rise, but quickly sped up when COVID-19 hit, and for many employees it was a big adjustment. Some love it and couldn’t dream of returning to the office full time. However, there are those who have struggled to adjust to the working from home environment. 

Those who previously had long commutes have seen startling benefits of work from home. Those who commuted for over an hour were 33% more likely to suffer from depression and 21% more likely to be obese than those whose journeys to work took them half an hour or less.

Working from home quickly showed a promising alternative to long commutes

60% of the UK’s adult population worked from home during the first coronavirus lockdown. Although productivity has increased by 47%, recent studies show several downsides to this solution. Two-thirds of respondents in the study reported new negative physical health symptoms since beginning to work from home, and three-quarters (74%) reported new mental health issues. The majority of these individuals suffered both depression and anxiety (source). Beside the negative impact on mental health, working from home is not always possible. Think about women (and men) in an abusive environment, in shared accommodation or with young children, not to mention lengthy renovation works that can stop employees from focusing on their job.

copernico--8DAN9_oi8g-unsplash.Only 33% of people have a dedicated room for working from home, and half of those people share that space with another person all day.

Shared spaces in your local area within an easy walk or cycle are an excellent option and have wide health and environmental benefits.

85% of current remote workers want their workplace to introduce a hybrid approach and work both from home and in the office. 

Prevents Loneliness

Working from home all day can be a lonely experience, especially for those who live alone. They can go all day without seeing or even speaking to another human being. A co-working or shared office space will help counteract feelings of loneliness by bringing together individuals in similar positions under the same roof. Even if you are the only one working for your business, there will be others there to talk to and share your ideas over a cup of coffee. 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Work related stress and anxiety has been shown to worsen due to isolation from the team. These problems can rise from feeling overworked or struggling to meet a deadline. Remote working has contributed to an increase in mental health issues, and shared spaces help reduce these feelings of stress and anxiety by allowing you to feel supported by other like-minded employees. 


Co-working and shared working spaces offer a way to network with similar people in person. Online has allowed us to work in many new ways and meet more people in wider geographic areas, but nothing beats in-person connections. Unlike a traditional office space, your chance chat at the coffee machine will be with someone from another company with their own clients and connections. Not only is this good for business but it’s good for your health too. Having people you can talk to about issues you are having and common work challenges reduces anxiety and stress. 

Restoring Work Life Balance

Co-working and shared office spaces help businesses help their employees develop a healthy work life balance, so that their homes actually feel like home again instead of their workspace. They contain communal working environments, private breakout rooms, and even kitchen facilities when necessary for breaks. This means workers can still have a place to ‘go’ to work, which makes returning home far more relaxing and allows them to switch off from work.

Founder Andrea Szell with two of her young children Statistics tell us that 69% of employees are burning out working from home. A communal working space where your team can interact with others and share their ideas and stresses will help improve their mental health and productivity. They will feel more inclined to come into work, calling in sick less, as well as being able to make more friends and bounce new ideas off of people. The problems they face will become easier with the emotional and physical support of others around them. Shared spaces can be the ideal solution, supplying multiple benefits to someone’s mental health.  


Andrea Szell is an experienced project manager, entrepreneur and founder of Spare Desk. Spare Desk is a platform that enables individuals and businesses who would like to list and monetise their unused workspaces to connect to users who need on-demand workspaces tailored to their requirements.




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Published on: 8th August 2022

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