[Tyler, Texas, July 11, 2019] Office and work-at-home employees are experiencing alarming rates of increased loneliness and isolation and are benefitting from coworking shared workspaces like WorkHub in Tyler, Texas. While freelancers and telecommuters enjoy more freedom and greater productivity working at home, there are unintended negative social consequences of working alone. They lose vital networking opportunities, consistent validation of their work from their peers, and social interaction that they formerly received in a typical office environment.
Coworking is the modern replacement of the “office water cooler.” Members experience community by sharing work space and amenities with peers throughout the workday. Hannah Walker, Community Operations Manager at WorkHub, recently discussed this social trend and the importance of intentionally building community for members in a podcast with Jamie Russo, Host of the nationwide Everything Coworking. Walker explains, “Community Managers have one of the toughest, yet most important jobs in coworking. They must show how coworking meets the needs of workers who desire to belong in an authentic, inclusive, and curated community.”
“Coworking stands to do something in America that’s really extraordinary,” Walker adds. “[Coworking] is very missional…everyone is so lonely…coworking is a solution for that. Not enough people are having a conversation about that.” Unlike typical office environments, WorkHub members network within extremely diverse industries, including realtors, designers, salespeople, computer programmers, and entrepreneurs all working in the same shared space. Members exchange business cards and trade stories of projects they’re working on while eating or drinking at the HospitalityHub café, working out at a modified indoor gym, walking the indoor track, or attending regular after-hours social events sponsored by WorkHub.
“In a time when modern workers are more isolated than ever, coworking creates spaces where people are known and feel that their work matters,” Walker says. “You really are in the hospitality industry. In the end, if people don’t feel welcome or that they matter, you’re not getting it. You’re building a community.”
In the podcast, Walker also discusses the journey through transforming WorkHub from an abandoned 42,000-square-foot gymnasium and former roller rink, along with the lessons learned and the challenges facing new start-ups. The WorkHub staff attended the 2018 Start Up School with Russo’s Global Workspace Association (GWA) to learn the ins and outs of beginning a coworking space in Tyler. WorkHub celebrated its one-year anniversary June 27, 2019, and is now exploring franchising in East Texas. WorkHub offers membership-based shared office space with professional amenities for freelancers, small businesses, and startups in Tyler, Texas.