February 9, 2023
A recent article published by Harvard Business Review, coauthored by Constance Hadley, Organizational Psychologist and Lecturer in Management & Leadership, discusses the challenges employers and employees face when trying to optimize hybrid work policies to maximize benefits for both sides, including reducing employee loneliness.
A survey of 819 employees working in office roles across the globe and in a variety of industries conducted by Constance and her colleagues found that respondents found “third spaces”, such as cafes, hotel lobbies, friends’ houses, and coworking sites, to be more socially fulfilling than working from the office (64% or from home (67%). Among the major benefits of coworking spaces is that they offer employees the flexibility to choose where and with whom to work. According to the study, employees were able to customize their interactions with other people throughout the day through coworking sites. As an escape from coworkers, these spaces offer a variety of relationship partners, a respite from competitive and evaluative pressures of the office, as well as rules and enforcement mechanisms that promote relationships.
As a result of their findings, Constance and her colleagues offer employers recommendations for maximizing coworking site use to help employees overcome loneliness and build a vibrant workforce.