With flexible hours and shared resources, co working could be the key to a balance life at work and at play.
Work-life balance is in peril in London. When the term was coined in the UK in the late 1970s, it came rubber-stamped by anthropologists and carried the weight of empirical research.
Today, it risks becoming just another buzzword that is placatory at best, a linguistic unicorn at worst: sure, you’ve heard of it, but no one really believes it exists. If it does, it seems un-catchable.
In London, the concept is met with even greater scepticism, and one only need stand in, say, Victoria station at rush hour, watching harried commuters stream by, to understand that working and living in London is rushed, frenetic, expensive and non-stop.
The experience is born out in the latest figures from the Office of National Statistic (ONS). They announced that Londoners work a 33-hour week as standard – two hours longer than anywhere else in the UK who average 31.
Over the course of the year, this accrues to an extra 100 hours, or an additional three weeks spent at work.
Believing the balance
Londoners need to save their work-life balance, by believing that it is possible to have and seeking out ways to make it real.
This is not only for our productivity and enjoyment, but our mental and physical health.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, the UK’s ‘demanding’ work culture is a primary cause of mental health problems across the country. Three in ten employees are estimated to experience some form of mental health issue over the course of a year and 10.4 million working days are lost in the same period to work-induced stress.
Co working comes to the rescue
Co working has seen exponential growth in London as SMEs and entrepreneurs become savvy to its benefits.
Sociable and flexible, co working offers a professional environment for anyone who is jaded by outmoded working practices.
Employers are taking an increasingly active role in helping their staff maintain their own work-life equilibrium – so how does co working help?
Co working spaces do not conform to 9-5 working hours. Indeed, Le Bureau is open 24/7, creating a comfortable office space that can be used however suits you. If working at a weekend trumps doing hours in the week, work a Saturday.
Time is so often wasted in conventional offices as staff attempt to fire-fight and problem-solve unfamiliar issues. Un-fixable problems require a specialist, and who knows when they might reply.
In London’s co working offices, professionals in areas like HR, web design and property consultancy work side by side.
Seek advice at the coffee machine; repay it with your own expertise at lunch.
Hire a hot seat
Small businesses need to be adaptable if they are to thrive. This means growing and shrinking your team in line with your work-flow.
Co working gives businesses the option to hire additional desks on an ad hoc basis. The team expands, deadlines are met, clients are happy and there are fewer hours for you.
Friends like these
In a co working space, your colleagues become your friends. Frequently, your friends become your colleagues. It’s reason alone to take a lunch break and get some mental respite in the course of your working day.
Share the wealth
…or the stapler, at least. Co working offers more than just a desk. London co working spaces are run by management teams who work behalf of their members to provide Internet, office supplies, and tea and coffee (essential) – and that’s just for starters.
Should one or any of these things go wrong the management team fix them, freeing you up to focus on what matters to you.
Co working is not a panacea for work stress or a one-size-fits-all solution to a healthy work-life balance. We must all take a mindful, proactive approach that works for us.
It is, however, a powerful alternative to a labour system that has already claimed too many casualties.Back to Blog