Selina, a fast-growing lifestyle and experiential hospitality brand targeting millennial and Gen Z travelers, and non-profit, global advocacy movement #WorkAnywhere, announced the results from their first-of-its-kind “Social Connection in Remote Work” (SCRW) research study, which found that co-working spaces are the most socially fulfilling work locations for the modern workforce. The study was conducted to understand the factors that contribute to social fulfillment at work and identify drivers of loneliness for remote workers.
Developed in partnership with world-class researchers, Dr. Constance Hadley of Boston University and Dr. Sarah Wright of the University of Canterbury, the SCRW study collected and analyzed data focused on feelings towards remote work and loneliness from 1,057 remote workers who had experienced co-working spaces to effectively compare them against home and the office. Key findings include:
● There is a link between working from home and loneliness:
- ‘Most lonely’ employees spend more time working from home (77.2%) than ‘least lonely’ employees (64.1%).
- ‘Home’ ranks lowest when employees rate how socially fulfilling they find their primary work location.
● Co-working spaces were reported as the most socially fulfilling work locations (even more than offices!):
- 42% of all respondents said they feel most socially fulfilled and connected to other people in ‘third spaces’ (compared to 33% ‘in office’ and 26% ‘at home’).
- When asked which ‘third space’ they feel most socially fulfilled and connected to other people, an overwhelming majority of 60.7% said ‘co-working spaces.’
● Workers yearn to make social connections throughout the workday:
- 68% of respondents believe making social connections during the workday is important.
- 59.7% of respondents want to make stronger personal connections with ‘neighbors and people in the community.’
“Organizations are struggling with how to create a sense of belonging to combat employee loneliness and disconnection. This research examines what steps organizations, policymakers, and workers can take post-pandemic to bolster social connectivity and well-being at work, no matter where it is conducted,” said Dr. Hadley. She continued, “Importantly, the results pertain to not just organizational employees but also to the large numbers of contractors and freelancers who contribute to our global economy.”
In a separate guest survey conducted by Selina, results indicated that approximately 65% of its surveyed guests are hybrid or remote workers, with a majority traveling alone. To ensure guests feel socially fulfilled throughout their stay, Selina offers a variety of unique features that foster connection and promote networking, including multiple open floor workspaces and private meeting rooms, restaurants and bars, pop-up events, tours and seminars, rentable artist studios, common kitchens, onsite wellness studios and more. It is due to this commitment to building engaging remote worker communities that #WorkAnywhere approached Selina to partner on this research study.
“Since our founding, Selina has designed its accommodations to foster connections between adventurous professionals and create unique and collaborative spaces for today’s digital nomads. We partnered with #WorkAnywhere on the SCRW survey to shed light on the important issue of loneliness amongst remote workers and reinforce the importance of having dedicated environments and programs that promote togetherness,” said Rafi Museri, CEO of Selina. “Remote work does not have to be isolating, and the results of our #WorkAnywhere survey reinforce the benefits to health, well-being, and overall mood that can result from working alongside others in alternative environments.”
According to the Campaign to End Loneliness website, loneliness is estimated to shorten one’s lifespan by up to 15 years and may cause serious ailments including strokes, heart disease, dementia and more. It also impacts attitudes towards work, and the SCRW study found that the ‘most lonely’ employees think about leaving their job more often than the ‘least lonely’ employees.
“After two years of lockdowns and social distancing, many people associate remote work with isolation and disconnection. Those advocating for a widespread return-to-office have cited loneliness as a key reason,” said Ben Marks, Founder & CEO of #WorkAnywhere. “This study was launched to answer this crucial question with hard data, and we hope it will help policymakers and businesses protect and empower workers.”
This is not the first time that Selina has partnered with #WorkAnywhere to address the issue of loneliness amongst remote employees. In February 2022, the company participated in an EU Parliament Roundtable event titled, “The Need for Community in a Remote Economy” with fellow leaders, entrepreneurs and academics from around the globe. Together they discussed best practices on combating isolation amongst remote workers and how to shape, influence and approach public policy and corporate leadership for this growing, and often overlooked community.
For more information on the study and its results, visit www.workanywhere.org/social-connection-in-remote-work.