69. Why Corporate Lawyers will Soon be Telling HR to Give out Coworking Stipends - A Solve for the Loneliness Epidemic

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Steve King is a well-known voice in the coworking industry. He publishes the annual Coworking Forecast. He studies small business trends including the growth of freelancing and the gig economy. While studying the impact of coworking on business networks, he discovered that one of the important impacts of coworking is that it makes people less lonely.

An excerpt from Steve's Harvard Business Review article:

"According to Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General of the United States, increasing numbers of remote and independent “gig economy” workers is one of the key reasons for the growing 'loneliness epidemic'. Murthy also points out that loneliness is much more than just a social problem. It’s also a health problem, 'associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.'"

...."Our research on coworking spaces show that these shared, member-based workspaces where remote corporate workers, startup employees, freelancers, and others “work alone together” can substantially reduce the isolation and loneliness associated with remote work."

Steve and I discuss his research and his bet that corporate lawyers will soon be telling HR to reduce their risk of lawsuits by handing out coworking stipends.

Resources Mentioned:

Steve King, Partner at Emergent Research
Small Biz Labs blog (subscribe!)
Steve's article on loneliness in the Harvard Business Review
Steve's annual coworking forecast
My episode on the loneliness epidemic
Coworking space/social club "The Wing"


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PodcastJamie Russo