I’ve written my fair share of articles about annoying co-workers. Really, I have. I admit it. Yet, I like my colleagues quite a bit, even when their interesting conversations distract me from getting work done…or maybe because of that–I don’t know. Either way, co-workers often get a bad reputation. Some specific co-workers deserve your disdain, especially if they’re anything like the articles linked above. However, if you didn’t have someone to chat with or exchange eye rolls with, you’d probably end up stapling a Post-It to someone’s forehead out of bottled-up frustration.
Then one day he heard about New Work City. It’s a rented office space in Manhattan where workers like Prentiss can drop in, hook up their laptops and work away with other people similarly mobile, while making face-to-face connections.
Membership at New Work City is kind of like going to a gym. The plans range from $150 a month for two visits per week on up to getting your own key.
New Work City is interesting because it seems to defy the logic that working from home without distractions and a knuckle-rapping boss is the ideal work situation. The article goes on to explain that people who work from home often get lonely. Whether they own their own business or freelance, these professionals miss the chatter or even just knowing someone is a few feet away from them.
In the wave of the layoffs that began in 2008 and continued into 2009, many people cited their co-workers as one of the things they missed most about having a job. (I’m certain compensation was at the top of the list, though.) I’ve held jobs on site, where I was in my own office and hardly interacted with anyone. I’ve been in a sea of low-wall and high-wall cubicles. I also worked from home and only interacted with colleagues through phone calls and e-mails. In their own right, each workplace is kind of strange, though I do know that after working at home for so long I was a bit stir crazy. Going to a cafe just to work in the presence of white noise often made my day much better.
But the story did make me wonder how important co-workers are to most people. Is your ideal job one that involves interacting with colleagues (and clients) in person or would you rather be in your own home office away from everyone else? Right now, if you’re looking for a new job, does co-worker interaction factor into your decision to apply? Let us know.