On our continued venture to uncover the many reasons remote workers are choosing to call the Gunnison Valley home, we are looking deeper into the resources available to these employees and how they can increase productivity.
Working Remotely: Mental Health
There are plenty of positive aspects of working from home. No need to rush out of the door to beat the morning traffic—you can make your own schedule, and if you really wanted, you could never get out of bed! But there are always downsides to any great situation, and the downside of working remote is, well, the remoteness. Humans are naturally social, and our need for interaction eventually begins to weigh on us. Many remote workers are opting to work from coworking facilities which have provided them with the daily interaction of a normal office with a relaxed atmosphere and flexible work hours.
James Amano is a local example of how individuals working remotely are taking advantage of coworking facilities in our own community. James moved back to Gunnison after his job in San Francisco became entirely remote. Raised in Gunnison, James has been working in San Francisco, traveling back and forth to Asia for his career. With the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19, he was left with the opportunity to relocate back to Gunnison. For James, one of the harder aspects of working remotely is the lack of human interaction. Resources like the ICELab are exactly the space that makes the remote working lifestyle more enjoyable. According to Forbes, the biggest mental health concerns of working from home are isolation and burnout. Isolation is a huge concern with many medical experts agreeing that it can be more harmful than obesity to one’s physical and mental health. Coworking spaces are the solution for many remote workers facing isolation challenges. The ICELab at Western is a 10,000-square-foot coworking space, offering everything from dedicated desks to large private offices. The floor overlooks the campus of Western Colorado University, providing views of both W Mountain and the Gunnison landscape. For remote workers, the ICELab is the perfect resource for enabling productivity and providing casual office interaction.
James’s situation speaks to the progression and growth of the Gunnison Valley. What was once a small cattle town has evolved into the developed community it is today. In recent years Western Colorado University has grown rapidly and is continuing to grow with the addition of the Paul Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering. There are many companies deciding to relocate their business here, which is diversifying the economy. As we continue to watch our valley grow, the opportunities and resources for remote workers will increase.