Reclaiming spaces for connection and community

By Trevor Hightower

A Daring Solution to Loneliness
The Problem

Loneliness has become a national epidemic

In the last half century, rates of loneliness have doubled in the United States. In a recent study of over 20,000 adults, half reported feeling alone, left out, and isolated. Even more, one in four Americans report rarely feel understood, and one in five people believe they rarely or never feel close to people.

40% of adults

in America report feeling lonely

2/5 of Americans

report a lack of meaningful relationships

There’s a mass epidemic of loneliness in America right now, but people don’t have the right categories and hooks for how to think about the problems we face at this time. ~ Senator Ben Sasse

Loneliness is also creating a long-term health crisis. New studies show that it can shorten lifespans in a way similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even increases mortality rates at higher rates than obesity. Lonely individuals experience reductions in reasoning and creativity, cognitive abilities, workplace productivity, and is commonly correlated with mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and suicidality.

Despite persuasive evidence from physiologist and self-reported studies of our need for connection and the clear influence on our physiology, there is a worldwide epidemic of disconnection that largely regarded as a mental problem and not one deeply influenced by how we live and work.

Studies have found that working too often or not enough contributed to loneliness, making workplaces a significant source for fostering social relationships and directly affecting relational well-being.“There is an inherent link between loneliness and the workplace, with employers in a unique position to be a critical part of the solution,” according to Douglas Nemecek, chief medical officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna.

The data points to a serious cause for concern. Suicide rates have risen as much as 33% since 1999 across age, gender, race and ethnicity. In more than half of all deaths, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives.

A New Approach

A space at the intersection of home and work

Craftwork was birthed out of a vision to address this very challenge. The mission: create a physical place at the intersection of home and work that draws people out of isolation and into a true experience of welcoming, community, and companionship.

Craftwork aims to help provide a space that brings people out of isolation and into engaging relationships, both professionally and personally. The concept combines a vibrant coffee shop with co-working space that reimagines and re-energizes underutilized amenity space in apartment buildings.

The idea for Craftwork emerged by two friends who wanted to create a place where people could literally work at their favorite coffee shop. They desired a space where a culture of collaboration could grow among individuals who wanted to feel the energy, warmth, and community of a coffee shop in their office every single day. To do this, Craftwork employs a unique combination of business models that not only creates new spaces but improves existing real estate inventory that is often underutilized.

Craftwork partners with the largest multifamily landlords in commercial real estate to design and service the next generation of apartment building – one that integrates the experience created through the highest vision of craft coffee and coworking. Craftwork’s integrated “space-as-a-service” platform gives apartment residents, coworking members, and coffee patrons what we all long for: true community and connection in an increasingly isolated world.