The idea of working outside of a traditional office space is growing dramatically and it is because remote work seems to provide a number of benefits for all of the stakeholders involved. Metrics surrounding working remotely point to the idea that a flexible schedule and choice of work environment means improved work life balance for employees. In addition, remote work has led to higher productivity and financial incentives for companies. It also allows them to hire without location restrictions, giving them access to elite talent on a global scale.
Because working from home can be distracting, many people who work remotely turn to a coworking space. It allows you to connect with a work environment, while providing a number of services, without being prohibitively costly. Today, coworking is on the rise and it is estimated that by 2022 over 5 million people will have jobs that bring them, at least part of the time, to coworking spaces.
Why use a coworking space as an entrepreneur or freelancer?
Many of those who participate in coworking are independent workers who are in the entrepreneurial or freelance space. This means that likely do not have the infrastructure of a corporation to foster their work placement, however, they still want a professional place to work. And, while many entrepreneurs in the past have boasted about starting a company out of their garage, the reality of that is probably less romantic than they portray it to be. Coworking spaces mean that those that want to innovate no longer have to suffer through many of the sacrifices of personal space that come with working from home.
In particular, entrepreneurs have picked up on the trend of coworking because it connects specifically with their business needs. Often when beginning a business, capital is not readily on hand to build or rent traditional offices. After all, this usually requires signing a lease and putting down a deposit on office space — then it is often necessary to equip the offices with things like wifi and phones, and staff your offices with people to do tasks like housekeeping and IT. Coworking spaces offer these amenities as part of their low, and usually quite
flexible, membership dues.
Because it is possible to do work from anywhere and source coworkers from anywhere, you can significantly lower the costs of doing business (and of living). While space in New York City or Silicon Valley can be astronomical, remote work allows for looking to more economical options while creating a new company and cultivating a larger business plan. In fact, remote work is becoming so popular that small to medium companies might never want to waste time and energy in creating a larger more traditional office space for employees.
Coworking spaces have many amenities built in as part of a low membership fee and then can provide for further needs for additional fees. Some more luxurious spaces will have onsite parking, a gym, and food (even beer!). In addition, they often can provide amenities like a reception desk, boardroom and breakout room rentals that allow for bringing in a team if need be or entertaining a client (something that is less convenient in a garage). Also, they usually pride themselves on reliable wifi and there is nothing worse than relying on an iffy home line for an important video conference.
Because you are renting space, there is the flexibility to pay for only the time needed These spaces have hot desking opportunities so that it isn’t necessary to fund a permanent space or to be tied down to a desk. Also many can provide 24/7 access so it is possible to easily work with clients around the globe. Again, the a-la-carte nature of a coworking space allows for individual freelancers or entrepreneurs to be more thrifty with their funds.
One of the largest issues that freelancers face when working from home is isolation.
In part this can encompass loneliness, and in fact, over 20% of those that telecommute site loneliness as their number one issue. Coworking spaces are social places that can help combat loneliness, allowing for regular communication and interaction with people from interesting fields who also are remote workers and therefore understand the situations that are affecting each other. Often Coworking spaces encourage social outings, or in office communications, bringing in special foods, games, or other events to create some bonding between those who work together in the same space.
However, loneliness is not the only kind of isolation. Isolation can also be a disconnect from resources. One of the great things about a coworking space is that they are usually outfitted with necessities like paper, pens and printers. These are, of course, items one would think would be simple to have at home, but running out of these things at inopportune times is one of the major dangers of working from home in isolation.
Another kind of isolation is being out of the networking loop. Coworking spaces provide interesting ways to connect to people and new perspectives. Looking at a specific industry through the eyes of a freelancer that is doing something completely different may inspire unanticipated innovation. Building on this idea, it may be that those in a coworking space have network and client crossover that would otherwise never have been exploited. Additionally, because the other people in a coworking space are also freelancers and entrepreneurs, they may be able to work together to familiarize each other with resources, such as those needed to secure funding or negotiate life as a remote worker. As with most work environments, diversity of perspective is a good thing.
Ultimately, freelancers and entrepreneurs can find many ways to value an investment into coworking spaces. With the ability to enjoy the amenities of office life, like supplies, facilities, and diversity of perspectives without being tied to long commutes or specific work hours, it’s an ideal situation. Need more information on coworking? Check out this comprehensive guide that offers further ideas and thoughts on why coworking might be the right choice.