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Working from home is often romanticized as the ideal work situation for many who work in an office. Setting your own schedule, being comfortable while you work and not having to commute are all perks to be sure. But freelancers and work-from-home professionals who have worked from home know that it’s a lot harder than it looks. Without the structure and social aspect of working in an office, working from home presents its own challenges that can be detrimental to your productivity and, in turn, your business.
Coworking spaces offer the best of both worlds – you get the facilities and motivation to keep you productive with 24/7 access to those facilities so you can set your own schedule. Below is a more detailed look at how freelancers benefit from a coworking space.
This is one of the biggest advantages of a coworking space. For freelancers and work-from-home professionals, productivity, or the lack of it, is a major concern. The comforts and distractions of the home can sometimes be too much to resist, especially when work becomes challenging or when we experience a lack of motivation or energy. From folding laundry to going down a YouTube or Netflix rabbit hole to chasing after pets and children, it’s far too easy to procrastinate at home and do anything other than work. This is one of the reasons coworking spaces are increasing in popularity with freelancers and WFH professionals.
Having a vibrant, dedicated workspace, the right amenities and being around hard-working, success-minded professionals are benefits of coworking spaces that give them the productivity advantage over home offices. There are also fewer distractions in a coworking space and the productive environment makes it less tempting to look for any.
The cost advantages of choosing a coworking space over a traditional commercial lease are obvious. In a coworking space you save vast amounts of money on:
And those are just a few of many costs that come with leasing an office that coworking spaces save you money on. However, the cost advantages of a coworking space for freelancers over a home office aren’t as obvious.
Setting up a home office will definitely cost more to set up in the beginning. But once you’ve put it together, you’re not paying monthly to rent that workspace. The issue with a home office is related once again to productivity. Distractions aren’t the only killers of productivity. There’s also the issue of environment. No matter how comfortable, professional and technical you make your home office, it’s still inside your home which may not be the optimal environment to support productivity and over time can actually lead to demotivation without the separation of workspace/living space and the monotony of working in the same home office every day.
The productivity increase for a freelancer working in a coworking space can lead to a direct increase in income, which is another reason why coworking spaces are becoming more popular with freelancers. The cost of a coworking space is an investment that can pay for itself while generating more revenue for your business. There are also different options and price points available with a coworking space that make them affordable. More on that in the next section.
This is another obvious advantage over traditional commercial leases that coworking spaces offer freelancers. Commercial leases often require a commitment, anywhere from one to five years or longer. They also don’t allow you to upsize or downsize as needed. In the right coworking space, not only are there no contracts that lock you into a costly and lengthy commitment, but you’ll also have options on the type of workspace that works best for you.
Are you only looking at a desk in a productive atmosphere with the right business amenities? Then an open desk is all you need. Do you prefer the option of having your own space within a collaborative environment? A dedicated desk could be the answer. Are you a freelancer that meets clients on a regular basis and prefers an office at a fraction of the cost of a commercial lease? Your coworking space should be able to provide that to you. And, again, with the right coworking space, you’ll have the flexibility to switch between the coworking options as your business needs change.
While we’ve discussed the positive impact that being in a vibrant hub of motivated professionals can have on a freelancer’s productivity, there are other benefits of a coworking space that a home office can’t provide, like the opportunity to network and socialize. From being able to workshop ideas for your business, to having more people know about and promote your business to their professional and social circles to getting advice on the right lawyer or accountant, networking is a crucial part of any business, especially for freelancers.
Another important advantage of a coworking space that is too often overlooked but of serious concern for freelancers is the socializing aspect of being in a collaborative coworking space. Freelance work at home can be lonely and isolating which can not only negatively impact productivity and income, but also takes a toll on mental health as well. Coworking spaces offer freelancers the ability to have vital professional and social interactions they can’t get in a home office.
You might be wondering how a commute to and from your workspace can be an advantage. After all, not having to commute is one of the draws of working from home. The answer is moderation. While wasting two to four hours a day in bumper-to-bumper traffic or fighting through the crowds on public transportation isn’t ideal, the time it takes to commute to and from work can be helpful in preparing you for the workday ahead and decompressing from the day’s work respectively. The problem with long commutes is that they add to an already long day and can be almost as draining as your work.
Another advantage of a coworking space for freelancers is the option to choose a coworking space that’s in the sweet spot of being close enough to be easily accessible by your preferred method of transportation that also allows for the time to get in and out of work mode – a benefit to both work and home life.
In summary, it’s clear that coworking spaces offer a myriad of advantages to busy freelancers. From encouraging maximum productivity in vibrant, dedicated workspaces, reducing overhead costs associated with traditional commercial leases, the flexibility of not being tied down, the ability to socialize with motivated professionals, and avoiding long and draining commutes – it’s no wonder that more and more freelancers are choosing coworking office spaces to meet their everyday business needs.
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