Is Coworking Right for You?
As more and more people are starting to work remotely, it’s becoming apparent that a large portion of them miss the office environment and all the benefits it offers, while also wanting to retain the convenience of being a remote worker. Is Coworking right for you?
Is a compromise possible? We think that it is, in the form of coworking spaces.
Coworking offers you all the benefits of a traditional office (a set work schedule, the opportunity for socialization, the sense of belonging, the motivation, the office buzz) while also allowing you to keep your own advantages of working remotely or freelancing (you come in whenever you want, you don’t depend on anyone, and no one is pressuring you). But is coworking right for you? Here’s a handy checklist to help you figure it out.
You aren’t easily distracted
The problem with working from home is that sometimes peace and quiet is too quiet. Yes, there are no noises to distract you, but instead, you are more distracted by the sound of silence and the keys on your computer clicking away, lonesome.
What you need is a little background noise, and that is exactly what you’re missing from a traditional office – the idle chatter, the keyboards clacking in unison, the smell of coffee, and the occasional phone ringing. In that case, a coworking space may be exactly what you were looking for.
A lot of people find that they work better when there’s someone else there to sort of keep them in check and create some background noise. You know, you look around and everyone else is working, so that motivates you to do your own work and even stimulates you creatively. Even if your work is entirely independent, it can be really comforting to hear everyone else working around you and be able to take small breaks for awkward office small talk.
You want to work, but also make friends
How many of us go to the office strictly to do our work and nothing else? It’s not only difficult to completely separate work from your social life like that, but it’s boring. Most of us make friends at work or otherwise enjoy the small bouts of socialization over coffee breaks, smoke breaks, or a quick stint in the break room. And that’s exactly what you miss, most of the time, when you start working at home, by yourself.
Luckily, that’s something a coworking space is great for. It’s almost impossible not to make friends, because you are likely to find a lot of people who work in the same niche as you do, or that are otherwise similar to you in that they are also freelancers, entrepreneurs, work for start-ups, are trying to set up their own business, etc.
In addition, another social advantage of coworking spaces is that they usually organize social events and activities, specifically to create this tight-knit community and sense of belonging. From movie nights to board game evenings and pub crawls, there’s bound to be one or several activities to participate in and bond with your new co-workers.
You’re open to business liaisons and possible collaborations
Have you ever considered expanding your little one-man-operation? We’re not talking necessarily about hiring people or turning it into a larger business if that’s not in your plans, but collaborations are possible – and even recommended! – when you’re working for yourself.
For example, let’s say you’re a writer and your clients often also work with illustrators or graphic designers. What if you were able to offer them a writer/illustrator combo for all of their business needs? A collaboration like this can open new possibilities for you and business opportunities you hadn’t thought about.
Not to mention all the people you get to meet who work in your own field; you can learn a lot from other freelancers who are more experienced than you are or who have simply taken a different road than you have. You could learn some tips and tricks, essential information, acquire new clients, etc. This can be a very valuable resource for someone who is not in a field where they have access to a lot of industry events, workshops, presentations, contests, labs, bootcamps, etc.
You like to maintain a traditional schedule
Listen, just because you’re a remote worker doesn’t mean that you have to wake up at 11 or work until 2 am. Plenty of freelancers and entrepreneurs like to maintain a semblance of normality by sticking to a traditional 9 to 5 schedule. And no, contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t take the fun – nor the productivity! – out of freelance or remote work. It just makes it easy to keep a healthy work-life balance.
And if that’s what you’re looking for, then a co-working environment will give you exactly that. You see, a lot of these spaces have a pretty traditional schedule, and while some of them allow access outside regular working hours, many stick to a 9 to 6, Monday to Friday type of schedule.
Now, if you like to drop by during the weekend for a bit more work, then you might want to look for a space that offers more flexibility in terms of working hours, but if you need the reinforcement in order to stop working and take some personal time, then the strict schedule is exactly what you need.
In a nutshell
Coworking is an excellent solution that merges two worlds and satisfies a variety of needs and desires. A coworking environment is the right choice for you if you are looking for something that allows you to enjoy the benefits of a 9 to 5 office environment, while still keeping the freedom and flexibility of remote working.