Coworking spaces such as Camaraderie have been rising in popularity over the last few years, and there are many reasons mobile workers opt to join such spaces as opposed to work at home or in individual offices. Here are the top ten reasons for success, in no particular order:
1. Natural Networking: One of the biggest paradoxes of freelancing is that it requires a wide network of professionals that one can tap into when one needs to yet, due to the isolation of working at home, freelancers regularly hit a roadblock when looking to build a team to work on a project. Coworking spaces offer an environment where freelancers of all professions can come together, thus making it easier for all members to expand their networks. And by working along-side like minded freelancers, it’s a natural way to network.
2. Maintain an active social life: Freelancers working individually tend to suffer from a significantly cut-back social life due to their isolation. By surrounding themselves with other people with whom they share many interests, not only do they maintain an active professional network, but they also make it much easier for themselves to make connections that may blossom into friendships.
3. Establish a work–life balance: A common struggle for freelancers is the lack of routine in their daily lives due to the flexibility of the work hours. It’s very easy for someone working at home to slip into a rut by mixing work and play hours, which can lead to feeling that not enough is getting accomplished. Coworking spaces offer an environment that enables freelancers to mentally distinguish their work hours from their play hours, thus making them aware of how much they get done.
4. Cut distractions: Homes are full of distractions, from the TV that you keep flipping through, to the fridge that you keep opening to decide what to make for lunch, to the music instruments and videogames that are waiting for you to pick them up and procrastinate your day away. Cafes are not much better since there is the distraction of other people talking, the sound of the grinder or music that is too loud, or deciding what to do with your personal belongings when you need to go to the washroom, let alone having to buy something so that you aren’t loitering. A coworking space offers a functional and professional office without all those distractions constantly calling out to freelancers and preventing them from doing what they need to be doing.
5. Reduce costs: By sharing common office overheads, from furniture to Internet access to printers, scanners and photocopiers, mobile workers in coworking spaces cut their expenses significantly compared to those working individually, whether at home or in an office. Combine that with natural networking and the occasional members potluck lunch, and there are many ways to save money.
6. Work at a better quality office: The reduction in costs enables mobile workers to either save money, or alternatively, find a better quality office to work in. Instead of working alone in that tiny, rundown office in the area of town you would much rather avoid, you can share a state-of-the-art office in a neighbourhood you feel safe walking around at night after a long day of work.
7. Increase mobility: Coworking spaces tend to offer membership on a month-to-month basis, which gives freelancers the freedom to end their membership when are ready to move on from the space, or if they are dissatisfied with the space after trying it out for a month or two. As such, coworking spaces offer far more mobility compared to leased offices.
8. Maintain a good work ethic: Among the downsides of freelancers and other mobile workers working at home is that a home work environment lacks the drive to foster a good work ethic. Not only do people who work at home struggle with distinguishing between work and play hours, but their solitude also tends to make it easy for them to slack off during their work hours, which jeopardizes their productivity. Coworking spaces offer an alternative environment for mobile workers, one that encourages and pushes them to stay productive by surrounding them with hardworking people.
9. Get inspired: Alongside encouraging a good work ethic, freelancers who surround themselves with other freelancers have the opportunity to engage in plenty of conversations and bounce ideas back and worth, inspiring and sprouting new projects and increasing the probability of collaboration, which keeps the ball rolling and perpetuating both the productivity and the work ethic. As mentioned in Key Benefits of Coworking, not only are coworking spaces filled with new people ready for you to bounce ideas off, ask for advice, and trade contacts but they often organise networking drinks and host functions on behalf of other Meet Up groups – all ways to get inspired, and perhaps even inspire others.
10. Change the environment: Besides getting inspired through conversations with fellow freelancers, mobile workers in coworking spaces can also find new ideas by simply being in a different space with different surroundings. And unlike employees working in a nine-to-five office, confined to one space for eight hours every day, freelancers in a coworking office have the liberty to work elsewhere whenever they feel the need for a different setting. Many coworking spaces cater to this need, offering part-time memberships, knowing that workers can get restless staying in one place for too long, and even offering different rooms or areas to work in the same space, such as a table in the kitchen, a quiet corner in the open space, a couch in the lounge.
These are just 10 reasons mobile workers succeed in a coworking space – and there are many more!
This is a guest blog post by Abdullah Alhomoud.