Freelancers tend to enjoy the flexibility and informal nature of the way they work. Freelancing allows them to work from home or from a coffee shop whenever they want, and they don’t need to make small talk or even get out of their pyjamas if they don’t feel like it. For some, though, these benefits are short-lived and taking up a desk at a coworking space can offer a lot of benefits.
The benefits of working from home for freelancers can seem too great to give up, but working from a home office, or from cafés can have a number of downsides. Taking up a desk at a coworking space can prevent freelancers from feeling isolated, increase productivity by reducing distractions, provide a professional setting to meet clients, networking opportunities and generally separate work from leisure. We look at some of the downsides of home offices and upsides of coworking for freelancers, with fun links to related tunes thrown in.
People need people. For all the benefits of freelance flexibility working from home can leave freelancers feeling isolated and thirsting for human contact. Becoming a member of a coworking space gives freelancers access to a whole community of people. Just talking for five minutes over coffee or asking to borrow a pen is more interaction than some housebound freelancers get in a week.
Home offices are comfortable but can be highly distracting. There are a million non-work tasks that need to be done. If you are prone to procrastination working from home can be the worst option and you can even find yourself washing dishes or preparing dinner instead of getting down to working on your latest project.
Because of those pesky distractions, productivity can plummet in a home or in a café environment. Your friends and family often don’t consider you to be working when you are at home so will call you or drop by unexpectedly and take up precious working time. If you set yourself up at a coworking space it’s a clear sign you are working and those interruptions stop.
Having a separate working space and meeting rooms available whenever you need them is a great plus of using a coworking space. If you need to meet with clients a home office set up doesn’t always give off the professional vibe you need.
The community at a coworking space is not only for making new friends and keeping that freelance isolation at bay. It’s also a great opportunity to make new professional connections and build partnerships. Freelancers who join flexible workspaces find they quickly get new gigs and start working in collaboration with other co-workers.
If you are still not convinced of the benefits of coworking, you should remember that you don’t completely have to give up the flexibility of working from home. Flexible memberships at coworking spaces are usually cheaper than hiring a permanent desk and allow freelancers to use a free desk at the coworking office whenever they want or need to, but still keep the option of spending some days working from home.
Ultimately, coworking spaces offer freelancers the luxury of separating their work from their private lives. Using flexible workspaces sets up boundaries and allows you to recharge fully from work when you are at home. It’s worth some serious consideration.