For office-based employees with a 9-5 role, the thought of working from home might seem like a real treat. In fact, it’s true that many workers who have the opportunity to work from home on occasion really look forward to the change of scene. But for freelancers who work from home every day, this setting can become less of a blessing and more of a curse. That’s why an increasing number of freelancers choose to work in a co-working space.
Co-working emerged as a working style in San Francisco in 2005. It was designed to address the challenge freelance workers commonly face, namely the lack of interaction with professional and social networks and a non-existent work-life balance. Since then, the number of co-working spaces in the UK has soared.
Extensive research suggests co-working spaces are the most productive places to work when compared to home and traditional office environments. In fact, the Harvard Business Review reports that freelancers in co-working spaces rated 6 on a 7-point scale when asked to assess the extent to which they thrived at work. That was more than a point higher than office-based employees.
Furthermore, global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted revealed that since working in a co-working space:
Given these positive findings, we thought it was well worth taking a closer look at some of the reasons why freelancers find co-working environments so attractive.
Making the move to a co-working environment can give you access to technology you might not have at home. For example, high-speed broadband, video conferencing facilities and meeting rooms with projectors can be extremely useful for freelancers. Many also offer support services such as a receptionist who can answer calls when you’re not available and a professional address to make your business appear larger and more established than it is.
Undoubtedly one of the biggest potential benefits of a co-working space is the ability to work alongside other freelancers and entrepreneurs. As well as providing the social needs that are not met at home, co-working spaces allow you to expand your professional network, identify new opportunities and grow your client base.
Working alongside other motivated and passionate freelancers and entrepreneurs can really create a buzz and an energy that helps to drive you forward and take your own business more seriously. There are numerous statistics out there about that illustrate the boost in productivity many freelancers experience when transitioning to a co-working space. For example, according to Office Vibe, a co-working environment makes:
A common reason freelancers choose to work from home is the fact that it’s free. However, when you consider the increased productivity and opportunities co-working can bring, the costs can be lower than the financial benefits it creates. Equally, co-working makes more sense than renting your own office until you have a big enough team to warrant the additional costs. With no utility bills or the requirement to install infrastructure that drains cash and time, co-working makes plenty of financial sense.
Working from home is not something that suits everyone to the lack of accountability and the number of potential distractions. By creating a clear demarcation between your work and home life, you can inject some discipline into your daily routine. Separating your work and home life also allows you to get out there into the world and enjoy the feeling of coming back home and switching off.
Co-working spaces are often available for at least 12 hours a day, which gives freelancers the freedom to put in a longer working day away from the distractions they’ll face at home. Some freelancers might prefer to start their day with a trip to the gym or take a longer break in the middle of the day to do household chores or meet other family commitments. This level of autonomy is extremely important to freelancers and gives them greater control over how and when they work.
As you can see, the benefits and advantages of coworking cannot be understated. At LynxPro, we have an established professional network that includes some of the UK’s leading ICT employers that are looking for sought-after IT talent just like you. Join our network and get hired today.