Whether you're a freelancer or solopreneur, coworking offers a lot of advantages both personally and professionally.
Whether you’re a freelancer, solo entrepreneur, or work remotely for your company, collaborative workspaces are a great solution for staying connected and creative. Check out of a few of the reasons why more and more remote workers are preferring to work in shared workspaces:
1. Feed Your Extroverted Side
Working from home can get pretty lonely. Cafes are a great place to get your coffee fix and get out of your house, but you’re still working alone. By joining a collaborative workspace, remote workers are able to build relationships just like they would with colleagues in an office setting.
Many collaborative workspaces have coffee bars, ping-pong tables, and couches where members can take a bit of time away from their computers to have a much-needed break and socialize with each other.
2. Save Money on Office Space
If your team is small, with a headcount of around three or four people, renting an entire office is a big cost. Skip that unnecessary financial risk by signing up to work in a collaborative workspace, where employees still together in one place to collaborate.
3. Stay Nimble
The ability to be flexible is really important as your business begins to grow. Coworking spaces allow you to grow your business and the number of employees you hire without having to commit to multi-year leases in a commercial building. Most coworking spaces have membership plans that range from daily drop-in passes to monthly or yearly memberships. They often allow you to change the size of your team or even your location without much effort or extra cost.
4. Upgrade Your Surroundings
Collaborative workspaces offer a way into more expensive and in-demand spaces in prime locations that you would not otherwise be able to afford if you were renting the space yourself. What’s more, they come outfitted with cool design elements that a smaller company couldn’t usually splurge on. Impress your clients and make them comfortable without shelling out the cash for hip furniture yourself.
5. Work Alongside Motivated People
Isolation and feelings of being disconnected from others is a surefire way to zap motivation and productivity. It has been shown that people are actually more productive when they have friends around them who are also working toward a similar goal. When you are surrounded by other people who are being productive, you’re much less likely to get up and make yourself a coffee every 15 minutes like you might if you were home alone.
In collaborative workspaces, most people are there because they want to be, unlike in traditional office settings where people go to work because they have to. This means that the office has a much more positive atmosphere and people are there to work. Being surrounded by this type of people can motivate you even further to focus on your goals and deadlines.
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6. Network Across Industries
Entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers give themselves access to a large number of people with a wide range of skill sets and knowledge when they set themselves up to work in a collaborative workplace. Ideas are usually shared freely among members. People are there because they want to network and work in a shared space.
Collaborative workspaces are filled with hard-working, intelligent, and innovative people all in one place. The amount of knowledge and creativity that is shared in these communal spaces is one of the biggest benefits of a collaborative workspace and a major reason why you should spend some time working in them.
Working with and getting to know people from totally different industries allows you to absorb new ideas from others who are not usually in your network.
7. Pull from the Expertise of Your Community
Need to hire a web designer? Or perhaps you’re looking for a new way to do your payroll? Do you need advice on a new supplier contract? In a collaborative workspace, you are surrounded by valuable expertise.
On the flip side, these spaces are also a great way to get hired. Network with those around you. Get to know people in different industries and prove how hard you can work. You never know who is watching.
8. Forget About the Little Things
When you become a member of a collaborative workspace, there’s no need to do any expensive moving. You don’t need to bring desks or chairs. All of the office setups have already been done.
The internet is fast, the printers are full of ink, and the phones are plugged in and ready to use. Signing up to use a coworking space means that all the things that would have prevented you from starting right away have already been done. You can get straight to work.
9. Take Advantage of Freebies
If you rent your own office, you have to pay for utilities, office supplies, and any additional amenities. With a shared office space, utilities such as water, gas, electricity, and internet are taken care of in your membership. The office is setup with desks, chairs, and conference rooms.
Many coworking spaces even supply other amenities like coffee and tea, free printer use, mail services, discussion areas, and kitchen supplies for preparing your lunch.
10. Host Your Meetings
If you are running a startup or small business, renting an office long-term is completely unnecessary. It is likely that all of your staff will be working remotely and you will be communicating via email or over the phone.
Coworking spaces allow you to gather your staff in a professional and quiet environment, and not in a public and sometimes loud café or restaurant when you need to have face-to-face discussions. It means you can continue to give your employees the freedom to work wherever they choose, but still bring them together to have meetings when required.
This keeps your costs way down while increasing communication throughout the company. It also gives your employees an opportunity to work in a collaborative workspace and potentially increase their productivity.
11. Get Valuable Feedback
Shared workspaces are a great place to get feedback on your work or business ideas. You are surrounded by people from outside your company who are still familiar with your work (if you have built relationships and networked during your time there).
The people that you see every day at your coworking space can become excellent outside critics who can offer unbiased critiques of your new ideas.
12. Increase Brand Awareness
If you are a new freelancer or startup business, getting to know others in your sphere may be difficult, especially if you are new to the industry. There is no better way to increase your business than through word of mouth recommendations.
One of the major benefits of a collaborative workspace is being able to share your company products and services with others who may then become your advocates. They’ll see your products every day. They’ll hear about your services over lunch. If they believe in what you’re doing, they’ll share it with others.
If you are a freelance web designer who has just started your business, you never know what sort of opportunities you may receive from networking with people at a collaborative workspace. They may share your details with others whom they know, getting your name out there to potential clients.
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This guest post by Samantha Pena was originally published on WeWork’s Creator Magazine and has been revised for FreshBooks.