Why should you choose a co-working space instead of staying at home or working from a coffee shop? We took a look at the pros and cons of working at home, being a coffee shop entrepreneur and joining a co-working space.
Working from Home
Flexibility. Whether you are a night owl or an early bird you can set your work schedule around your time. Setting when, where and how you will work is one of the most prized goals of independent working.
Minimal Commute. You get to save time and energy, not to mention fuel, when you don’t have to travel to your workplace.
Lower Overhead and Expenses. For bootstrapped businesses and startups, any amount of money saved is important. Working at home drastically cuts down on what you would spend on renting an office. Furthermore, you will also cut your spending on eating out, clothing and parking.
Slacking Off. It’s easy to slack off when you are all alone. Most people that work from home have discovered it takes extreme discipline and self-control to ignore distraction at home such as the laundry that needs to be done and an afternoon siesta on your couch.
Overworking. On the other hand, it’s a lot easier to work longer hours and take fewer breaks because you don’t have the visual cues of coworkers packing up to leave. It’s much more difficult to draw the line between work and home when you work from home. For many people this become difficult as they are unable to disconnect from work to assure they spend time with their family while at home.
Isolation. Working from home can be lonely and you can often find yourself with a bad case of cabin fever. The difficulty with nontraditional work set-ups is the feeling of alienation, disconnection and loneliness.
Lack of Professional Front. You may have to see a client face to face and meeting them in your living room won’t create a business impression.
Joining A Co-working Space
Greater Motivation. Productivity spikes when you are working alongside other likeminded individuals. Coworkers join co-working spaces because they find the environment satisfies their craving for a community and likeminded business people. It’s an energy boost being around other people and provides social interaction that is healthy for the mind.
Quality Social Encounters. Coworking gives you more social interaction. There is also an opportunity to test ideas and get immediate feedback from people around you on projects you may be working on.
Professional Venue and Outlook. Going to a co-working place provides discipline and prevents you from being distracted as everyone is focused to accomplish their goals. It promotes the idea of getting dressed every day and going somewhere to get work done. It provides a healthy work-life balance.
Shared Resources. If you need to get things done on the cheap, coworking spaces are the place to do it. Instead of shouldering the cost of office space, Wi-Fi, the coffee machine, copier and printer, you split the cost with the other members of your space. You can also leverage better prices for other equipment or subscriptions with group deals.
And then there are the human resources— the people that can be sourced for team projects and group ideas. Members benefit from classes and lectures given by fellow members at many coworking spaces. Alongside being able to seek out your neighbor by dropping by for a chat at his or her desk, you can also seek out formal channels of skills exchange at hosted events where members take turns giving classes.
Price is Right. Coworking makes it easy to save money for the entrepreneur just starting up. You don’t have to commit to a lease and think about furniture and set-up. You just go month to month. The monthly commuting cost and dues to the office are quickly returned by the professionals you will meet that will help you get things done that you would otherwise pay for. Furthermore, you will gain a professional network that’s going to send many referrals to your business along with helping you secure better job opportunities.
Little Privacy and Distractions. Little privacy and too many distractions. Sometimes the nature of your work is not compatible with the openness needed to make coworking work. Lawyers or accountants with secretive clients, for example, may need their own private offices that can be secured at all times.
Overall you will need to outweigh the pros and cons of each and make a decision for yourself.