5 Benefits of Co-Working

Britt
August 24, 2010

Image via Flickr user MikeSchinkel.

Co-working is a new trend taking hold among the creative class, or individuals who work in knowledge-based disciplines such as graphic design, writing and web development. Co-working spaces are sprouting up in cities all over the world. These are commercial spaces owned by an individual or a group where freelancers can purchase memberships by the day, week, month or year to work in a shared office. Most have an open design, with desk space, wireless internet, printers, coffee and all the essentials for getting things done. Workers can come and go as they please and the place provides a pleasant community of freelancers who would otherwise be resigned to working from home or a coffee shop. Some spaces even have conference rooms, which provide a more professional location to meet with clients than in your home or a coffee shop. In a recent post on Hongkiat.com, fellow PsPrint blogger Jennifer Moline wrote about how co-working is bringing freelancers the best of both worlds: control over their work environment and work schedule plus collaboration and socialization with other like-minded people. To illustrate the benefits of co-working for freelancers, here's a list of some of the biggest complaints that freelancers have about working from home and the solutions that co-working offers:

COMPLAINT NO. 1: After working from home for a few months, I started talking to myself. People who work from home get lonely. You may see these people wandering out in public during lunch time in their signature sweatpants, having an over-excited and prolonged conversation with the check-out girl at the grocery store. SOLUTION: Co-working offers freelancers that good-ol' water cooler talk they're missing out on. Just passing by other humans in an office and saying hello can be enough to make you feel like a part of regular society again. COMPLAINT NO. 2: I know there's a way to do this in Photoshop, but I can't figure it out! When working from home, if you get stuck with a software problem or another type of question you may waste valuable time searching for an answer on your own. SOLUTION: Even better than a video tutorial on how to use Photoshop is a room full of other graphic designers who may have had the same problem and can offer you valuable advice. People who belong to co-working spaces relish the sense of community and regularly tap into other people's expertise. COMPLAINT NO. 3: I would like to finish my project today, but there are so many dishes to do. There are so many distractions at home. If it's not the dishes, it's watering the plants or doing the laundry. Even the most disciplined workers find it hard to separate work and life when freelancing. SOLUTION: The austere office environment of a co-working space provides productive distractions such as a coffee machine, newspapers and a breakroom where you can chat with other workers about current projects and ideas. It's worth the membership costs to be able to walk away from the dishes and the laundry and focus on your professional life. COMPLAINT NO. 4: My dining room table is uncomfortable to work from and does not feel like an office. Especially if you live in a city, you may not have the space or the funds to set up a home office. Working from the kitchen table can get really old really fast. And the dining chairs are not really that ergonomic. SOLUTION: Instead of spending money to outfit a home office, put the money towards a co-working space membership where you can count on great lighting, comfy chairs and large desks and tables. COMPLAINT NO. 5: I am spending $35 a week on lattes and bagels at the coffee shop. This is a problem for lots of freelancers. When the at-home routine becomes stagnant and unproductive, they'll move to a neighborhood coffee shop. But then the costs of eating and drinking in a cafe all day add up. SOLUTION: Put that money to use on a co-working membership instead. You'll cut down on cookies and croissants, and most co-working spaces include high-end coffee selections in-house. Get your caffeine fix and a wonderful office environment in one bundled membership cost.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] freelance position, you’ve undoubtedly found that there is no shortage of criticism for the freelance lifestyle. Hundreds of articles and blogs will tell you that, frankly, freelancing is harder than [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] blogger Britt explores the idea of co-working space in her blog post, “5 Benefits of Co-working.” While PsPrint blogger Brian details the downside of the lone worker in his blog post, “The [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

Great suggestions. I always carry out your ideas and implement them.

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:21 am #

[...] 5 Benefits of Co-Working [...]

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