What’s the deal with coworking spaces? How come so many freelancers all over the world are spending all or part of their working hours in them?
Coworking spaces are fully decked out office spaces with internet access, tables, conference rooms and kitchens that you can work from for a fee. You can use them as venues to meet clients and take care of all sorts of office work from them.
What started as a trend looks like it’s here to stay, and with good reason.
Here are 5 reasons why co-working might be an awesome opportunity to make your freelancing more productive, profitable and fun:
Hey, who doesn’t love working from home! It’s fun, especially when you are an introvert. Getting paid while lounging on your couch and wearing your favorite pajamas is the freelancer dream… or is it?
Thing is, working from home can be difficult. There are plenty of distractions that will kill your productivity and steal your time if you’re not careful.
Your cat wants to snuggle and doesn’t understand that no means no.
That new video game is calling your name and you figure that half an hour of gaming won’t hurt (until it turns into a six hour binge).
If you have a family, those inevitable chores and little responsibilities will pop up.
Your nearest and dearest will figure that since you’re at home, you must be available to help move the furniture or do whatever else they need help with.
Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline. But self-discipline will only take you so far…
Creating a physical separation between where you work and where you live can be that crucial element that you need in order level up your freelancing career.
Let’s face it, work is stressful. Even gratifying, aspirational work.
Do you really want to develop an antipathy towards your home and be on edge because you had a hard day at work?
Get your work out of your home and let it be an oasis of peace & comfort in your life. A co-working space can help you do that.
You’re going to meet an interesting bunch of people at your local coworking space.
Some will be doing the same thing you are doing, other will be doing something completely different. Some you will love, a few you will avoid. But you will make some new friends and grow your social circle.
That social circle is going to build you an amazing network.
I love this about coworking spaces. You can land in any city in the world that’s got one and not know anybody or how to sort out anything. After two, three weeks in a coworking space you’ll be an old bro.
Need a website put together for a client on the fly? No problem, the best graphic designer and web developer in town are in the kitchen having coffee.
Want an editor for your ‘soon-to-be’ bestseller novel? No stress, there’s an incredible book editor sitting right next to you.
What if nobody has the skills set you need? Your new friends know people who know people who’ll sort you out!
Coworking spaces don’t just help you build your network, the let you tap into other people’s networks (and that of their friends and family).
A lot of business gets done in co-working spaces.
All those other freelancer you see pounding away at their laptops have clients. Clients that need your services too.
I’ve often been in situation where other freelancers in coworking spaces provided me with leads, referrals and projects because their clients needed someone with my skill set.
For example, a food blogger partnering with a local farmer is planning to show off the delicious meals you can cook from fresh, local produce. But he needs a photographer to really make it pop. Where do you think he’ll check first? (Hint: Not the internet)
There’s another advantage to having business come to you in a coworking space. Because you’re a really nice, reliable and fun person and you’ve built relationships –people trust you.
That trust carries over into your business opportunities and makes closing the deal much easier. Why? Because your future client trusts the person introducing you. So you better button down and deliver ;-)
Oh, other coworking space users are also likely to be your direct clients or may end up involving you in business opportunities you’d never have dreamed of.
If you give it time, make friends and deliver great results coworking will pay for itself.
Hey you might be the most self-confident, tough and self-disciplined freelancer out there – but we all need human contact every now and then.
Being a one woman army is fun, but soon those pangs of loneliness set in. You start finding excuses to check your social media more often than usual. You talk to your dog a little more, but something is missing.
Love it or hate it, humans are social animals. Friedrich Nietzsche, paraphrasing Aristotle, said that “To live alone one must be either a beast or a god”.
Hmm you got me quoting (crazy?) philosophers now but it’s true.
You’ll also be more productive working around other people, yes it’s a real thing. It’s called the ‘social facilitation effect’ – i.e. simply being around other people doing similar work (e.g. typing away on their laptops) will boost your motivation.
There are people out there doing breathtaking work who also have really inspiring personal stories.
If you think you can’t achieve something or had it rough have a chat with the people around you in a coworking space and see if that’ll change your mind.
At the very least you’ll never leave your new coworking home without a smile on your face or a new story to tell. Share the experience and be inspired.
Now this one might be more relevant to freelancers looking to scale up their operation or expand beyond the solopreneur life.
Renting an office is expensive. Renting an office in a desirable location is even more expensive. Renting an office in a desirable location and equipping it… well you get the idea.
Coworking spaces are flexible. You can rent a desk or an entire room. You can pay for access on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Sometimes you might just book a conference room for an important client meeting.
All of this save you money and makes sure you only spend money for what you actually need and use.
Coworking spaces are also really comfortable. Many have really cool, ergonomic furniture. An endless supply of coffee and snacks (very important). And some are even open 24 hours a day for freelancers with tight deadlines or a nocturnal persuasion.
So before you go off and rent an office, check out your local coworking space. It might save you some serious cash and end up being more convenient than you think.
These are just five good reasons why you should consider trying out coworking spaces. Everybody is different. They might be great for some freelancer and bad for others. But you won’t know until you try.
Using coworking spaces doesn’t mean you have to be there every day of the week. Some freelancers schedule days to work from home and days to hit their favorite local coworking space.
Find what works for you: separate you work from your home; grow your network; get more business; be inspired and beat loneliness; or save money on office space in comfort.
Whichever of these things you’re looking for, you’ll find it at your local coworking space. Try it out, you might be very glad did!
Keep on rocking,
PS: Don’t forget to turn your laptop into a personal billboard with our fantastic decal stickers. Let others know what you do to network, get more business and just break the ice. All with zero hustle or bother.