One of the first challenges that businesses and freelancers have to overcome is finding the perfect space to start working. There are several options, some more expensive than others. One can choose to rent an office, work at home, spend the mornings in a café with Wi-Fi connection or start using a co-working center. In general, people seem to have warmed up to the notion of a co-working space as the most effective solution. But, even though there are plenty of benefits that come with using a co-working space, there are some downfalls as well.
A co-working space can really make a difference in several positive ways:
You can be a part of a professional group
If you’re a freelancer and work on your own, for your own benefit, you will have to face some of the challenges that come from being responsible for your own business. Not to mention that working on your own can become quite lonely. And loneliness can lead to the state of negativity where you don’t even know whether you have accomplished something valuable.
When you join a co-working community, you can overcome these feelings with the support of other professionals who have similar experiences and ideas. Surrounding yourself with people who are going through similar situations will help you overcome your fears.
Co-working means more networking opportunities
Sharing an office and interacting every day with the same people will make you improve your network of contacts continuously. The co-working space will give you the opportunity to meet people from different industries and even get customers, employees and business partners that way.
There will be fewer distractions
When going to a co-working space, you will be less tempted to fall for all the distractions that you can find at home. You will stop doing errands at random moments, playing with the dog every five minutes, preparing a snack too often, etc.
Co-working space helps boost your professional image
The image that customers have of you is essential if you want to build a good relationship based on trust. The co-working spaces have separate rooms that are organized for meetings. This will give you a much more professional image compared to meeting them at home or café.
You’ll get to interact and collaborate with others
In time, you will be making friends with people you met at the co-working space and you may even find collaborators for your new projects. But in order for everyone to work without disruptions and get along, it’s essential to spend your professional part of the day in a pleasant and comfortable co-working space that’s completely equipped with essentials necessary for productive work and functional collaboration (if the opportunity comes along). In that respect, pay attention to the way space is equipped; quality chairs, desks, stationery, office supplies, tools, and gadgets are all necessary for a co-working space to allow for your professional development. As a complete organization is possible with effective Winc stationary and office essentials, you really don’t have to settle for anything less.
But, not everything can be perfect. In that respect, you may want to be prepared for some co-working space disadvantages as well.
When there are 7 graphic designers working in the same space, competition can become a problem. Especially if you are covering the same geographical area. The last thing you would want is to meet an old client who now works with a person you share the co-working space with.
Co-working is definitely not for everyone, just like working from home is not for everyone. What’s more, not every co-working space is the same. In some places, people like to work in silence while in others there may be a noisier bunch. If you’re someone who’s used to working in absolute silence, it may seem that there’s just too much noise. Although, compared to an actual office, the noise probably won’t be that troublesome. A great tip to deal with noise is to wear headphones, even if you’re not listening to music.
Although this depends a lot on the particular co-working space, as a rule, these are open during regular business hours, 9 am – 8 pm, Monday to Friday. If you’re someone who works nights or weekends, schedules can be a real inconvenience. Keep in mind, however, that there are plenty of spaces that are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will only have to inform yourself better.
And what about the cost?
Logically, this depends on your alternative to co-working. The cost of a co-working space can be an advantage, compared to renting an office. But it can also be a disadvantage if the alternative to co-working has been your own home.
Co-working spaces are not made equal. The biggest issues with them are general conditions and the compatibility with other members. In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether the effort you have to put into finding one that works for you is worth your time. Most importantly, keep in mind your own preferences and habits when it comes to focusing on your work. No one else can make that decision for you.