This is a guest article by Karen Martínez, blogger at Paydirt. Paydirt is a time tracking and invoicing app for freelancers and small teams.
Coworking is a growing trend. Each year, more and more freelancers decide to share a space with like-minded professionals as a way to avoid work-from-home distractions. However, some freelancers are still skeptics. Renting a desk at a coworking space could mean losing your freedom to work in pajamas and could add an extra cost to your budgets. While these concerns are valid, there are also some key elements to consider when choosing a coworking space over the traditional home office. Here are eight reasons why it's worth it to join a coworking space.
Home offices are great when you’re starting out. You can save money and work whenever you want. You can arrange meetings in coffee shops and go to your local library when you need to focus on important tasks. As your clients increase or your business grows, you might think a home office might not cut it. You might get bored spending all day around the house and it can be awkward to hire other freelancers and invite them into your living room for a meeting.
You may already be aware of some of the benefits of coworking, but here you’ll find some additional reasons you should consider renting a desk and joining a coworking community if you’re not sure it’s the right thing for you.
You Can Increase Your Sales
One of the advantages of coworking is networking. Getting out of the house gives you the possibility to land new clients. When you work from home, it’s infinitely more difficult to meet new people. When you are working around other freelancers, you gain the opportunity to collaborate or offer your services.
Do you get along with the developer guy who works next to your desk? If you’re a designer, he could refer you to a new client or partner up with you to work on a new project. Besides, having a physical office and a conference room is a huge plus that could help you to reach out to bigger prospective clients. This could lead to higher rates and a better income.
Beautiful Spaces Improve Your Creativity
Our routine and workspace affect our creativity. You can quickly burn out if you’re always at home. Working from a beautiful and modern place can boost your creative thinking and coworking spaces tend to be beautifully designed with good lighting and attractive color schemes.
Once you dress up for the work day and get out of the house, your mindset immediately changes. On top of that, you can brainstorm ideas with colleagues and see your project from a new perspective.
You Could Save on Lattes
Imagine that when you work from home, you have the need to get out of the house. You may have had an unproductive day, so you decide to switch it up and work from another location. You pack up your laptop and go to your nearest coffee shop. It’s a good change of pace and you feel more focused on your work.
Yet, the downside is that you will be tempted to consume lattes and bagels all day as a way to give yourself a break. Depending on your location, the price may go from $10 a day. If you go to a coffee shop every week day, this would mean $10 a day x 20 days per month = $200 per month. In addition to spending all that hard earned cash, coffee shops tend to have weak internet connections, and people chatting all around you can be distracting. It’s not the most comfortable space, and for a similar price (or less) you could rent a desk at your local coworking space.
You'll Feel Encouraged to Succeed
When you’re working solo, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated. That’s one reason to find a mastermind group, a mentor or an accountability partner. Using a coworking space could be a good way to find this group of people. Since you’re all using the same office, it will be easier to arrange meetings or brainstorming sessions.
Having other freelancers around you trying to succeed will boost your motivation and you’ll feel energized to maintain your workflow.
You May Find Your Partner in Crime
Once you’re in the freelancing business for a while, partnering up with another professional could help you tremendously. It could be an assistant, another designer, developer or even a marketing expert.
Coworking is accessible to people from all walks of life, including individuals from more traditional job sectors, such as lawyers and accountants, are not renting coworking spaces. Your go-to person could teach you new skills and provide good advice when needed.
Productivity Is Worth the Extra Cost
A coworking space is an extra cost, however, if you become more productive you will very likely have a lot more money in the bank to invest in your career.
When you sum up all the time you have procrastinated while working from home – the time you watch TV, running personal errands or sleeping in – how many hours does that represent each month? What is your hourly rate?
Coworking could give you the discipline to gain those hours back each week or month in order to earn more money.
It's Not Written in Stone
If you’re not sure if a coworking space is for you, most places have a day pass or even a discounted trial period. This system was implemented for individuals who are new to the coworking movement, allowing them to do a little trial and error before they make a final decision. However, coworking spaces also offer flexible plans which can be cancelled by the end of the current or the following month.
If you like the atmosphere, you could pay the whole month or schedule specific dates. This is a good idea if you plan to have a meeting and use the conference room.
It's Not for Everyone
Coworking spaces have advantages and disadvantages, just like everything. It depends on your personality and working needs.
Of course there are productive freelancers, who prefer an isolated environment and don’t feel that they need the extra motivation and collaboration you get from a coworking space. Yet, many of those people who have successfully worked from home, have also been able to increase their professional value and network by becoming a member of a coworking space.
Original article here.