Your working life is much different than your friends when you are self-employed. Unless you have the budget and need for a large office, you are probably either working from home or a coffee shop. These can be great solutions for many people, but there are other options that you may want to consider. Another option is using a coworking space with some of your colleagues.
So… What is a Coworking Space?
As their name implies, coworking spaces are areas where professionals can congregate to work together. They haven’t been around very long, but they are quickly taking off around the world. Here are some of the reasons that they have become so popular.
Many people want to have a nice office to meet with potential clients. Unfortunately, the cost of leasing an office is outside the budget for many new entrepreneurs and freelancers. Splitting the cost of a coworking space with your colleagues can make it much more affordable. The standard cost of renting such a space is the equivalent of two cups of coffee a day. As an added bonus, most coworking spaces provide free coffee so you can often break even!
Entrepreneurs tend to face a challenging predicament. They need to build professional relationships to grow their business, but they spend a considerable portion of their days working alone. Fortunately, coworking spaces offer excellent networking opportunities.
Rameet Chawla of Entrepreneur Magazine claims that the brief encounters with people that you meet are the biggest reason to use a coworking space. You will get to meet people from a variety of professions that you share a workspace with. You can also speak with the secretaries and other gatekeepers that may have other leads worth following up on.
Pool Knowledge and Resources
Making long-term relationships to build your business is crucial, but the short-term benefits of sharing a space can help as well. You will have the opportunity to discuss challenges with your colleagues and ask for advice on overcoming them. You may also be able to share digital resources that you each have access to. This can be a good way to avoid paying for a version of Photoshop if you aren’t planning on using it too often.
Working from home can be very distracting. You may have to deal with pets climbing around, unemployed roommates bugging you and the temptation to do laundry and watch TV. Fortunately, you don’t face those problems at a coworking space. Everyone is focused on getting work done.
Consider Renting a Coworking Space
You may be content working from home or your “office” at Starbucks. However, renting a coworking space may be a much better alternative. Consider speaking to your colleagues and other self-employed professionals that you know. You may find that it is a much better way to get work done and grow your business.