5 Benefits of Coworking Spaces

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Working from home seems to be the ultimate dream scenario many employees strive for: you don’t have to wake up early, you get to sit at home in your own space, snuggling your pet, and not having to deal with your annoying co-workers. And why would you? Your job can be done in PJs, anyway.

However, the people who’ve had a chance to actually work from home can vouch for the fact that things are quite a bit different, and that working from home poses its own challenges. That includes a lack of office space, lack of motivation, loneliness, etc. Coworking spaces are the potential solution to a lot of these issues, while still enabling you to maintain the freedom that a remote working lifestyle allows.

Here are 5 reasons to consider switching to a coworking space.

1.   You have your own work space

The problem: While working from home certainly sounds like it would be comfortable, the reality is often much different. Working from home only works out if you have a dedicated office space (or at the very least, a desk) where you can focus and where no one will bother you for several hours, while you work.

But that’s difficult to achieve; most of us live in cramped spaces with family, spouses, kids, pets, etc. and all the noise, smells, and distractions that come with them. That doesn’t make for an efficient work environment, and in fact, can be even more irritating and unproductive than a standard office environment. Talk about counterproductive.

The solution: Renting an office in a coworking space, however, means that you have a desk to call your own, where you know you can sit down and do your work for as long as you like, without anyone needing to be fed, walked, or the doorbell ringing incessantly. Yes, you’re still putting up with the noise your colleagues make, but that’s what headphones are for.

2.   It’s a source of motivation and reinforcement

The problem: Another possible issue you may be encountering, working at home, is that you have no motivation to be productive at all. Yes, working in your PJs in bed seems to be the dream, but it doesn’t actually work for everyone. Spending an entire day in bed, without putting “real” clothes on or speaking with other adults can have disastrous effects on your motivation and productivity, not to mention your overall mental health.

When you have a dedicated workspace, your entire mindset is different. You are able to make the mental distinction between work and home more easily, and it also improves your work/life balance and reduces your stress levels.

The solution: A coworking space allows you to have somewhere to “go to work”, but without the downsides you hate in a traditional office environment. You’re still your own boss, on your own schedule, and with your own choice of wardrobe; but you will notice what a difference it makes to put real shoes on, and not just slippers.

In addition, being around all these other productive people who are working serves as a kind of motivation or reinforcement in its own right. Can’t spend all day watching cat videos on YouTube if everyone else is getting on with their tasks, right?

3.   It helps you find inspiration

The problem: And speaking of everyone else, they are a large component of why coworking spaces work better for some people than working from home, by themselves. Especially for creative jobs, you may find that you need to leave the house and see people in order to get your creative juices flowing. It’s hard for inspiration to hit when you’re at home in bed, staring at your blank wall.

The solution: Coworking spaces often attract a mishmash of eclectic characters, each with their own story, industry, company, dream, ambitions, etc. You may find inspiration in their stories, in their work, or just from looking at them or having them around. We don’t realize how many of our creative ideas are inspired by other individuals until we’re alone in a room trying to create and realize that dead silence is not the most conducive to creativity.

4.   You get to socialize

The problem: The number one challenge remote workers face is the extreme loneliness that comes as a counterpart to the advantages they enjoy. While the peace and quiet can be nice, it can also be disconcerting. The isolation that is a part of working remotely is no joke, and especially if you live alone, it catches up with you in a big and rather intense way. There are days when you don’t have any human interaction, and that’s unhealthy, to say the least.

The solution: Choosing to work in a coworking environment tackles this issue, because it gives you ample opportunity to socialize to your heart’s content. You are still working on your own, but you are never working alone, and that’s a very important distinction. There are other people just like you who are working alongside you, and that is comforting in its own way.

But more importantly, there are other people around you that you can talk to during breaks, enjoy coffee together, spend time together and get to know each other, etc. Being around other people and being able to interact with them makes a huge difference in your mental health and overall mood, especially long-term.

5.   You can ask for advice or opinions

The problem: Do you ever find that working alone is challenging because of the lack of feedback, or opinions? When you’re in a traditional work environment, there are always other co-workers around who can help you out, or who you can consult for a second opinion or a bit of advice. When you work remotely, however, you’re a one-man operation, and you may sometimes doubt yourself, but your cat can’t offer any input or give you any clarity. And your mom doesn’t really understand business, either.

The solution: That’s why working in a shared space is great, from this point of view – you always have someone to go to for a second opinion or some advice from someone with more experience. Even if no one else works in your specific niche or industry, you will still be able to get some valuable input, an objective opinion, or even some help from someone who’s been in your shoes or who has more experience with clients, setting up a business, legal matters, administrative issues, etc.

In summary

Working for yourself is still a great idea, but working from home may not be for everyone. Between the isolation, the lack of motivation, and never putting pants on, it can actually be a big let-down. That’s where coworking spaces come in – they’re a great alternative to working at home, and they offer you a little bit of structure and the reinforcement of a “traditional” office that you may benefit from in order to do your work efficiently.

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Meredith Weisser

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