One of the main perks of becoming a freelancer is the ability to stay away from everyday commute and to accomplish tasks in the comfort of your home. Remember how thrilled you were when you realised that these perks are indeed possible? At some point, you probably even bragged about it to your friends and former colleagues. But admit it, being confined within the four corners of your home every-single-day makes you feel alone and isolated which unfortunately makes you unproductive. Dear freelancers, you can now consider loneliness and isolation as a thing of the past because co-working spaces are here to save your sanity.
Co-working spaces are now becoming a trend not just for freelancers who want to get out from their monotonous work-at-home set up, but also for startup business owners. But before we go any further, how do we define a co-working space?
Co-working Spaces 101
This emerging hot trend was popularly know as “shared office” or “hot desking” way in year 2000. It was initially introduced to freelancers who aim to work in an environment where they could have social interaction, collaboration and camaraderie which they hardly find in working at coffee shops. Co-working spaces then also became appealing to startup business owners and even young entrepreneurs. The concept of working in an office-set up, complete with all office equipment and amenities while still operating their own business the way they want, are just the main reasons why the trend became mainstream.
Four Major Benefits of Co-working spaces for Freelancers
No matter how freelancers love the way they work at home or at a corner of their favorite cafe, there will come a point in time where finding “that perfect spot” will always be a struggle. At home, you can expect a lot of distractions like your kids, your dog, the mailman knocking at your door, an intermittent Internet connection and so on. Whereas in coffee shops, you still cannot just shush down every person who comes in and have their voices louder than you would want them to be. Renting or subscribing yourself to a co-working space means an additional expense on your part, but the benefits you could get from doing so is all worth it.
1. Reduced Isolation– being surrounded by fellow freelancers will definitely take away that feeling of isolation. Though you may be on your assigned table and you are all eyes and ears to your work (which is the main reason why you are there), knowing that there will always be someone you can bump into the comfort room or have someone to chat in the pantry is enough to make you feel that you belong. That these people share the same goals and sentiments like yours.
2. Availability of office equipment – newbie freelancers are often a do-it-yourself person. Since freelancing is a one man business, they don't have enough resources to do just that. Professional desk? A dining table would do! How about a photocopier? The public library has one! And so on. The reason they chose not to buy these tools is the thought that it will just be put into waste on a single use and having it idle for most of the time will only depreciate its value. Hence, the thought of investing on them is a no-no for some freelancers. Co-working spaces ease out this kind of dilemma. Along with office facilities, freelancers are also allowed to use office equipment up to their hearts content. Wi-Fi, desks, printers, fax machines etc. all of these are just within your reach.
3. Expansion of Social Network – at this point, you probably made yourself aware that doing your business in co-working spaces is far different from working at home. By co-working, you will surely find a couple of people who is in the same line of work as yours. What’s the best thing with that? You will definitely have someone to talk with, to connect with like minds and get the chance to network with people in your niche. Aside from that, you can even jump overboard and know more people than those on your circle. Tip: always have a handy calling card with you. You’ll never know when you can get a chance to rub shoulders with an influencer.
4. Increased productivity – what more can you expect? With a boosted confidence, easy to reach resources and a wider social network, you will get the most of your freelancing goals.
Freelancing will always be a continuous learning process and an evolution of everything around it. Being a dedicated freelancer, you should be able to adapt to all these things. Remember, it’s not about where you work but how you do it!
Mylene Dela Cena is a content contributor and Social Media Manager at Fourerr. She loves sharing smart tips on working from home, earning online, and all things about freelancing.