If you spent some time freelancing from the comfort of your home, by now you know about f the advantages and disadvantages that this brings. However, while you can prepare to some of the bad that comes with freelancing, there is one thing that you can’t prepare for.
Isolation. A lot of freelancers suffer from it and with it from depression. Plus, it’s often hard to separate your life from work. Maybe you are trying to write an article and your kids have decided to convert their room into a basketball court? Or your dog gets an idea to go outside. So what’s the answer?
Start doing your work in a coworking space. Use them to connect with other freelancers and you’ll soon see how you’re suddenly more creative, more productive and and working with more drive. Not being cooped in the same four walls every day and exchanging your ideas can do that for your freelance business.
What are the Advantages of a Coworking Space?
What are the advantages of working in a coworking space or a coworking office? There are a number of them and for everyone they are different. For some, a coworking space offers a vibrant work environment, or others a way to establish a regular work routine and for you, it might be something entirely different.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a coworking space:
Surround yourself with other people and beat isolation
Life of a solitary freelancer can be difficult. Yes, the peace and quiet of working from your own home office can be quite welcoming at times, but turn around to seek gratification after finally completing a 2-month project or look for advice on what to do with a difficult client and you’ll find the hard truth.
There is no one there but you. No one to congratulate when you do a good job or advise you when you encounter a problem and help you make the next step.
But in a coworking space, you’ll be surrounded with people who will share stories similar to yours. If you’re having a problem, just ask and you’ll find someone who has already been there and can help you with their experience. Or, you can find someone to help with your experience, which is equally rewarding. By surrounding yourself with smart people, and I think freelancing includes many like this, there will hardly be an obstacle that you won’t be able to defeat.
Establishing a regular work routine
One of the best things about freelancing is that you can set your own work hours. Unfortunately, many freelancers take that literally and never develop a regular work routine. They start adopting the “I’ll start this project tomorrow” attitude. Of course, “tomorrow” then becomes “at the last minute” and what was supposed to be a relatively easy project, becomes a rushed, overnight job, that only brings you stress.
Perhaps it has to do with finally getting free of the old and rigid schedule you had at your old job, where you had to be at your work place at exactly 9:00 AM, with a suit and a tie. Now that you’ve finally free from it, maybe you’ve gone in a completely different way and lost all that discipline you had back then. Well, by working in a coworking space, you can get some of that old work routine back. It doesn’t have to be as rigid as your old office job, but even a little bit will help you freelance better.
It’s better for meeting clients
Although the majority of your freelance clients will be remote and you’ll only talk to them online (meeting is only on Skype, if it can be called such at all), some clients will ask to meet you face-to-face to discuss their business and the project they had in mind. Where do you meet them? Should that meeting be in your home office, which, let’s face it, is most likely your bedroom? Or should you find a nice coffee shop and talk business next to a bunch of rowdy teenagers taking mezcal shots.
The answer is, neither. If you want to at least appear professional when meeting a potential client, you should do this in an environment that looks and feels like there is some business going on there. A nice coworking space can work as a good office front here and help you impress your new client.
It’s a great place for networking
A coworking space you’ll be working from won’t just include people with skills like yours. You may also find a graphic designer that can help make your blog posts more attractive, a SEO expert to help with your ranking, a web designer or developer to design a new sleek website for you or a SEM expert to work with you on establishing a social media presence.
A coworking space can have people with different skills under one roof and you could miss a lot of opportunities by not joining one.
Freelancing from a coffee shop, while sipping your beverage of choice probably sounds intriguing, but for the safety of your business and for the safety of your client’s business, you should keep this to a minimum. Public Internet is not always the safest option, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive files or need to transfer money to your account.
When online security is in question, a coworking space is usually a better option to freelance from than a home office. Let’s face it. Most personal computers aren’t very safe and if your kids are using it to play video games, your wife for online shopping and your entire family to stream TV shows, there’s always a chance of someone accidentally deleting your files or downloading a program that contains a malware.
At the same time, a coworking space also provides physical security. Most such spaces have much better security equipment than your home and with a good front lock, the chance of someone breaking into becomes much smaller.
What are your thoughts on freelancing in a coworking space? Better than working from home or not? Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below.