You’re your own boss, so you can work where you like. This is one of the beautiful things about running your own business: the world is essentially your office. You can work from home, in the garden (if it's not raining) or even in your local coffee shop.
But, most entrepreneurs will probably agree, that it can get lonely from time to time. We are social creatures and sometimes need human interaction - no matter how much we may like our own company. But an office is so expensive - so what can you do?
Have you ever considered a co-working space? This is an office space that you share with many people - usually other businesses - and we think they are great. But what is so good about them?
Unlike typical offices, working in a co-working space won’t come at a huge cost. You won’t be burdened with a lease or incur various property related taxes. This is a much more cost effective option than a traditional private office. Many co-working spaces offer pay monthly or pay as you use options. This ensures that you aren’t tied into long and expensive contracts.
Two things that you don’t have when you work for yourself is accountability or a clear structure. There is no line manager looking over your shoulder telling you what to do and there are no set times you need to be in the office. These things are gone and you are relying on being self disciplined. But in a co-working space, you can get these things back, to some extent. You will have somewhere to work in the day that isn’t your couch or a small coffee shop table. You could even treat other members of the space like colleagues. Talk to them about your business plans and goals - this will motivate you to do really effective work.
As we alluded to earlier, independent working is great but sometimes it’s good to be social. Working in a co-working space gives you the opportunity to mingle with other people who are in the same position as you - trying to grow their business. It’s a good opportunity to speak about work, and make some good friends in the process. The more you interact with the same people, the more they will start to feel like colleagues.
You may also start doing business with your fellow ‘co-workers’ - leading us very nicely to the next point...
That lovely person who sits on the desk opposite, who buys the afternoon coffee rounds, could also be someone you collaborate with for projects. The great thing about working in a co-working space is that you don’t need to have a siloed mindset. As well as doing your immediate work, you could also get some new business. You might be a web designer in need of some clients. The odds are a co-working space will have a few people who will need help optimising their own sites. Or you might be a PR specialist bursting with contacts. You are likely to gather interest if you can offer this type of specialty.
Easy, convenient and a really good way to benefit from the use of the space.
Now as fun as it may sound to work in front of the TV watching an episode of Loose Women whilst eating ice cream, there are probably better places to get work done. It is much more likely that working alongside other businesses will help you be more creative. Being in a productive environment will help you become more effective and a co-work space is perfect for this. You’ll be spurred on by watching other people at work, and this can only benefit you in the long run.
And you don’t need to work in total silence. Get some good headphones; listen to some stimulating podcasts and music. All of this will create the ideal working environment to make you really enjoy your work.
When you picture a co-working space, you might conjure up an image of millennials sitting on bean bags, MacBooks in hand, in a swanky basement in East London. And yes, there is plenty of that, but co-working spaces are everywhere all over the country. So you won’t need to go far to find your nearest one. Companies such as Spaces, We Work and The Office Group offer spaces all over the country. So it’s worth checking out what might be near you.
Have a look at this article by Creative Boom, which lists the top 50 work spaces in the country. This will give you a much better idea of what might be available to you.