For some freelancers and small business owners, the ability to work at home is one of the greatest perks of being their own boss. There’s no time wasted on travelling to work; the coffee in the kitchen is their favourite brand; and they can listen to their favourite music without headphones and without complaints from others.
The Downsides of Working At Home
However, for some, this working-at-home lark isn’t ideal. They don’t have a suitable space to both do the work and house all the necessary paperwork and equipment. Perhaps they find it hard to get into work mode when they’re in their home or conversely, find it hard to stop work and leave it behind. Maybe there are too many interruptions because others don’t think of them as being ‘at work’ at all, and interrupt their day with visits and phone calls that they would never dream of making if the person they were calling was an employee of someone else, somewhere else. For some, it can be the lack of interaction with others that’s an issue.
If you’ve encountered any of the home working downsides, have you ever considered other options – specifically, sharing an office? No?
Then you’re in the minority, it seems.
According to research carried out by Regus, which provides coworking spaces, shared working space is very desirable. Their survey of over 2,600 UK SMEs owed that nearly three quarters of UK SMEs feel coworking spaces are the ideal place to launch a start-up.
So why do these small businesses think coworking spaces are so great? Let’s see what they said:
- They’re much more cost-effective than a fixed office (83%)
- There are opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs (70%)
- They provide more inspiration than a regular office setting (63%)
- They provide new business and project opportunities (62%)
- They provide a more creative environment than a regular office setting (61%)
- They provide stimulus to keep skills fresh (54%)
- They allow you to keep up-to-date with industry news (40%)
Richard Morris, UK CEO at Regus said: “Meeting other entrepreneurs is critical to creating lasting business relationships and expanding your business. Coworking is a great way to expand your network of professional contacts, access invaluable advice and inspiration and raise the profile of your business.”
A Time for Privacy
Regus is the world’s largest provider of workspace, with 2,600 locations in 106 countries and Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline on its client list, so you do have to wonder where they gathered their pool of survey respondents from; the results may be a little biased if they were all Regus customers. And Morris himself points out that while keeping your finger on the industry pulse is a great plus of coworking spaces, shared spaces aren’t ideal for every situation.
“Businesses still require privacy, particularly when formal meeting space for important client meetings is needed,” he says. “While coworking spaces bring many benefits, meeting-room options are also essential. Businesses are looking for a flexible mix of workspace in order to tackle everyday business tasks professionally and effectively.”
So are you convinced? Would you procrastinate less, feel more alert and be more productive if you had to climb out of your pyjamas every day and make yourself look at least half-decent and ready to interact with others – away from the pull of TV, unfinished chores and the terribly tempting biscuit tin? It’s certainly worth considering.