It’s been 12 days, 6 hours and 42 minutes since you’ve seen another living creature besides your goldfish. The solitude of freelancing isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be and you find yourself missing people. If this sounds a bit too familiar, it might be time to take advantage of co-working spaces.
What’s a co-working space?
A co-working space is basically just an office like any other. The big difference is that not everyone is working for the same company. Instead, it might be made up of a few different companies, as well as independent workers like freelancers. They’re also often a bit more flexible – you can rent by the day or even the hour! They’re very popular with start-ups and other small businesses that don’t need a whole office to themselves. You get all the usual office facilities – think WiFi, a kitchen, maybe even tea and coffee!
What’s the benefit for freelancers?
Co-working spaces give freelancers a more social place to work than their kitchen table. You get all the benefits of having ‘colleagues’ – lunch breaks, chats by the water cooler etc – but without the pesky boss! Turns out offices are pretty neat when you’re your own manager!
Being surrounded by other people working is also a plus for freelancers. You’re less likely to be distracted by Netflix when there’s someone hard at work right next to you. So that means greater productivity and less late nights working. Your work/life balance will probably be better if work and life don’t all happen in the same place.
Often, co-working spaces will run events and workshops too, so you can get feedback and help on your projects. If you’ve ever been totally stuck on something, you know how helpful bouncing ideas off someone else can be.
On top of that, you have an actual office. If you have regular meetings with clients, this can be great as co-working spaces are often in very central locations. Plus, you can have meetings in the office which looks more professional!
How much does it cost?
How long is a piece of string? It really depends on the location and also what you’re looking for. A permanent desk will probably set you back more than you only rent for a day or two a week. The disadvantage with the latter is that you’ll have to pack everything up whenever you leave.
DeskMag reckons that the average cost of co-working is the same as two cups of coffee a day. If you’re horribly addicted to your six cups a day, this might actually be a saving, as co-working spaces often give you unlimited coffee! What more could you ask for?
Co-working is so popular it even has its own Wiki. Check out this page to get an idea of what you might expect to pay in different countries.
Obviously, Gumtree and the like are good places to start your search for the perfect co-working space. There are also lots of specialised websites for office space which are worth checking out (for example, Regus and DesksNearMe).
So, if the thought of another day with your goldfish is too much, maybe it’s time to go back to the office…