When deciding between working from home or choosing a coworking space, many people do a simple analysis:
- they list their work needs
- they calculate the cost of coworking vs. a home office
- they choose the best option for them
Oftentimes, the winning choice is working from home. That’s because working from home is free–or at least so it appears to be. However, that might not mean that it’s the better option for everyone. Let’s see why.
Cheaper Is Not Always the Best Choice
According to Statista, in less than 10 years, the number of coworking spaces in the U.S. has increased by over 1,400% as more and more business people find that trying to work from home isn’t as easy as it seems.
Here are the top reasons why more people are choosing coworking office space and giving a big thumbs down to having a home office:
Working Alongside Other People is More Stimulating
At first, the idea of walking into a home office dressed in pajamas with a steaming cup of coffee seems enticing. But entrepreneurs soon discover that at home, their work becomes increasingly casual and unprofessional and their business begins to suffer. Part of this comes from a lack of motivation when working alone.
Coworking Lets You Socialize with Like-Minded Entrepreneurs
Human beings are social creatures and coworking office space offers the opportunity to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs. It’s also a great way to bounce ideas off co-renters and get their unbiased feedback.
There are also countless distractions when working from home. Interruptions from children, a significant other or the neighbors, or the next episode of that new Netflix series, make it difficult to stay focused on that project with a 5 p.m. deadline.
Networking Is More Effective in Person
It’s difficult to network when you’re home alone in your office. Networking online via social media isn’t the same as meeting other business people face-to-face.
Leasing coworking space provides plenty of built-in networking opportunities with other business people to bounce ideas off of.
Commuting Can Be a Positive Thing
Although spending an hour or more going to and from work means less time to be productive, commuting from your home to an office does have its advantages.
The upside to commuting to a coworking spot is that it provides a change of scenery. People working at home eventually find that being 100% virtual isn’t always a good thing.
Coworking office space provides a home for the entrepreneur’s business and is also a great place to meet clients instead of the local Starbucks or a trendy, yet expensive and noisy restaurant. Plug-and-play coworking space is also a great option for people that commute around the U.S. or even the world.
Coworking Means Synergy at Its Best
Coworking office tenants are often a vibrant mix of new business startups, solo entrepreneurs, and employees of large companies using coworking space as an incubator for new business ideas.
Because of this blend, it’s easy to learn about other businesses and vice versa. A new business needing to quickly build a database of contacts will find a ready-made source of people more than willing to exchange business cards.
Coworking is About Work, But Also Fun
Networking in a coworking office space isn’t only about business. Owners and operators of coworking space understand that the more value – and fun – they add to the coworking experience, the longer tenants are willing to rent.
After-hours events and business mixers celebrating Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July, and Labor Day are alternatives to the traditional happy hour and are great ways to meet, mix and mingle with people sharing the same work space. It’s also a great opportunity to make new friends who share the same interests and hobbies. Many coworking operators have a pet-friendly policy, and there’s no better way of bonding with others than by sharing your love for your furry friends.
Renting Coworking Space Means Investing in the Future
Most businesses plan on growing and expanding. That expansion might be into new cities, new niches, or adding on staff as revenue starts to rise and cash flow turns positive.
While some new business people view working at home as a way to cut down on expenses, many others think of the money spent on renting coworking office space as an investment for the future.
Appearances Matter–Having A Physical Office Inspires Confidence
When a business is already in a turnkey coworking office space, it’s much easier to show prospective new employees that a business is ‘real’ and thriving and that their jobs are secure.
Having an actual office location with space to grow, a professionally staffed reception area, and conference rooms with start-of-the-art electronics can make the difference between hiring a top-notch employee and one who is just so-so. The same goes for your clientele–prospective clients will be much more inclined to sign on if they see that the company or the professional is serious and wiling to invest in a physical location.
What About Zoning and HOA Restrictions?
Nosy neighbors with too much time on their hands can also cause problems for people running a business out of their homes.
Maybe the retiree down the hall or across the street doesn’t like the idea of seeing new faces in the neighborhood. Or maybe an important new client gets their brand new BMW towed from the reserved parking space that belongs someone else. Then a phone call gets made and a complaint gets filed. That’s when the problems begin for the work at home business.
Operating Under the Radar Won’t Last Forever
It’s hard enough for someone working at home to stay focused and professional without appearing on the radar screen of the local zoning inspector or an overly zealous employee from the home owner association wanting to score points with their boss.
It’s much, much easier to do things correctly right from the start.
Choosing coworking office space over working at home is a great way to jump-start a new business, energize networking that’s become stalled, or to share ideas with like-minded entrepreneurs and corporate employees working in a coworking business incubator.
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