If you’ve been on your entrepreneurial journey for a few good months now, the appeal of your home office might be starting to wane. It’s usually at this point that freelance creatives start looking for alternative places from where they can work and they usually stumble upon two options: coworking hubs or cafes. To help you out in choosing the best space where you can be your most productive self, we’ve done some research and we’ve compiled a complete profile on both alternatives.
Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly side of both coworking spaces and Wi-Fi cafés:
The definition of coworking spaces
Coworking hubs are well-equipped professional spaces aimed at freelancers, digital nomads, entrepreneurs and local business owners alike. They offer shared or private offices and often even conference rooms, and are stocked with electronic equipment, with the intention to provide a productive setting to individuals looking to grow their business ventures.
Pros of working at coworking hubs
Their professional environments and the possibility of working right next to like-minded entrepreneurs will likely spike your productivity and even increase your creativity. By setting up a meeting with clients in a conference room instead of a café, you’ll probably seem much more competent in their eyes. The membership packages boast plenty of flexibility but also offer some regularity, not to mention the chance of networking with entrepreneurs with similar interests, which can lead to future business partnerships.
Cons of working at a coworking space
Whilst a coworking hub might seem like the office space of your freelancing dreams, it can become dull and uninspiring after a while—reminiscent of the home office situation. However, you always have the possibility of switching to a different coworking hub to meet new entrepreneurs instead of seeing the same crowd all the time, so don’t be afraid to move on if your coworking office does not stir up your creativity anymore.
Wi-Fi cafes are not necessarily aimed at freelancers or digital nomads; rather, they’re simply coffee shops which offer a stable internet connection, a nice desk, several different things to drink, and a pleasant background noise. They might often be targeted towards people who wish to socialize; however, if you want to do a lot of work from a café, you might want to look for one which welcomes people who just sit by their laptop all day (not all of them do).
Advantages to working at a Wi-Fi café
Moving your office to a welcoming café might be the change of scenery you need in order to tackle your daily tasks. You might get inspired by the general energetic vibes of the coffee shop, get motivated by the ambient noise in the background, or even regain productivity merely through the simple act of leaving your home office. An inviting café with mellow music, a strong Internet connection, your favorite coffee and a cozy nook near an electric socket could end your creative block and help you find a new direction in your business!
Disadvantages of working from a Wi-Fi café
On the other hand, trying to kickstart your business from a small corner café can have its fair share of disadvantages. First and foremost, technical equipment tends to be limited to your laptop and maybe the café’s printer, along with the Wi-Fi signal of the café, which, when crowded, can get quite weak. It’s also not the perfect setting for a professional meeting with any clients or potential investors you might be trying to impress or to convince to help with your business venture.
The background noise can be distracting at times. It is also not the ideal place to keep up with partners or coworkers via phone or conference calls, because you just can’t be too loud. Lastly, you cannot actually stay and work in a café all day long. You are generally required to purchase something while you’re there on a regular basis, which can cause not only anxiety, but which might also negatively influence your workflow and your ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
If you’re a freelancer, a digital nomad or an entrepreneur at the start of your journey, we definitely recommend trying out both types of space. While cozying up by your computer in the comfort of your own home—possibly while still in your PJs—might seem like the ideal place to work from at the beginning, it might not prove to be a good enough environment in the long run.
Choose a café which you know other freelancers also frequent and see if the coffee shop ambiance can trigger your creativity. Then give coworking hubs a chance: see if you can find one with like-minded entrepreneurs who are in the same boat as you. Decide for yourself which one best suits your personal tastes, your work ethic and your business goals.