Being a freelance writer has many advantages – not least the luxury of flexible working arrangements, without being tied down by the regimented 9-5 daily routine.
Working from home can have its benefits, such as no daily commute and being able to dress casually all the time, unless you have a video conference. However, it can also get lonely.
Studies have shown long-term home workers are at an increased risk of suffering social vulnerability, with 20% of them feeling lonely at times. One thing I’ve come to realise is that there’s a happy medium between working from home and being based in a corporate office.
Coworking space is the ideal opportunity to have the best of both worlds – with none of the disadvantages!
Coworking space benefits
In my experience, one of the main benefits of coworking space is getting out of the house and experiencing some face-to-face interaction. This makes all the difference to beating the remote working blues.
Coworking offers a sense of community that is impossible to experience when you’re working in isolation. I’m not on my own in feeling this way. Even though technology, such as video conferencing, has made communication and collaboration easier, 64% of freelancers still say they feel lonely every day.
Chatting to industry colleagues on Zoom is useful, but nothing can replace face-to-face collaboration. This is why I’ve found being based in coworking space alongside like-minded, lively, fellow freelancers is the solution.
Here’s what I’ve discovered as a result of my experiences, with some tips on what to consider when choosing coworking space yourself.
Improve your mental health
Coworking spaces can benefit your mental health, combating those feelings of loneliness and isolation that can be so damaging. It can reduce stress and improve your mood by providing a supportive environment – the community atmosphere and social interaction can help you feel less lonely, while the dedicated workspace can promote focus.
If you’re working alone, it’s easy to be overcome by stress, with even the small things assuming great importance. When your day isn’t going well, it’s better when you have someone to talk to.
Studies have found 74% of workers in coworking spaces experience less stress, are more productive and have a greater sense of job satisfaction.
Meet new people
Coworking promotes an increased sense of community and belonging, which is why it’s become popular among freelancers and entrepreneurs. The workers share a common goal: to enjoy success with their business plan and to achieve their goals.
These workspaces foster camaraderie, where individual businesspeople with diverse expertise and backgrounds can work in a vibrant and productive environment. Meeting fellow workers from different backgrounds helps us to explore new ideas. This is why coworking spaces can inspire creativity.
Working with new people helps us to see things in a different light that we may not have considered when working at home. Draw ideas from these interactions and bring plans to fruition that you might not have believed possible.
Meeting more people also creates greater opportunities for networking – something we all need within our professional life, especially as freelancers. A massive 86% of people based in coworking spaces have reported expanding their personal network.
Socialising with fellow co-workers in communal areas between working stints can also help relieve stress.
Improves inspiration and motivation
I find being around people provides an extra boost to motivation. Working in coworking space, in the presence of other professionals, creates a greater sense of accountability.
While working from home, it can be too easy to take a break and lose focus. The extra motivation of being surrounded by fellow businesspeople leads to increased productivity.
Heading for a quick lunch in a cafe in the middle of the day is a welcome change of pace, but we’re not tempted to sit for an extra half-hour having another coffee when there are people back at the office who may be awaiting our return.
Improves work satisfaction
Coworking improves work satisfaction. While I love a well-designed home office, coworking spaces offer a completely different environment.
An organised, spacious, clean and well-maintained workspace can make anyone feel more productive – and consequently more efficient.
Employees report a greater level of work satisfaction when based in a clean and tidy workplace, according to the study, Impact of Cleanliness on the Productivity of Employees. We can devote more energy to completing our projects as quickly and efficiently as possible when based in suitable surroundings. Many coworking spaces include an onsite maintenance team and daily cleaning, which can help with work satisfaction.
Simplifies work/life balance
As a flexible alternative to home working, coworking enables us to enjoy a better work/life balance. When working from a home office, it’s too easy to blur the lines. Work and home become the same place and there’s never the chance to escape from the office. It’s always a temptation to check those work emails and worry that you’ll miss something if you don’t.
Being based in coworking space means home really is home. You can leave the office behind for the day and improve your work/life balance by separating the two parts of your existence.
Coworking in London
Being based in coworking space in London has its own specific benefits. The capital is the hub of business and financial institutions in the UK. As such, there’s a thriving business community and plenty of networking opportunities.
Choosing the ideal location for coworking space is something you should consider seriously. While an easy commute is important, besides the distance, you need to look around the neighbouring area.
I’ve found that working in a good neighbourhood, where it’s great for walking and there are lots of places to eat and relax, is an added benefit.
Renting coworking space is an ideal antidote to the monotony of working from home. If you’re feeling the strain as a freelancer, look into this type of collaborative workspace and you may be pleasantly surprised.
By Jo Foster, Freelance Writer
Image © Headspace Group