I ‘officially’ went self employed with my own business 8 months ago, after talking about it for over 8 years. I know right – there is dreaming for sure, and then there is dreaming excessively.
Everything about it appealed to me, and I honestly haven’t looked back since I made the cut. Sure, some days aren’t so great, and I’ll be totally honest to say that October 2018 sticks out as a pretty quiet month for me, which got me a little bit worried. However, as soon as I turned that calendar page to November 1st, the craziness of being a blogger and influencer all came back.
Escaping from the office rat race is often cited as one of the most attractive aspects of starting your own business, and I totally agree. No more rush hour commutes, no meetings that drag on, and no more projects landing on your desk at 4:55pm on a Friday.
But more importantly – no more Sunday night dread.
I tend to work from home, or take my laptop to a coffee shop, which yeah, it sure can sound like a dream. But it presents its own challenges and frustrations. Think about it: as a freelance, have you got the drive to follow a set schedule each day? Can you work well with little or no accountability? What about speaking to people, having that office ‘buzz’, and general ‘something going on’ vibe?
That’s the downside for me for sure. This is why co-working spaces have blossomed as a viable option in recent years, and I’ve started trying them out myself.
One of the main ones I came across when researching them was Signature Works – a stylish and modern unique city centre co-working office space which always looked so motivating and inspiring to me.
You can choose to hot desk, where you turn up each day and take a seat in the communal areas, or rent a ‘proper’ office. A professional work space dedicated to you and your business, kitted out like a real office of your own. This is my ideal option, although I can’t yet afford this one. You could get the desk of your dreams set up in an office, alongside inspiring accessories and personal features to maker the office feel like ‘yours’ and a real shrine to the business.
You would just have to move everything associated to your work life and business to the co-working space, so you could draw a clear line between your work life and home life. A good moving company can easily help you do this.
It’s a place which acts as home for hundreds of freelancers, allowing a connected community of businesses of all sizes to work together and grow together. With shared work spaces like this, surely I’d never feel like I was working alone?
What is a co-working space?
A co-working space is a place where you can go daily, sit down at a desk, and work among like-minded people in a structured atmosphere. It offers an office-style environment that fosters all the autonomy an entrepreneur could want without any of the politics.
If you’re an entrepreneur working from home, have you considered the benefits you could enjoy from the co-working space? They are now literally popping up all over the place, and even Signature Works has expanded it’s locations, now offering a shared office space in Liverpool.
Read on as I list six advantages to ditching the couch, or coffee shop, and moving into a co-working space.
1. It brings structure to your day
Working from home presents an abundance of distractions. It’s tough to work effectively when you’re close to your TV, pets, your bed, and family. Keeping work separate from home allows you to keep structure in your life, and provides a reason to get out of the house.
2. You can become more effective
An office environment creates an energy and mindset that can only come from interacting with fellow workers. According to a study featured on Office Vibe, a shared office environment made 64% of entrepreneurs more productive, 68% of entrepreneurs more focused, and 90% of entrepreneurs more confident.
In a co-working space, where everyone is busy on their own passion projects, this buzz will drive you on to make your own business a success.
3. You’ll avoid the loneliness
It’s often said the life of an entrepreneur can be a lonely one. Working alone is isolating and can have a negative effect on your mental well-being. Interactions in a work environment are an important part of daily life.
Though you’ll be working on your own business, a co-working space surrounds you with like-minded people who have picked an independent lifestyle that matches yours. It will leave you feeling energised, social, and happy.
4. You can start networking
Working alone places a barrier between you and people who could potentially help your business. Co-working puts you near people who might have vastly different skill sets or solutions to problems, allowing you to “pick their brains”. If you can find a co-working space that aligns with your field of work, it makes this benefit all the stronger.
5. You have full flexibility
If you’re starting to consider office space, you’ll soon learn the baggage that comes along with it. Are you ready to sign a fixed-term lease? Install infrastructure? Pay utility bills? A co-working space takes care of all of that, and allows you to rent the space on much shorter, more flexible terms.
6. There is emotional support
If you’ve ever encountered self-doubt as a small business owner – you’re not alone. Stepping out on your own removes the safety net we enjoy as a cog in a larger machine. Surrounding yourself with fellow entrepreneurs allows you to push through moments of self-doubt. You can even use them as a sounding board for your ideas.
Some shared office spaces – like Signature Works – come with activities and events too, so there’s that little something extra to make you feel apart of a community.
Definitely a freelancers way forward in my opinion…