9 Jan 2017
We know that working as a freelancer, sole trader or remote worker can be difficult, so we recently asked our Twitter followers to let us know what their biggest headaches are in terms of working from home. The results of our straw poll were:
The phenomenal rise in the popularity of co-working spaces over the past five years – from 1,130 in 2011 to 11,300 in 2016 – has helped to address these headaches for nearly a million ‘solopreneurs’, freelancers, remote workers and even small business owners who find it more advantageous to rent co-working space than a dedicated office.
Many people who work at home find it difficult to motivate themselves when there are so many distractions around them. It’s not just that you’d rather put the washing on than do your tax returns, many freelancers find that when friends know you’re not confined to working in an office, they begin to make demands on your time – then that quick coffee turns into lunch and before you know it, the day’s nearly over and you’ve barely even looked at your computer.
In a co-working space, these sorts of distraction become less of a problem. To begin with, you’re not at home so you’re not surrounded by things that need dusting, cleaning, hoovering… and there’s the added advantage of not having access to daytime TV/catch-up/DVDs! You’re also surrounded by people who are focused on working and this encourages you to knuckle down to get on with the job. In the early days of co-working spaces, freelancers reported that working in a co-working space helped them increase productivity by 75%, with a consequent rise in income of 38%.
Co-workers tend to help each other out with business queries, so there’s always someone to ask if you get stuck. On average, people who work in co-working spaces talk to 5.2 people every day they spend there. As they all represent different types of business, co-workers tend to network and collaborate – according to the 2017 Global Co-working Survey, 71% of members have worked with each other over the past six months, completing an average of four tasks.
If your home isn’t large enough to have a dedicated office, working from home is always going to be problematic. You will always be clearing your ‘office’ away because the space is needed for another task.
Psychologically, being based at home can be problematic – if you work in the same space you live in, it’s exceptionally difficult to separate the two. People who work in offices find switching off hard enough, so if you are surrounded by constant reminders of things you feel you ought to be doing, it’s going to be virtually impossible to get enough restful downtime. Yet a 2013 study found that for every 10 hours you take off from work, your annual performance ratings rise by 8%, which for a freelancer could be the difference between success and failure.
By renting a desk in a co-working space, you will be separating your work life from your home life, making it easier for you to relax at home and recharge your batteries properly.
It’s too easy to be distracted by family, especially if you’ve got young kids. Their demands on your time and energy can really pull you away from your work and break your concentration, making it impossible to settle back down again.
Co-working space can provide a sanctuary from family distractions. We find that mums with young kids appreciate the fact that they can come into the UOE Hub at any time, so they can spend their day looking after and enjoying spending time with the children in the knowledge that when their partner gets home, they can come to the Hub where they’ll enjoy the peace and quiet of a working atmosphere in order to ‘get work done’.
Although everyone has broadband and WiFi at home, it’s not necessarily fast enough for business purposes – especially in the evenings and weekends when the rest of the household is using it too.
Co-working spaces with high speed internet connection, which is fit for purpose, are an obvious solution to the problem, with the added bonus that you don’t have to pay for an upgrade at home.
Hot desking in Hertford town centre is not expensive. At the UOE Hub, we offer flat-rate pricing and just one month’s notice. Click here to find out more about what’s available, then contact us for a FREE one day trial!