After working from home for a few years, nobody wants to go back to work. But home offices come with unique distractions: irritating roommates, attention-seeking kids, unwieldy equipment, and to-do lists can all interfere with workers' ability to focus.
According to a recent Pew Research study, 44% of respondents say working from home has made working from home easier, but 60% say they feel less connected to colleagues, and some are office-hungry because your home is not. They have the resources they need. This is where a coworking space can save the day.
As the world begins to return to the office, many tech employers are looking at coworking spaces as an alternative to working from home and in the office.
“We don't have permanent offices anymore,” says Andi Mann, CTO of Qumu, an enterprise video technology provider. He says the company has closed or is in the process of closing all of its offices outside of the company's headquarters in Minneapolis. As a replacement for these desks, the company foots the bill for workers to get an office space away from home to work.
“We help them get, with or without coworkers, to a place like WeWork or other shared workspaces,” he says. “I do it myself, actually. I recently rented a hotel conference room for my executives to meet in the same room for a few days. »
Beyond simply leaving the house, individual workers can reap a number of benefits by going to a local coworking space, as can employers when they give teams the green light to move there.
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1. Boost your creativity
"A change of scenery can be just what you need for a boost of creativity and inspiration," says Ray Blakney, CEO and co-founder of Live Lingua online language school. When you spend most of your work week in a home office, getting out of that all-too-familiar environment to a new place can help you gain a different perspective.
Being around other people who are also working can also increase your concentration. A 2014 Harvard study found that "creating collisions" where workers interact with each other, inside or outside the organization, led to higher performance.
While working from home away from others may sound great for productivity, in some cases it can be quite the opposite. "Retreating to the confines of your home office for days may seem productive, but it also comes with a huge risk of alienation," says Brian David Crane, founder of digital marketing fund Spread Great Ideas. And of course, without human interaction, it's easy to become a hermit with no pants and no shower.
"Even if you don't share the same goals as the people who share your workspace, just seeing other intentional faces will help you focus more on work," says Crane. “Working with other people reminds you that you are part of a larger effort to get things done, not just a substantial component of your computer.”
2. Organize meetings
While a home office cuts down on travel time, it's not an ideal place to hold meetings, whether with colleagues or clients. But going to the head office just to sit with people who are also going there for the same reason can be a huge waste of time for everyone. For example, if you live in New Jersey and want to meet colleagues who also live in New Jersey, but their office is in Manhattan, finding a local coworking space can save everyone a lot of time and hassle in the world, especially if it's a meeting. weekly or monthly.
“For people who like to keep their schedules flexible, day passes can give them the opportunity to work even on days when they need to be somewhere else, meet people, or run errands,” says Ruth Shin, founder and CEO. of the real estate company PropertyNest. .
A coworking space can also be useful when you need to have in-person meetings with people from outside the company. "Come meet me at the downtown coworking space" sounds better than "Let's meet at Starbucks," says Shawn Plummer, CEO of online insurance company The Annuity Expert.
This is especially true if you're discussing something sensitive or complex and don't want to be interrupted by servers or other customers, or if you're meeting with multiple people and can't be sure there will be an accommodating space in your cafeteria.
“Coworking spaces are located in the heart of a city, close to public transportation and restaurants, and are also convenient for members to work,” says Tim Parker, director of marketing for Syntax Integration, a computer service provider. . "Working from home or in a coffee shop may not send the right message to potential clients, but coworking spaces not only include professional space, but also dedicated meeting rooms, cafes, and coffee areas to help you better connect."
3. Assemble a remote team
A coworking space can also offer a fully remote team the opportunity and place to get together from time to time, whether it's for 3 monthly meetings or a few “in office” days a week.
“Renting a coworking space can be beneficial for your team, giving them an excuse to meet and collaborate despite the remote nature of work,” says Roy Morejon, president and co-founder of Enventys Partners, a hybrid remote company. and marketing business in person.
"Without a coworking space, employees don't have a professional place to meet, which discourages interaction and communication in real life," he says. "Investing in a meeting room for a few hours a week can bring your team together from time to time and give everyone the freedom and flexibility of working from home."
Nick Chernets, CEO of SEO data provider DataForSEO, agrees. "It's easier to collaborate with people and discuss urgent matters in person," he says. “If you want to try out your work, get direct feedback from colleagues, try out different options, or discuss your choices in real time, it's much easier to do that when you're physically in the same room as the people you're with. to work. ”
Networking opportunities in your home office or on the couch are pretty limited, unless your cat helps you with R&D. Working in a coworking space, even a few days a month, can open the door to opportunities to meet other people, do a bit of networking, enjoy the social interaction of an office environment, and even help you find your next job.
"You can get great results hiring in a coworking space," says Yang Zhang, CEO and co-founder of Plasmic, a visual builder for the web. “Post on the bulletin board, talk to staff, or just connect with other people who use the space to work. On-site interviews may even mean you may have a new worker that day. Alternatively, you can find people you can introduce your products to and create new jobs for yourself.
5. Avoid personal distractions
When you work from home, it's easy to get distracted by everything from kids, spouses, and pets to clothes and dishes that need to be washed. All of these things can disrupt your concentration or provide an easy way to procrastinate on a difficult task.
When you lose focus or need to wind down and get some work done, going to a coworking space can help you temporarily escape all the distractions that plague you at home so you can better focus on the task at hand. “It can be an effective way to wrap up a big project that requires more attention to pull off,” says Scott Lieberman, owner and founder of financial advice site Touchdown Money.
6. Get a physical address
If you run your own business or receive mail as part of your job, you may not want to share your home address with clients, even if you do most of your work from home. A coworking space gives you an address where you can receive mail and gives your business an extra layer of legitimacy. "It shows that you're dedicated enough to your job to commit somewhere so you can do just that," says Plummer.
If you receive shipments, a mail clerk at a coworking space can sign for those deliveries. It is ideal if you want to go out to lunch or the gym, or simply to avoid interruptions. And it can save you a lot of trouble if you don't have a safe place to receive your shipments at home. A coworking space is secure, staffed, and usually has a mail room.
7. Save money
When people think of coworking spaces, they might assume that it's an expense, even though it's necessary. But you may be surprised at how much money it can save you.
Most coworking spaces offer expensive office essentials like printers, whiteboards, and even beer and coffee that you can access for free if you're a member. While buying a day pass isn't worth it just for the printer, being a member can give you access to office equipment, like this fancy ergonomic chair, without having to buy it or find space in your home.
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