Starting out on your journey? We weigh up the home office with coworking spaces.
You’ve got your idea. You’ve made a plan. And you’ve got a budget. Now it’s time to get to work. But where is work?
Well, you have two options. On the one hand, there are going the traditional route: clear out the garage, buy some second-hand office furniture and hang up a motivational poster. From Apple to Microsoft, Google to Facebook, some of today’s biggest companies was hatched in cramped dorms and dusty garages.
But today there’s an alternative. Shared office space – often called coworking – offers modern entrepreneurs space, resources and networks to get their dreams off the ground, quickly. It’s a luxury that past founders didn’t have. And one that many are taking advantage of today.
But what’s the right choice for you? Working from home or finding a coworking space? In this article, we go through what you should consider when choosing where to work on your big thing.
The stage your business is in
The first question to ask is: where are you on your journey? Have you already outgrown your crammed home office and looking for greener pastures? Or are you still nutting out your business plan and fleshing out your ideas?
Naturally, if you’re graduating to the next stage and need to grow, moving to a coworking space will make a lot of sense. But if you’re yet to take the first step, then think about getting some momentum first before jumping into the world of coworking.
The resources you need
You’ll need more than persistence to get your dream off the ground. You’ll need to be resourced, as well. Stationary, printing, a computer and a space to work (and maybe even an indoor plant or two) are the basics. And there’s a fast internet connection and a meeting room for clients and partners.
If your needs are basic (that is, you can live with a home internet connection and that stubborn inkjet printer) then the home office could work out. But a coworking space, stacked with resources, is a good option when you find yourself needing more.
The size of your budget
Of course, the matter of money always factors into the equation. Certainly, coworking spaces come in all sizes and budgets. But there’s nothing expensive about a home office – expect perhaps stocking up on some essential office supplies.
Consider a coworking space as an investment in productivity. It’s a good choice if access to the extra space and resources will offer a return. Plus, if you’re receiving a steady income or gained investment, coworking spaces are a lean option for businesses ready for a kick start.
The need for social activity
Most of us can’t live without a healthy social life. According to a survey of coworking members conducted by Harvard Business Review, 87% of respondents report that they meet other members for social reasons, while 89% report that they are happier since joining a coworking space.
In other words, one of the biggest and best aspects of coworking is the social life it provides. This social element is a key part of making your business or project succeed: other members will motivate you, push you, and inspire you.
Your need routine and discipline
Some people need structure. On the one hand, there are those who can wake up at 4 am, work on their novel and then pop into the gym for half an hour – all before the working day has begun. Then there are those of us who, left to our own devices, will wake up at midday and work in bed.
Home offices have the temptation of distraction all around. A coworking space is a good way to separate work from leisure. If you’re the kind of person who is easily tempted by the prospect of a Netflix binge, having a separate, dedicated space to work might be the routine you need.
Growing your professional network
Another benefit of coworking is that it puts you in the centre of the action. Sometimes that means working alongside others in your industry. Other times it means making connections with potential business partners or mentors. A coworking space is often the hub where all these things come together.
Many coworking spaces host networking or community nights which benefit members. Harvard Business Review’s research shows that 82% of members reported that coworking expanded their professional networks, while 64% said their coworking networking was an important source of work and business referrals.
How much space you need
And finally – sometimes you just need more space. If a home office (or living room) is feeling a bit cramped, then perhaps a coworking space is the right next step. And thankfully, there are plenty of options in your city to choose from.
Many coworking spaces offer everything from single hot desks to more permanent style offices – all there, ready to go when your needs expand. And if you grow out of your current space, then it’s easy to make a switch. That’s the kind of flexibility that coworking can offer.
Are you ready to move into your new coworking space? Search for your new coworking space in your city.