Why You Shouldn’t Work Only From Home — Even If You Can
Finding a great workspace can be a challenge for any worker or organization. The search can be even harder if you work independently or need a home for your startup, non-profit, or small business. Coworking spaces provide an ideal solution to many of the difficulties faced by these smaller organizations and solo workers.
Coworking isn’t just a problem solver, though. It can be a flexible, versatile combination of practical necessities, supportive amenities, and dynamic energy. In fact, a recent survey showed that coworking can improve workers’ professional and personal lives, with about two-thirds of coworking members reporting that they are healthier, better focused, and able to work more effectively and efficiently there.
10 Ways Coworking Can Solve the Challenges of Hybrid and Remote Work
The dynamic, adaptive, and supportive ambiance in coworking spaces can foster productivity and motivation while providing a comfortable, flexible setting. Here are ten hybrid and remote work challenges for independent workers and small businesses—and how coworking can solve them.
Challenge #1: Offices Are Expensive
Traditional office space leases are expensive and typically require a long-term commitment. Businesses are increasingly finding that the traditional leases and maintenance of large office buildings are no longer cost-effective or even useful in today’s working environment, especially when over 83% of workers prefer a hybrid model. One Forbes article put it this way:
Hybrid working models call for a new approach to asset management. Real estate costs and related expenses are usually the second or third largest outlay for companies, after their payroll. Companies that hope to remain competitive will need to start shedding their unnecessary office space as soon as possible or risk being left behind by first actors.
Coworking locations solve these concerns by being available on a month-to-month basis with adjustable space, service, privacy, and pricing options. These pay-as-you-go plans are scalable and come with amenities and flexible options to meet your specific and changing needs. An ideal coworking space should satisfy your current workspace needs and be ready to accommodate your future needs and aspirations.
Challenge #2: Equipment and Furniture Aren’t Cheap, Either
You may only need a laptop most of the time, but additional equipment, such as copiers, printers, and scanners, is usually an essential requirement in a traditional office environment. Add in seating, desks, tables for working and meeting areas, and more, and you may be even further into the red.
In coworking spaces, these essentials are provided as part of your membership, giving you the freedom to invest your cost savings into your business while benefiting from ample workspaces and work amenities that foster productivity and efficiency.
Challenge #3: Uninspiring Workplaces
Whether you’re stuck in a traditional cubicle or work from home, working daily in the same spot can make work feel more like drudgery. You’ve probably discovered that a corner of the living room, a kitchen island, or whatever space you find to work in may feel tired and monotonous.
Related: The Advantages of In-Person Meetings in a Changing Work Environment
Coworking spaces allow you to switch up your work area. If the space offers both indoor and outdoor work areas, You might choose to work outside on a beautiful day, but inside at other times. You can count on the space to be clean, vibrant, and free of all the items on your personal to-do list. At the same time, everything you need to do work is at your fingertips. The fresh vibe of an inspiring workspace can reignite your enthusiasm for a project or help you really focus on it, helping to eliminate distractions.
Challenge #4: Distractions
Home and substitute workplaces, such as cafes, parks, and libraries, can make it hard to get work done. Whether it’s a laundry list of distractions at home or a lack of necessary tools for getting work done, productivity often suffers.
In contrast, many coworking spaces provide an inspirational but focused place to get work done, complete with the resources required to do business. Workers in these spaces have flexibility in their workspace options, like dedicated spaces for ongoing users, a variety of seating and desk/table styles and configurations, and separate areas designed for independent or collaborative work.
Beyond practical details, the right adaptive coworking spaces can feel inclusive and nurturing — a comfortable environment that makes it easy to focus. There’s just something about being around other people who are also concentrating on their work that makes it easier to focus on your own.
Challenge #5: Where Can We Hold a Meeting?
Independent workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses may find it difficult or tedious to collaborate effectively in an online-only environment or in makeshift meeting spaces. Often, the dynamics of working together in a collaborative space that is full of life yet focused on dynamic productivity can make all the difference in feeling inspired and building synergy.
The right coworking communities offer spaces small and large, open and private, so you can easily meet with colleagues, have a brainstorming session, meet for strategic planning, or consult with clients. From conference rooms to comfortable seating areas, inspiring, versatile spaces that would otherwise be quite costly are readily available to workers in a coworking space.
Challenge #6: The Spare Bedroom Isn’t Very Professional
Whether it’s interruptions during video calls, trying to find somewhere to accommodate your client meeting, or an unprofessional-sounding residential mailing address, maintaining a professional presence can be challenging for independent workers and many small businesses.
In contrast, the right coworking spaces offer dynamically designed, modern spaces that instantly elevate the impression you can make on clients. Facilities and services such as professional conference rooms, private areas for phone calls, and mail services allow any worker or organization to maintain a professional appearance that matches their attitude and services.
Challenge #7: What About Work Amenities?
If purchasing equipment and furnishings burden your budget, so do other features that make work more pleasant, such as a breakroom, kitchen space, and on-site parking. If you’re an independent worker, you may find yourself spending too much time (and money) in coffee shops and other busy areas that can make it difficult to get work done.
The best coworking spaces offer these amenities as part of the package, with no extra maintenance, cleaning, or stocking efforts required on your part. Workers always have a clean, comfortable space to prepare lunch, get a cup of coffee, or take a break with other workers. Beyond the basic conveniences, these amenities contribute to an appealing coworking space that cultivates an inclusive, supportive atmosphere.
Challenge #8: The Lone Ranger Problem
If you’re the kind of person who needs to have others working around you to jumpstart your productivity—or a few minutes of conversation at the water cooler to recharge your internal batteries—working solo may be draining your energy and motivation.
Even if you prefer to work solo, time with colleagues and others is important for personal and professional growth. While some solitude can be an avenue to productivity, too much of it actually decreases morale and productivity.
Coworking spaces are a natural fit for both introverts and extroverts. Extroverts who are feeling lost and lonely without the interactions of a traditional workplace can thrive when given the creative and broad networking options of an inspirational coworking community.
But these spaces are also a perfect fit for introverts, who can collaborate and socialize as little or as much as they need—without the pressure of extended hours together in a conventional office setting. Wherever you fall on the introvert → extrovert continuum, being around other people working can improve productivity and motivation.
Challenge #9: Networking is Still Important
Remote and hybrid work can limit your opportunities for networking and making the kinds of formal and casual connections that can grow into solid work relationships, as well as lasting friendships. According to a McKinsey report,
Our own research on social capital shows that employees who feel more connected with people in their networks are two times more likely than those who feel less connected to report higher levels of sponsorship (or advocacy from a senior leader or colleague for their career advancement), one and a half times more likely to report a sense of belonging at work, and one and a half times more likely to report being engaged at work.
Clearly, networking is still a big deal in today’s remote and hybrid work environments.
Related: The Need for A Creative Coworking Space
In a coworking space, workers can find a vibrant atmosphere that leaves room for work but also opens doors to new faces and a broad range of backgrounds, experiences, and personalities. Everyone in a coworking space is a potential colleague, customer, and, of course, friend. Because the working areas in most coworking locations are very flexible, you also have the choice to move around to different workspaces. You can get your work done around people you enjoy working alongside or brainstorm with people who bring very different ideas to the table.
Challenge #10: A Lousy Work-Life Balance
If you’re a remote worker or freelancer working at home, you may have noticed your work hours extending further and further into the night. Working from home can make it easy to take extra breaks and deal with personal and household interruptions. This flexibility is sometimes ideal, but it can also lead to increasingly longer hours and less time for yourself, your family, and your interests away from work.
Using a coworking space, even once a week, can help you keep your schedule on track and improve your work-life balance. Many sites also offer 24/7 access, so you can work when you need to but have the benefit of separating your personal life from your work life.
Choosing a Coworking Space
Venues for coworking vary widely in size, style, and amenities. Smaller setups may only consist of a handful of private rooms with a single shared area for breaks and equipment. Larger options may include many popular workplace amenities along with an array of different sizes, types, and styles of work areas. Look for a coworking space that provides:
- Private and open workspaces
- Conference rooms and other collaborative spaces
- Unique, inspirational furniture styles and configurations
- Printers, copiers, whiteboards, and other equipment
- Onsite staff
- Networking opportunities and events
- Flexible membership plans and options
- First-come-first-serve and dedicated space options
- A supportive, vibrant, welcoming atmosphere
If you’re looking for the perfect place to feel inspired and get work done, join the Vuka coworking community. Designed to nourish a work-life balance and elevate business, networking, and friendship, the coworking spaces at our two locations offer numerous spaces and membership options complemented by a full suite of amenities and comforts. We believe workplaces should create opportunities to build community and connections while helping you do your work efficiently and effectively. Get started by visiting us during one of our free coworking Fridays or by booking a tour to see how our space and ambiance will exceed your expectations.