If you’ve just landed a new job which allows you to work remotely, congratulations! You’re joining the ranks of a growing trend in the American workforce. You’re probably also the envy of lots of people you know who are still stuck in their cubicle-based jobs, wishing they could be as fortunate as you, working from the comfort of your own home. Take it from someone who spends a fair amount of time working at home: it’s not always as comfortable as one might hope.
There are certainly some unquestionable benefits to working from home. For starters no one is going to miss commuting in rush hour traffic to get to their job. And it’s great to be able to stay in your cozy lounging clothes, yes, even work in your pajamas if you choose, rather than have to get suited up for the office. But once you actually start working, you may find some new challenges.
For starters, home is filled with distractions. Do you have kids or pets at home? If so, they’re likely not to be as focused on your job as you are. And they may not even understand your need to stay focused on work, which can make your job more difficult than it already is. Even if you live alone, you may find that there are ample distractions, not to mention the fact that you’ve probably set up your home for relaxation, not hard work.
For this reason, many remote workers are finding value in another trend: co-working spaces. If you’re not familiar, these are shared office spaces, in which the workers aren’t necessarily employed by the same company.
Let’s look at a few of the advantages of utilizing a co-working space. For starters, you’ll leave the distractions of home where they belong: at home. Work will once again take place in a professional environment in which everyone around you is also there to work (even if they’re not doing the same work that you are).
Next, you’ll be able to work with more consistency, since all the amenities of a typical office can also be found in the co-working space. Whether you need to make copies, get some printing done, or set up a conference call, you’ll find all the tools you need at your disposal. Most co-working spaces include coffee bars to save you that trip to the cafe, and many even have eateries as part of the setup as well.
Another great benefit which may not be entirely obvious at first is the increased opportunity for networking in a co-working space. There’s no telling who your neighbors in the office might be. It could be a potential client, or perhaps just the person you need to partner with for a project you’re working on. While those may not always be the case, there is often value in simply have someone from another industry with a fresh point of view, who you can exchange ideas with for a fresh perspective.