What’s the best option for you and your business?
As a freelancer or remote worker, you have the freedom to work from wherever you like. The idea of working in the sun on your balcony, from your bed in your pyjamas or in your cosy home office creates a dreamlike image of a freelancer’s everyday life. However, you still need to get things done, right?
I have been working as a freelancer and entrepreneur ever since I graduated from university about 10 years ago and during this time I have been working both from home and shared office spaces.
Each solution has its own pros and cons, it’s just up to you to decide what suits you. This is a guide to help you to find the best option for you and your business, including what I think are the 5 main advantages of each alternative.
Working from home
Most people would probably say that the main advantage of working from home is that it’s free. Depending on the tax regulations in your country, you might also be able to pay a part of your rent with your company’s money. Just be sure that you do it properly!
I asked some some freelancers and remote workers I know what they think are the best parts of working from home.
“Being able to work from home means no extra rent costs, or travel time to and from work, which served me well when I was first starting up”, says Kajsa, one of our members at Box Space Co-working Malmö.
Speaking from my own experience, another advantage is that you can easily and quickly switch between work and your private life during the day. On a Monday morning, you could literally crawl from your bed to your home office (if needed). Or why not go to the grocery store on your lunch break, when it's less crowded? You can mix between working and get private tasks done during the day.
Or, as our member Vebjørn puts it: “It saves commuting time. You can work straight out of bed in your undies. You also have flexibility in how you distribute work over the working day. You can mix working with other chores like washing clothes”.
5 advantages of working from home
I would say, that the main upsides of working from home are...
1. It’s free - rent is already payed
2. It’s flexible - mix your work with your private life
3. Cozy and comfortable - you can work from your bed
4. No dress code - work in your pyjamas if you like
5. You are alone - you don't get disturbed
Sounds like the perfect life, doesn’t it? Well, there are downsides with working from home as well. Some of the disadvantages with working from home often mentioned are the risk of procrastination, distractions (such as cleaning, laundry etc), lack of inspiration, isolation and that eventually, it gets boring.
Working from a coworking space
Personally, after a couple of years working from home, I started feeling less motivated and lonely. I decided to move my office from my living room and join a co-working space because I wanted to get inspired and expand my professional network.
Many of our members also worked from home before they became members at Box Space. So, I took the opportunity to ask them: "what do you think are the best aspects of being part of a co-working space?" Here are some of the answers.
“A work environment separated from my personal life where I can focus, get work done, and meet others "over the coffee machine", is very important for me. Also, events and happenings can both be inspirational and give me opportunities for meeting new people”, says Vebjørn, working as a remote sales agent.
Sofia, who runs a travel agency, says “I get more focused on my work and I get more creative and get better routines. Also, I meet other people in my own situation and I never feel lonely. Actually, I work on my network everyday without even thinking about it”.
“It feels like I go to work, not only physically but also mentally. I also like meeting and getting to know other people”, says Rickard, remote working management consultant.
“I am removing the home from the picture, so the distractions are gone. I can stay more focused on my tasks and when I take breaks they really become breaks”, says Kajsa, who is starting up her own coaching business for actors.
5 advantages of working from a coworking space
To me, the main positive aspects of working at a co-working space are…
1. You get more productive and effective - “work hard, play hard”, as they say.
2. Socializing and networking - you belong both to a community of people and a business network.
3. Free coffee - the universal and always inevitable argument.
4. You improve your image - you got a place to invite your customers.
5. Get inspired - the people, the environment and probably your morning walk to the office will provide you with new ideas and perspectives.
I might be biased, but my personal and honest advice is: Stop working from home. Go visit some coworking spaces in your city and choose one where you feel comfortable and inspired. It might cost you a little but it's an investment in yourself and your business.
Founder of Box Space Co-working Malmö