Freelancers — consultants, solopreneurs, moonlighters and other temporary workers — make up a whopping 34% of the workforce. That number is expected to hit 43% by the end of 2020, making freelancing the new norm for work. With so many of today's employees working from home or in satellite locations, the real question becomes, "how to improve efficiency for remote workers?" Coworking might just be the answer. Combining the trappings and amenities of a traditional office with the freedom and flexibility of freelancing gives today's workers a shot at an employee's dream — being happy to go to work!
Are Freelancers Really Happier?
According to a recent survey from Reporterlink, 65% of those surveyed believe that freelancers are happier than traditional employees. In addition, the number one most desired benefit from a traditional employer is — you guessed it — telecommuting availability. The gig economy is here to stay. Happy workers are more productive workers, but many freelancers struggle to find a good balance between home life and work life.
The Challenges of Freelancing
It can be challenging to carve out space and time to work from home. When you're at home, the kids might need attention. Or, since you work at home, suddenly all the house-related issues fall in your lap. A maintenance man headed out to fix a leaky faucet? It's your job to handle that. Need a few things from the grocery store? Better work in some time to hit the road. Coworking helps freelancers better balance the need to work with the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss.What is Coworking?
Coworking is a concept that allows self-employed or freelance professionals the option to go to a fully functioning office when working. Like traditionally employed folks, freelancers leave for work in the morning (or evening, depending on your schedule), sit down at a desk and start working. There's no corporate culture to worry about or office politics, but there's a space that's dedicated to working. Having a routine and dedicating hours to work versus home can help freelancers make more productive use of their time.
How It Works and Why Coworking Boosts Productivity
A coworking space typically has high-speed internet, office productivity equipment (phones, faxes, copiers, etc.) and plenty of surface area to spread out and work on a project. In a coworking space, you might have an assigned desk or work in a hot desk environment. Either way, you have access to a fully functioning office with all the conveniences you'd expect at a business center.
You arrive. You set up at an empty desk or at your assigned desk and you start working. If you need a conference room, there's one (or more!) available with a rental. Just be sure to check the scheduling requirements at the space where you rent. Coworking is that simple and that powerful.
Defining the Productivity Boost
Coworking spaces deliver added productivity in a variety of ways. For many freelancers, the distraction-free environment is a big plus. There are no interruptions, allowing contractors to really focus on hitting milestones and delivering work product. But, the benefits don't stop there. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the sense of community, networking and flexibility also play a role in making coworking freelancers more fulfilled and successful. Working in a Community Environment
Working at home can feel isolated. There's no one to grab lunch or to blow off a little steam with. There's no one to ask questions or collaborate with for a brainstorming session. In a coworking environment, professionals in many different fields come together and offer individual expertise. There's no direct competition, but there's the opportunity to pick the brain of the local expert. A coworking space might have everyone from a lawyer to an architect, putting industry-specific expertise on tap.
Networking for More Jobs
That lack of direct competition can also pay off in more work. If you're a small business consultant, you might be the first point of contact for another freelancer in your coworking space when they have a client looking for your expertise. Marketing professionals can partner up with builders, and real estate professionals can find an architect. By putting many professionals into a single workspace, the networking potential goes through the roof. And, those in a coworking space aren't competing for the credit or the boss' attention. It's all about getting the work done. Flexible Space and Hours
Setting your own schedule is one of the biggest benefits of freelancing. When working at home, the quiet hours might be limited. The kids coming home from school or the neighbors getting home from work can add up to some pretty serious distractions. Night owls and those freelancing as a second job might need to work at odd times. Coworking makes that possible.
Most coworking spaces are available 24/7, putting you in control of when and how you work. If you work best in a crowded office and enjoy the energy of lots of people working, you can go in during regular business hours when more desks are full. If you want the morning to run errands and hit the gym, you can head to your coworking space in the evening. Putting in a few hours after dinner can still help rack up some extra income.
The Benefits of the Shared Desk
A shared desk lets you work a lot on one day and take it easy the next. Like with any freelance position, there's no boss looking over your shoulder to micromanage your work habits. Instead, you have a rental office that lets you work when you're at your most productive.
If you're looking for a place to work in Dallas, take a look at our Dallas coworking location near Galleria. The impressive list of amenities includes an office assistant, copy/print services, meeting rooms, phone booths. Podcast and video studio and much more. Streamline your workday. You can even set up an entirely virtual office with the services available.
Get a day pass here https://venturex.com/locations/texas/dallas-by-the-galleria/