In the last years coworking has taken as an alternative for freelancers to working from home or at their own office. It offers flexibility, networking opportunities, and, for some, productivity benefits.
A coworking space is often a collaboration space, but it could also be an office-like setting or even someone’s home or loft.
The Harvard Business Review studied the matter and concluded coworking spaces help people thrive in three main ways.
#1 People who use coworking spaces are more likely to see their work as meaningful.
#2 Coworking spaces are usually accessible 24/7, letting people decide when they want to work and when they don’t want. There is more job control.
#3 People who use coworking belong to a community, although they maintain their own freelancing freedom.
Many coworking spaces offer amenities like kitchens stocked with snacks and beverages, high-speed internet, printers, meeting rooms, and even couches and other places to take a comfortable break. And they are cheaper than renting an own office.
Another coworking benefit is the chance for networking. In these spaces new projects and synergies between professionals can be born.
According to research by user experience researchers Melissa Gregg and Thomas Lodato, co-working can be a positive choice for many freelancers. Co-working spaces, they write, “expanded significantly in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008/9”, adding this “style of work emerged in response to the slow plod of austerity, hollowed-out corporations, underemployment and career insecurity”. They say that “co-working spaces met a growing demand for care and fulfilment as much as employment”.
The freelancers before commit to coworking, need to considerate their work style and personality.
This kind of space is not a good solution for introverted people, above all because some distractions can be as in a traditional office: interruptions from others, noise, and less privacy.