Coworking is all the rage these days. If you get the chance to travel around Asia or Europe, you will found countless individuals meeting up with their laptops to work on their various projects in the same space. It’s one of the better changes in work that has come from the digital revolution.
Yet people still get held up when thinking about coworking. As with anything else that’s new, the image we have dominates our perception. But since we can’t really know a thing until we experience it ourselves, this image is nothing more than an unfair judgment. Overcoming this can be difficult, but it’s necessary for us to break down these barriers and grow.
Things are no different for coworking. Those who haven’t tried it likely misunderstand it, and all this is really doing is causing you to miss out on a professionally and socially rewarding way of getting your work done. Let’s take a look at five common myths about coworking that tend to hold people back from trying it out.
It’s an expense
Any time you leave the house, you oftentimes end up spending money. If you think back to your days working a 9-5 job, things such as gas, food, and coffee were all a regular part of simply getting to work.
When you start working from home, these expenses shrink considerably. Over time, these savings can be very noticeable, making it hard to go back to a world where you need to spend money to be able to make money.
This is the thought process when people hesitate to join a coworking space. Perhaps they associate it with renting out an office space (which can be quite expensive), or they just fear that by being out of the house will cut too far into their profits. After all, as an entrepreneur, every penny counts.
But this idea that coworking spaces are expensive is a myth. Some of them don’t charge anything, relying instead on selling coffee or food. Those that do charge usually offer plans where you can pay by the day or the time that you’re there. Coworking spaces are sensitive to the fact that entrepreneurs are on a budget, and they cater to this need.
Plus, when you’re surrounded by others who are looking for a place to work without breaking the bank, you can share some expenses. You can pitch in for things such as food or even premium coffee. If you’re on your own, you may not want to indulge in this stuff, but with others, you can enhance your work experience without having to spend a ton of money.
All in all, the expenses you’ll incur by coworking provides a much better return than those from a traditional job. The environment is better and more conducive to being productive, and you’ll meet some awesome people. It’s important to save money, but it’s also important to live life.
Adds too much routine
One of the reasons many people leave the traditional office scene to become freelancers or entrepreneurs is to escape what can otherwise be a rather suffocating routine. Getting up every day at the same time, going to the same place, spending the same amount of hours and doing the same thing can be really soul-crushing.
Working from home allows you to break free from this. If you want to get up at 10, you can do it! If you want to take a break in the middle of the day to watch a movie, no one’s stopping you. It’s easy to fall in love with this freedom and not want to give it up.
But just because you join a coworking space doesn’t mean you have to give this freedom up. Working there doesn’t mean you’re required to be there at specific times. You are still the master of your routine.
All a coworking space does for you is give you a place to work other than your home where you can find people in similar situations. Going to a coworking space carries no obligations or set schedules.
In fact, it’s actually a way for you to break up some of your more destructive habits that stem from working from home. All this freedom can sometimes lead to wasted time. Having a place where you can go that’s specific for work is a great way to help you be more productive and efficient.
Being able to work from home means you have complete control over the distractions that go on around you. You don’t need to worry about bosses or coworkers nagging you, and you won’t have to put up with a sudden rush of customers that makes your local café seem like Downtown Manhattan.
It’s easy to get used to this environment, but don’t be fooled into thinking a coworking space will take this away from you. You’ll be surrounded by people, yes, but the difference is that these people are there for the same reason as you: to get work done. Since everyone is working on something different, you don’t need to worry about people interrupting you with annoying questions or comments.
Time is usually designated for socializing, so you can be sure that when you want to work, no one will bother you.
It’s true that one of the perks of working from home is that you don’t need to go anywhere. You can stumble downstairs, have a coffee and be working within minutes of waking up. Choosing to go to a coworking space will take this away, to some extent.
But the difference is that you get to choose where you go. When working in a traditional office, you have to go where the office is. However, you get to choose which coworking space you go to. So, if you don’t want to travel too far, then don’t.
Most people underestimate the value of changing up their environment. It’s important to separate work and home spaces—your brain likes to know when it should be working and when it can relax—and taking yourself out of the comfort zone that is your home can be a great way to spark your productivity juices and get some stuff done.
Not ideal conditions
When we have the power to completely control our work environment—like when we work from home—we tend to get very particular. We like to have our certain chair, our favorite coffee mug. our own office and so on. This is normal. A good home office can be an awesome place to work.
But don’t let this desire for comfort make you rigid. As an entrepreneur or freelancer, you are relying on your creativity to make your living. Always doing the same thing in the same place at the same time kills your creativity.
Coworking spaces are professional settings. They will provide you with everything you need, and although they might not have exactly what you’re used to, that might actually be a good thing.
One important thing to remember is going to a coworking space does not mean you’re required to keep going. In fact, in many places you pay only for the time you are there. So, if you have an awesome home office, you’re not putting yourself in an “either/or” situation. You can still have the best of both worlds. Don’t let these myths hold you back. Give coworking a shot today.