I really enjoyed this post from Jack Martin a writer at the Business Development & Partnerships Coordinator @ Digital Press about the benefits of coworking space.
Working remotely isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Sure — I don’t have a “mandatory” start time and I get to pick and choose where I want to work from, but for anyone who has worked remotely before, you’ve probably run into the problem of finding a comfortable space to actually be productive.
For instance, in my first couple of weeks of remote life, I thought I would get the bulk of my work done at the desk in my bedroom. Wrong.
I then switched to a local café, which was nice, but on busy days I couldn’t focus. That, and the fact that I spent waaaaay too much money on coffee made me realize it wasn’t conducive to an 8-hour shift.
I tried my gym, the local library, even the front lobby of a museum — each coming with their own productivity blockers….
- At the gym, I saw too many people I knew and would get distracted (that tends to happen working remotely — people don’t understand you’re actually working).
- At the library, I couldn’t make phone calls or Skype with co-workers, for obvious reasons.
- And frankly, I felt like a weirdo sitting at a museum all day.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining about having a flexible schedule — I would absolutely choose remote life over corporate cubicle any day.
But working remotely brings the extra challenge of finding a ‘home’ you can regularly work from — something people with an ‘office job’ take for granted.
I found that home in a co-working space.
The whole co-working concept really began to catch on as more and more jobs allowed the flexibility to work from home.
That, and the rise of the digital nomad made spaces like these not only plausible, but profitable. Companies like WeWork capitalized on the growing popularity of remote workers and found a way to solve pain points in the market — i.e., everything I struggled with at the beginning of my remote life.
Most co-working spaces offer free amenities like soft drinks, coffee and tea, snack foods — even beer on tap. The space I work at has cold-brew on tap, which is more-so my speed. Of course, every company has its own amenities for members but for the most part, the above mentioned are included in all of them.
Memberships typically start at an open-concept plan, where remote workers can pay to use common areas at their leisure. Wifi, coffee, etc. are all included at no extra charge. Price varies depending on company and availability, but these types of memberships usually cost between $350-$400 a month per person.
From there, you can get memberships for a private office within the space, which are nice if a few of your colleagues live in the same city.
Of course, $400/month seems a little pricey for a workspace, but breaking it down, it’s pretty reasonable.
You’re guaranteed a spot to work—no more worrying about finding a table next to an outlet in Starbucks.
You don’t have to pay for coffee, tea, snacks.
There are phone booths if you need to take calls, conference rooms if you have team members in town, plenty of areas to lounge around and fully-equipped kitchens.
The spaces are well-kept—leave the messiness of your home and avoid sitting a sticky, crumb-infested café table.
No spotty wifi.
You never feel completely alone like at home, or totally overwhelmed, like at a busy café.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of working out of a co-working space, is the simple fact that everyone there is there for the same reason:
To get sh*t done.
The reason I struggled so much at the beginning of remote life was due to something I mentioned at the beginning of this piece: not finding a place to be productive.
I tried and tried to focus at home, but my desk is approximately three feet from my bed, which was impossible not to lay on when I needed a break. That ‘break’ would turn into an hour of procrastination almost every time. If I was discipline enough not to lay in my bed, I’d convince myself to hit the gym, go golf, walk the dog for the third time—you get the picture.
I simply couldn’t stay focused on work.
Likewise, I tried and tried to focus at various public spots, but sitting at a café—as so many remote workers do—can get really distracting. Bad music, babies crying, suburban moms talking tennis…I couldn’t hear myself think half the time.
At the end of the day, the majority of people in an out coffee shops aren’t there to work.
Co-working spaces offer an environment conducive to productivity, as everyone in there is there to work.
Just like a normal office, people clock-in, work, and leave.
You don’t have to listen to annoying conversations as you would in public, and don’t have your bed or t.v. to call you away from your desk.
I’ve been working out of a co-working office for just over a month—and it’s the most productive month I’ve had since working remotely.
If you’re a remote worker struggling to be productive, give a co-working space a shot.
After all, you can alway opt-out if you don’t like it.
- Jack Martin