Work from home vs coworking? We’ll look at the pros and cons of each way of working to help you choose the best location for your business.
Traditional offices may soon become just a memory as homework and shared coworking spaces become the hottest items on the market. Shortly before the pandemic, rumors circulated for a year or so about a shortage of regional office space. The thing is that very little new space has appeared, and rent has reached its peak over the past five years.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift to work from home for everyone. A growing number of small businesses and freelancers are already taking steps to set up a home or shared space. Now more than ever, for industries that can accommodate this, flexible working is the future, giving you and your employees the freedom they want.
Emerging businesses are finding they need to move beyond traditional private office space and explore more flexible options. But which is better, co-working or working from home?
Coworking spaces are taking off all over the worldas the demand for affordable office space is on the rise (does anyone else have rates that make them sweat?) and the trend towards collaboration continues in the business world.
These are places where multiple businesses share the same space or even desks in the same office. They are especially popular with aspiring entrepreneurs, who often like to chat and discuss strategies with like-minded people.
The advantage for businesses is that co-working spaces are flexible and secure. Most of them offer easy entry and exit conditions – usually with a month’s notice. They are also usually fully serviced, including internet, cleaning and security. Some offer free tea and coffee.
These creative co-working communities have emerged in clusters in UK business hotspots with companies such as be offices expanding from London to Birmingham, Bristol, Belfast and beyond. Increasingly, they appear in cities and even in villages.
Coworking can be a great way to avoid the isolation of working from home. There are colleagues in touch and opportunities for collaboration with other freelancers. You also get a professional business address and meeting place for clients and partners.
On the other hand, this can be an expensive solution. Although most premises will have many options, including part-time and even virtual rentals. Also keep an eye on the noise level; while most people are respectful, half a dozen business phone calls at the same time can be quite distracting. Noise canceling headphones are usually required.
I work from home
Despite the popularity of co-working spaces, homework is at an all-time high. More than 4.2 million Britons are now working from home, according to the agency. Office for National Statistics.
Not too surprising really. It’s a brilliantly flexible option for those who balance busy home and work lives, no commuting (unless you’re counting the steps from bed to desk) and generally no breaks, which means huge potential for productivity. And shh, don’t tell anyone, but the added bonus is that you can work in bed if you want, just find yourself padded lap tray and you’re done!
For employers, this means that you are not limited to recruiting employees within a certain radius, giving you more options to find the perfect person. Not to mention the reduction in labor costs such as office expenses, utilities and travel expenses.
However, take off your rose-colored glasses and you will see that this is not always such an ideal option. In fact, working from home can be isolating and a bit lonely.
The staff may miss joking with co-workers and the opportunity to meet interesting new people. Some also feel that it blurs the line between work and home, so you fall into the trap of working 24/7.
When it comes to working from home, there are three golden rules:
- Work only in the designated area; not your bed or your sofa. Go to the desk.
- Change your surroundings from time to time before you go crazy and start talking to the walls.
- Give yourself a break. It’s easy to forget when you don’t have a friend urging you to go out to dinner. Everyone needs a break, even those who work from home.
Let’s not avoid the elephant in the room. It takes a lot of trust for an employer to allow employees to work remotely without supervision. But if you have a motivated, dedicated team ready to go the extra mile to make the company a success, this can be a great idea.
Speaking of myself, I’ve been lucky enough to work in a co-working space with clients who don’t care where I am.
I stay at home when I really need to complete tasks like there’s no tomorrow, tripling my workload as there’s nothing to distract me!
But as a sociable creature, eager to communicate and make friends with colleagues, I usually go to the office.
The best thing is balance – and autonomy to choose from.
So what do you think? Have you decided to work from home or in a co-working space? Do you have an experience you would like to share? Ultimately, it depends on your personal style.