Taking a Risk: The Benefits of Co-Working vs. Working from Home. Which is Best with Susan Beckingham
You’re self-employed. And, you’re definitely thinking about it. Becoming a part of the increasingly in-demand co-working revolution, that is.
Leaving the house to work elsewhere and in theory, get more work done. Now is the time. Without a doubt, you could be a part of a growing army of co-workers, each of them with a rainbow of skills, dipping in and out of the myriad office spaces in Brighton and Hove. Co-working, it seems, is big business in London By-The-Sea.
In so many ways, it’s a logical next step. But, if your income is unstable, it could be a financial risk.After all, why pay for the use of office space when you have a perfectly suitable room, or part of a room, at home – even your kitchen table? It’s warm, comfortable, and it takes you 7 seconds in the morning to reach your workspace. With added access to the fridge and your home comforts.
Why would you want to work in an office?
Well, I get it. For what it’s worth, let me share my experience – and my take on the co-working/WFH debate.
Who am I?
I’m a copywriter and SEO specialist, with 14 years’ experience, helping to get people’s websites working as hard as they do, through sparkling content, as well as on and off-page search engine optimisation.
Cards on the table: since August 2021, I’ve been based at Yacht Werks in Richmond Place, with ad hoc days a few years before that at The Werks in Palmeira Square, so I’m not exactly unbiased. But, I can honestly say that it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my business so far. Why? Because I’m super-productive, motivated, organised, engaged – all those things that I absolutely have to be in order to create high-level work for clients. (That I can charge decent money for.)
Copywriters, graphic designers, website developers, fashion designers – nearly every freelance profession, in fact, demands no small degree of concentration. And, Brighton is full of us “creatives”, concentrating all over the place.
Before becoming a full-time Yacht Werks member, I worked from a shared office in Hove for 4 years. Although astonishingly basic in many ways (there was no running water, for example), the people there were lovely, the environment calm and focused, and…this is key: my turnover and profits started to go through the roof, and have been on the up ever since.
Why? Because I stopped working from home.
Let’s look at the benefits of co-working, then:
There are Far Fewer Distractions
Let’s start with the obvious one, with equally obvious yet extremely important explanations: when you work from home:
The landline rings (and it’s your Mum, calling for a chat)
You suddenly notice things that need doing – laundry, hoovering, you name it
The TV is just there, calling to you
Ditto, social media
People come to the door
What’s in the fridge?
That cupboard’s a mess…
Need I say more?
In contrast, your co-working space is your office. You’re there to work and, you can focus on doing exactly that. There’s something wonderfully satisfying about realising just how productive you can be when you eliminate life’s distractions from your working day.
A Better Work-Life Balance
A point that expands from the one above. If you’re at home beavering away, the lines between your personal, family and business environment can become blurred.
You’re never properly “off-duty” because you may feel that you’ve not completed as much work as you’d hoped. Co-working offers you a professional environment, enabling you to soak up the energy of others, and up your game in like fashion. You’re motivated, with the drive you need to succeed.
In my opinion, leaving “the office” to go home at the end of the day is a superbly satisfying feeling. You’ve been at work – and now is the time NOT to work.
Co-working spaces such as The Werks don’t tie you into a contract.
There’s no need to commit to a long-term lease, and you can choose the number of days that you work from your chosen shared office location - and just pay for what you use. You can even cherry-pick ad hoc single days, with affordable pricing to suit. Have a quick look here at The Werks’ day rates and flexible packages.
This is fabulous if you’re working on that humungous, short-deadline, quite scary project. Or, if you have family commitments, yet still want to get some splendid work done. Equally, if you have a part-time freelance business
You’re going to be in a space with other, like-minded people. Does that concern you? Don’t be worried, and here’s why: in my experience of previous Yacht Werks co-working, nobody, but nobody was ever loud, obnoxious or inconsiderate in any way, shape or form.
In fact, there’s a vibe of quiet, concentration going on. Likewise, these are great people to network with. As a content writer, I’m always on the look out for website specialists, so co-working has been a wonderful opportunity to meet business partners.
Or, just to have someone to pass the time of day with when you stop for a coffee break. Even a night out, if you get to know them better.
Costs. Yes, it Can Work Out Cheaper
Think about your return on investment.
Firstly, what does “more productive” due to your newly improved, nay stellar concentration span in a co-working space mean to you? What does it look like? You’ll spend X amount, but are you likely to produce higher quality output, for which you can charge more. Perhaps you’ll get more work done, yet within the same time frame.
Also, think about the fact that utilities, Wi-Fi, maintenance and cleaning are included in the cost of your fee. Someone else takes care of these, leaving you more time to devote to your business.
My conclusion? Personally, co-working was an outstanding next step in my business when I realised that I needed to be uber-productive. Now, I work full-time from my own rented office at The Werks, and I love my office-from-home personal space. If you’d like to take a similar risk, I highly recommend that you do.
Is co-working the best answer for everyone? Well, obviously, the answer is no, not least because we’re all different. Many people are way more disciplined than I am; they have a steely determination, and an iron will. I admire these people. I want to BE them. But, I never will be, so I’m delighted to be where I am.
With flexible co-working, you could be taking a risk without it being risky. Remember, you’re not tied in, so it’s well worth giving it a go.
Written by: Susan Beckingham (Sussex Copywriting Services)
Based at: Yacht Werks, 28-29 Richmond Place, Brighton
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