Spring has finally come to Michigan. With the warmth and sun, many remote and mobile workers are coming out of their homes and looking for space to work outside of their own homes. Find out why your local coworking space might be just the place to meet with customers, socialize, and get work done.
Big Business Buys in to Coworking for Mobile Workers
Working from home used to come with a certain stigma. If you worked from home, you must have been a stay-at-home moms looking to make a little extra cash while you cared for your children. You weren’t really working. After all, you were just staying at home all day.
But those days are gone.
According to one report from 2018 by IWG, the parent company for Regus offices, 70% of all employees work remotely at least 1 day a week. A full 53% work remotely at least half the time. This culture of mobility is spreading to some of the biggest companies, like HSBC, which houses over 300 of its employees at coworking spaces in Hong Kong. Corporate executives across every industry are seeing the benefits of empowering their mobile workers.
Buying into coworking spaces allows mid-size to large businesses to reduce their footprint, and their overhead, while allowing employees the flexibility to work close to where they need to be anyway. Digital technology allows for reliable video conferencing, task management, and messaging, which helps employees stay connected, even while they are miles (or even states) apart.
Mobile Working, Not “Working from Home”
Whether you are a sales professional making your rounds, or a developer whose company has “gone remote”, this trend toward the mobile workforce means that you get to decide where you work. When your boss lets you “work from home” you may think of it as a chance to kick back and wear your pajamas while you bust out those quarterly reports. And that may work, for a few days. But for people whose livelihoods depend on their productivity away from the office, working from home is often simply not an option.
Working from Home Means Pushing Past Life’s Distractions
One of the appeals to working from home is that you won’t be distracted by your coworkers stopping by your cubicle or taking annoying phone calls. But working from home has its own distractions: Netflix, the cat or dog, the kids, the laundry. It can be hard to put your head down and work when life’s distractions are all around you.
Coworking spaces give mobile workers a balance: they can separate themselves from the distractions of the workplace and from the housework waiting for them to clock out. Coworking spaces often have dedicated quiet zones or workplace rules that respect our members’ need to work without distractions. And because you are out of the house, you won’t be tempted to go tick items off your personal to-do list when you should be working.
Mobile Workers Escape Social Isolation of Working from Home
Every home-based worker I have talked to has gone a little stir-crazy at some point in their careers. When it’s just you and the cat every day, all day, you can get a little desperate for casual social contact. It turns out, “water cooler talk” — the small talk that happens between coworkers that has nothing to do with work — plays an important role in workers’ mental health, and their productivity. Without someone to decompress with, bounce ideas off of, or just get distracted for a moment, workers do less work, and feel worse about their jobs.
That’s what’s great about being a mobile worker. When you hit a low because you can only take so many reruns, you can pack up your laptop and head to your favorite local coworking spot. There, you can connect with your fellow members who can help you think through a problem or brainstorm a solution, getting you back on track. Not to mention, the B12 from the sunshine getting there might do you good.
Mobile Workers Settle In at Coworking Spaces, Not Coffee Shops
So if all you need is to get out of your house, why not take your mobile workplace to a cafe or coffee shop? Well, I tried that. For 2 years, I spent most of my mornings working out of a local coffee shop. I was one of the “regulars” parked at the bar trying to work around the constant flow of customers, sounds of grinders and espresso makers, and children. It was anything but ideal. Coffee shops might work for a quick networking meeting or first contact with a potential client, but they’re not designed with privacy or productivity in mind.
For corporate business owners empowering their employees to work mobile, coffee shops can be the worst of both worlds. Their nature as a public retail space brings myriad distractions that can pull employees away from their work. The noise and busyness of the cafe can make conference calls a challenge. While meeting your client over coffee may be casual, it can undercut your workers’ professionalism if every time they sit down with a client there is a sandwich between them. And then there is the tax aspect: while membership at a coworking space is clearly a business expense, can you say the same thing for those three caramel lattes you bought so the baristas would let you work all day at Starbucks?
Sign Your Mobile Workers Up for a Coworking Membership
Coworking spaces like the PatchWork Collective have evolved specifically to meet the needs of mobile workers. Corporate executives can buy memberships at these spaces to give their workers a place to focus and get work done, while supporting their mental health and productivity. Coworking spaces also provide a professional atmosphere to meet with clients without the distraction of crying babies or espresso steam. Not to mention, we still provide great coffee.
If your company has mobile workers in the Metro-Detroit area, the PatchWork Collective can give them a home-base where they know they can come to work, network, and meet with clients in a professional environment. Want to get your team into the PatchWork Collective, schedule a tour or call with one of our facility managers today.