There are a lot of benefits to life as a professional freelancer. You get to set your own hours, control what you do, and keep all the profits. But let’s be honest, there’s a down side too. Isolation, a loss of professionalism, and a lack of separation between work and home can all leave a full-time freelancer feeling like they have nothing to show for their work. That’s where a coworking space can help.
Freelancing Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely Work
When freelancers cut the cord to the corporate office structure, they may not realize they are isolating themselves from their coworkers as well. And while you may think getting away from that one annoying office mate is worth it, pretty soon, you may find yourself longing for just 5 minutes of banter with another human being.
But freelancing doesn’t have to be lonely work. A coworking space provides casual contact with other professionals who share your priorities:
- Working your way
- Following your passion
- Being productive without getting chained to a desk.
This all-important human contact can come as 5 minutes in the break room first thing in the morning, sharing lunch together, or – if you’re like me – taking 15 minutes to crash through the New York Times crossword together on a break. No matter how you connect with your fellows in the coworking community, you will find yourself developing those work friendships you missed when you went off on your own as a freelancer.
Shared Office Space Keeps Your Professionalism on Par
When your workday starts whenever you pull out your laptop, it can be all too easy to slip into a habit of not working. Maybe you just don’t shower today, or maybe you put off that assignment until after one more episode on Netflix. Maybe the idea of taking a conference call in your PJs starts to sound just a little too appealing. Especially when work gets slow, freelancers can find it hard to stay motivated and committed to developing their professional pipeline.
But when you work in a shared office space, your fellow coworkers keep you motivated. Their excitement for their latest project, assignment, or marketing idea can push you to develop your career too. At the very least, you know that you will need to put on a clean shirt and show up, otherwise someone might notice.
Coworking doesn’t have the same competitive spirit as the corporate world. After all, each person is doing his or her own thing. But it does give you the structure of a professional office setting. And that will help you prioritize your freelance career and build your business beyond just paying the bills.
Freelancers Use Coworking Spaces to Separate Work from Home
Many freelancers do most of their work from home. Their office is their couch and their kitchen table is their filing cabinet. And that can be great, until it isn’t. Working from home poses 2 separate risks that seem exactly opposite, until they both happen to you at once:
1. Your Home Life Takes Priority Over Your Work
When you are first starting out as a freelancer, or have hit a slow period, it can be all too easy to let housework get the better of your professional too do list. Laundry, dogs, and especially children have a way of taking up a lot of your day, leaving not nearly enough time for those 3 big daily goals.
2. Your Work Life Never Ends
The other side of the coin to working from home is it can become far too tempting to do “just one more thing.” When you pick up the laptop after your kids go to bed, or work though one too many family dinners, it can through your work-life balance out of whack. And because this is all happening in your home, it can feel like there is no escape.
A dedicated coworking space gives you the separation you need to divide work from home life and give each their proper attention. By having someplace to go when it is time to work – whether that’s at 9am or 11pm – you signal to your brain that it is time to focus on your freelancer work. Then when you go home you will be more present to the pets and people waiting for you to arrive.
Freelancers get some of the biggest benefit out of working in a coworking space or other shared office arrangement. These facilities give them a dedicated place to get work done and surround them with like-minded people working on different projects.
The PatchWork Collective in Ferndale, Michigan is looking to build just that kind of community. With lockers, open coworking spaces, and rent-by-the-hour office space, we can provide you with the setting you need to fight off isolation, maximize your professionalism, and get work done. Contact us today to schedule a tour.