The definition of working remotely has changed over the past few years. In 2016, there are three main options at your disposal - you can:
- work from home;
- find an “inspiring” workplace such as a coffee shop, a park or the beach; or
- work at a coworking space.
The majority of entrepreneurs will follow that order and, based on their experiences, 9 of 10 will find themselves in a coworking space.
Working at home provides one very important benefit - financial savings. Instead of spending money on renting a desk, commuting or buying a coffee and/or food, an aspiring entrepreneur is able to save that money or spend it on the business.
There are however, a number of intangible costs associated with working from home that many seem to ignore. Your mental state, for example, at “home” vs “work” should be different, yet most people tend to overlap these two or get the balance wrong – they tend to work too little, work too much or feel the pressures of working even when they are “at home”. This dissonance is appropriately managed by some, but not all.
Running a business from home can also cause issues when it comes to meeting with clients, customer or suppliers. While you can meet up in public venues or at a client’s location, this can suffice but tends to damage perceptions about your business and professionalism.
Working out of a coffee shop or other location is the next option. Despite the aroma of coffee, the views or the atmosphere, along with the obvious cost savings benefit (even after the coffee bill), there are a number of factors to consider. While you may be surrounded by people, the majority are there for their own reasons and are not interested in your endeavours. Despite your best choice of location, there are environmental concerns – from the changing weather itself to the changing noises, sights and sounds. By far the most complicated issue is technology – from dealing with patchy Wi-Fi connections and power hungry devices to an integral part of business - communication . Whether by phone, Skype or the myriad of options in between, it can be hard to make a sales pitch or conduct a customer induction in these environments.
The best option is coworking.
With a changing economy, more and more people are displaced from their typical 9-5 roles every year. Rises in automation and productivity affect the long-term definition of work.
In addition, despite the economic improvement we experienced since the GFC, many workers simply prefer the independent lifestyle.
According to CBRE Research, from 2007-2015, coworking grew from a measly 75 spaces to more than 7800 spaces.
Coworking spaces provide opportunities for mentorship and networking. You are provided with the opportunity to grow your professional network. You can find the right people at the right time. You don't need to invest in office space, you receive a tonne of resources and freebies, and you get access to a discounted membership as your team grows.
Coworking remains the first choice for small business and entrepreneurs.