Remote work is, thankfully, here to stay. While we love not being cooped up in a corporate office, we can’t deny the perks of having a dedicated workspace. As a freelancer, you need equipment, privacy and other resources that you can’t get at home…or in the corner of a coffee shop. Coworking spaces fill in these gaps.
Here’s everything you need to know about coworking spaces and why freelancers love them.
What Is a Coworking Space?
Coworking spaces offer a flexible, low-cost way to reap all the benefits of permanent office space. It’s a shared office space, usually with desks, conference rooms, and basic office supplies that can be rented out by companies, teams, or individuals. They’re great for small businesses and freelancers who need a productive workspace but aren’t ready to invest in their own property.
What Types of Coworking Spaces Are Available?
Coworking spaces come in all shapes and sizes, from luxury facilities to tech hubs to environmentally-friendly pods. They’re designed to fit the needs of all kinds of workers. Whether you need a desk for weekly video editing sessions or a conference room to host client meetings, you’ll have no trouble finding one that works for you. In general, you can choose between:
- Open: These stay true to the traditional idea of coworking. They’re open to workers from different companies and have shared common spaces.
- Private: These spaces are for large teams or companies that need a private room or full floor of their own. It’s good if you need space to store your belongings or privacy to collaborate. Most coworking spaces have a mixture of open and private workspaces.
- Industry-specific: These spaces are geared toward workers in specific industries, like music, tech, or design. You can find people who share your interests and get access to specialized equipment.
- Venture/incubators: These spaces provide resources, like mentorship programs and funding, to help businesses grow. They’re best for startups or companies looking for support.
The Benefits of Coworking Spaces for Freelancers
Freelancers are no strangers to working from anywhere. But, for the last couple of years, working from anywhere was strictly work from home. Now that you’re free to venture beyond your living room, here are seven reasons you should give coworking spaces a try.
#1 Work Well, Wherever You Go
As a freelancer, you’re used to turning unconventional spaces into your personal workstation, whether it be your favorite coffee shop or your apartment closet. We love your innovation. But these makeshift workspaces aren’t always comfortable or efficient.
So sure, you could set up shop anywhere, but you don’t have to. With a good coworking space, you get all the benefits of a home office or private studio without having to create one yourself.
And these places are everywhere, literally. Need a desk to edit photos for your gig out of town? No worries! You can find coworking spaces in most major cities. They make it super easy to get work done while traveling. Otherwise, you’d be stuck handling large projects on your hotel’s WiFi. Yikes.
So, whether you’re working from a quiet coastal town or a bustling city, look for the nearest coworking space. They’re sure to help you complete your work, wherever it takes you.
#2 Find Your People
Working from anywhere means you’re on your own…a lot. Freelancers often work by themselves and only communicate with clients through a computer screen. We know you love the freedom, but everyone gets lonely. So, if you’re craving some good old-fashioned human connection, a coworking space is the ideal place to network with other freelancers.
Coworking spaces naturally attract freelancers, so you’re sure to find people who relate to the ups and downs of your career. You get to build a community of freelancers that can uplift and motivate you, like coworkers but without the office politics or forced socialization.
Coworking for freelancers is especially important because referrals can open major doors in your career. Who knows? A short conversation at your local coworking space could lead to your next big project.
#3 Build Your Skills and Your Client Base
Coworking spaces can also help with your professional development. Some host programs and events that teach new skills in your field and connect you with industry professionals. You can meet future clients or get tips to expand your business.
Depending on the facility, you might get access to consulting services or mentorship as part of your membership. Or, they might offer marketing services that help you spruce up your portfolio and get your name out there (for an extra fee!)
Either way, you’re sure to find resources that can take your freelance career to the next level.
#4 Get Out of the House
Freelancers often have the freedom to work from home, but there are still challenges. It’s easy to get distracted by needy pets or loud housemates. Not to mention, staying inside day in and day out can do a number on your physical and mental health. Everyone needs space, even from their own home.
A coworking space is a breath of fresh air for freelancers who rarely make it out the front door. This change of scenery can lift your spirits and help you have a more positive workday.
A good work-life balance is also essential, but the lines can get blurry when you’re living room doubles as your office. While you have more control over your schedules, you might find yourself working longer than the typical 9-5. Going to a coworking space makes it easier to block out clearly defined work hours.
Besides, once you’re out of the house, you won’t have to worry about your bed calling out to you for a nap.
#5 Boost Your Productivity
Stuck on a product design? Bored of doing research? No inspiration for your next presentation? No problem! Coworking spaces are hubs for productivity. Everyone around you is cooking up something new. So, these spaces pretty much come with built-in accountability partners. The buzz of your peers working towards their goals are sure to inspire you to get your own projects done.
Interested in the space, but not the people? Don’t worry! Coworking spaces are still an option even if you’re not much of a people person. You can find coworking spaces with private offices that give you the peace and quiet you need to focus. Just know that these rooms cost a bit more.
#6 Endless Amenities
All coworking spaces are different, but most offer a wide range of amenities. So, freelancers are likely to find everything they need to get their jobs done. At the very least, you’ll have access to a hot desk, i.e., unreserved desks that are up for grabs. Other than that, coworking spaces typically provide:
- Standard office equipment like printers/scanners.
- High-speeded internet.
- Conference rooms with whiteboards, projectors or smart TVs.
If you’re more of a night owl, you can find coworking spaces with 24/7 access. So, feel free to work or not work as you please.
Some coworking spaces are niche-specific. You can find recording studios for your voice-over gigs or a creative set to film your content. You may be able to rent out specialist equipment like 3D printers or microphones.
Coworking spaces aren’t all work and no play. Like many modern office buildings, you can find areas reserved for wellness and relaxation. Some are even pet-friendly. You can bring your furry pal to keep you calm throughout the day.
And of course, keep your eye out for a kitchen area with snacks! Even if they don’t serve food, these buildings are typically centrally located so you’ll have access to surrounding restaurants.
#7 No-cost Commitments
Coworking spaces are ideal for freelancers who want flexibility. Maybe you’re not ready to sign a year-long lease for a private studio, or you only need temporary desk space to design your client’s website. Coworking spaces operate on short-term, monthly memberships. So, you only pay for the time you need.You might want to sign up for a membership to get the most bang for your buck. But, most coworking spaces offer day passes if you need a quick fix.
Is Coworking for Freelancers?
Freelancers are inherently independent. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of coworking. Coworking spaces make it easier for freelancers to compete in their industry. They provide resources and equipment that you might not have access to at home. They also allow you to meet with other freelancers who can give you advice and introduce you to new opportunities.
Coworking spaces are totally flexible. You won’t be tied to an expensive lease or long-term membership. They’re available in most major cities and often have 24-hour access, allowing you to work wherever and whenever you want.
The bottom line? Coworking spaces are designed with freelancers in mind. If you’re struggling to focus at home, need some extra equipment to complete your gigs, or just want a private desk while traveling, go ahead and look up your nearest coworking space.