Of the millions of people around the world who make use of coworking spaces, roughly 42% of them are freelancers. This not only makes them the largest coworking demographic, but the rate at which more and more freelancers are making the move to a coworking space is a sign that this figure is likely to steadily grow in the future.
However, what exactly is it about coworking that makes it so appealing to freelancers? Read on as Circle Hub talks you through some of the benefits that freelancers experience when they sign up for a coworking space.
What Exactly is Coworking?
Coworking is when you work from a shared office space. This space is usually kitted out with desks, chairs, and lounge areas, along with office amenities that people are free to use.
Coworking spaces come in all shapes and sizes. Some are housed in luxurious buildings with extravagant furnishings while others are more basic and eco-friendly. Circle Hub falls somewhere in the middle. Our workspaces are sleek and modern yet still offer a number of home comforts that ensure that our members feel relaxed when they’re here.
The Benefits of Coworking For Freelancers
So, why have freelancers become so enamored by coworking spaces? Here are just a few of the reasons:
Networking and Collaboration With Other Freelancers
For freelancers, working alone is the norm. Many only communicate with clients via a computer, resulting in minimal face-to-face interaction. Most freelancers enjoy this to a certain extent. However, there’s no denying that it can also feel pretty isolating at times. Not to mention, there’s not much opportunity for networking. This can make it difficult to expand and find new clients.
Working at a coworking space changes this completely. Rather than sitting on your own each day, you’ll be surrounded by people from a variety of different backgrounds and industries. Not only will you be able to easily meet other like-minded freelancers but you’ll likely also encounter potential new clients.
Either way, the networking opportunities available at a coworking space can also lead to collaborations with others. Whether this is simply an informal exchange of ideas and perspectives or an official venture, even just a short conversation with somebody new at a coworking space could really open up some doors for you.
At Circle Hub, we facilitate this by hosting casual networking events that our members are free to attend. You’ll likely find something intriguing on each week. This makes it easy for even the most introverted freelancer to make new connections and capitalize on collaboration opportunities.
As mentioned above, life as a freelancer can be pretty lonely. Statistics show that 70% of freelancers have felt isolated and disconnected. Sure, you could take your laptop to your local coffee shop and work from there for the day. However, even with all of those people buzzing about around you, you’re unlikely to receive the social stimulation that your mental health needs. There may be people around but interactions with them will be minimal.
Mental health is one of the biggest issues to consider when dealing with isolation. Experts have found that this can lead to a variety of problems, including depression, anxiety, and sleep deprivation. In the long run, not only will this impact your personal life, but it will affect the work that you do as well.
This is why so many freelancers gravitate toward coworking spaces. Although they may be a place of work rather than somewhere designed specifically for socializing, just a short interaction with the people around you will be able to lift your mood and improve your overall well-being. You’ll be surrounded by people who will be able to relate to what you’re feeling in terms of the work challenges that you’re dealing with. This will immediately make you feel less alone!
Privacy When It’s Needed
Going on what we’ve discussed so far, it would be easy to assume that a coworking space is simply a hub of social interaction where people are constantly networking. However, that’s not the case.
Most of the networking that occurs at a coworking space takes place in common areas. This is where people go to enjoy some downtime. The workspaces themselves are for working, and this is something that freelancers appreciate.
With that said, it’s not always feasible to work from a hot spot, meaning a desk where you’re surrounded by other people. Whether you’re working on something confidential or you need a distraction-free environment to concentrate on an important project, there will be times when you don’t want to be sitting in a busy, bustling workspace.
A good coworking space will have a solution for that. At Circle Hub, for example, we have private office suites that our members can hire by the hour. The smallest seats just one, making it ideal for freelancers who simply need a few hours of privacy to get some work done.
We also have conference rooms that can be hired by the hour. Again, these are available in various sizes, making them perfect for everything from a small meeting to a larger brainstorming session.
Increased Creativity and Productivity
From the social stimulation and ease of networking to the various workspaces that you can choose from, everything that we’ve mentioned so far not only makes working life more enjoyable for a freelancer, but can also lead to a big boost in both productivity and creativity.
A coworking space wants its members to be as creative and productive as possible. This is why most spaces will try to build an inspiring environment that stimulates motivation and innovation. You’ll experience that just from the sense of community and the reduced loneliness that you’ll feel when working at a coworking space. However, most spaces take things a step further by ensuring that everything from layout to decor is also conducive to productivity.
Research confirms this to be true, showing that around 74% of people feel more productive when working from a coworking space. Not only does the quality of their work improve, but they’re also able to build on their skills. Completing work to a higher standard in a shorter amount of time is something that everybody aims to do. However, a coworking space assists with this in so many ways.
Add Structure to Your Day
For many freelancers, one of the biggest challenges that they face is discipline. When working on your own, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to motivate yourself to do what you need to do. This is particularly the case when you’re working on your own. This can make it much harder to meet deadlines, leaving you feeling consistently stressed out.
Make the move to a coworking space and you’ll find it much easier to add some structure to your day. Rather than crawling from your bed to your home office, you’ll have to actually get dressed, go outside, and then settle into a working environment.
This will give you the discipline that you need to complete your work within a certain timeframe. The fact that you’ll be surrounded by other people who are working hard and being productive really helps with this too. It will motivate you to focus on your own work. This means that you’re much more likely to end the day with lots of checks on your daily to-do list.
A Healthy Work/Life Balance
Another issue that many freelancers struggle with is work/life balance. When you’re completely in charge of your own working hours, taking time out can be tough. It can sometimes be tempting to work as much as possible for as long as possible. However, this is when your mental health will start to take a dive.
Statistics show that these long hours can quickly lead to depression and anxiety. Work/life balance is something that’s hugely underrated. However, getting this right can be hugely influential when it comes to improving the quality of both your work as well as your personal life.
Some coworking spaces, including Circle Hub, strive to help their members establish a healthy work/life balance. How? By making it easy for members to take some time out of their day to focus on themselves. For example, if you’re feeling stressed out in the middle of the day and need to release some steam, you can head to our on-site fitness center. A half hour at the gym will not only help to refresh your mind, but studies show that it can leave you feeling more productive too.
If a midday workout doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other ways in which you can relax at Circle Hub. From our games room to our lounge areas to our kitchen, spending some time doing what you enjoy will be a big boon to both your working life and your mental health.
Cost Efficiency With Minimal Commitment
For many freelancers, the future is uncertain. Most work without a long-term contract to depend on, meaning that they could suddenly find that their circumstances change. This is why many freelancers avoid leasing an office space of their own. Not only can this become extremely costly but the long-term contracts that need to be signed are unrealistic for a freelancer.
However, with a coworking space, you won’t need to worry about any of that. At Circle Hub, our members pay by the month and there are no long-term commitments involved. If work is slow one month and you don’t plan on using the coworking space much, you can simply cancel your membership and then sign up again when things start to pick up.
Doing things this way is also very cost-efficient. Compared to leasing a traditional office space of your own, the membership fee that you’ll pay for a coworking space is significantly lower. It’s much more attainable for freelancers while also offering so many more benefits.
If you’re a freelancer and you feel as though you’ve been stuck in a rut lately, a coworking space could be just what you need to pick yourself back up. Not only will you experience a boost in creativity and productivity, but the networking and collaboration opportunities along with all of the other benefits that we’ve talked about can really help you to up your game as a freelancer.