You have the option to telecommute. Congratulations! Not everyone can have the freedom to choose where they spend their nine to five. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics only about 20 to 30 million people telework at least one day a week. So where DO YOU choose to work?
For many remote workers a home office seems like the perfect setting, but there are others (like me) who feel the need to get out of the house on some days, but not quite the urge to go sit in a cubicle at the office. Lucky for us working from “home” is a rising trend and there are co-working spaces popping up all over.
So how do you decide if co-working is right for you? Let’s start with some pros and cons.
Most co-working spots offer the tools we need and may not have at home to do modern office work. Obviously a desk or table to place your laptop and working materials are available. Many have conference rooms or other private spaces to have meetings. WiFi is usually provided, along with copiers, scanners and fax machines, and lets not forget the coffee maker!
It’s not free. Most co-working spaces (unless you are at a coffee shop) charge some sort of fee. Sometimes it’s weekly, monthly or in some places just a daily fee. If you have the option of coming into the office, I doubt your company will pay for you to go co-work elsewhere, so you’ll most likely foot the bill.
There are options when it comes to choosing the right co-working space, and what works for some employees may not work for others.
Traditional Work Space
If you are more productive in an office type of setting this may be the best choice. Traditional co-working spaces offer private offices or cubicles. If you are looking for a more silent alternative this is definitely the way to go. It IS like being at the office, except everyone works for someone else. Many of these co-working spaces offer administrative assistants, interns or receptionists for an added fee.
Community Work Space
These co-working spaces (most of the time) consist of an open floor plan. Think more along the lines of tables, chairs and couches dispersed throughout the space. The perfect example of this is a place called Vuka I recently visited after hearing some buzz about it. At the time there were about 30 people there. There was a kitchen, and a coffee bar and it was never silent.
“I love that it’s an open environment, you definitely do not feel like you are working in the corporate world. It is relaxed and feels like a place where creativity flows. It also has a strong community feel,” said IT professional Christian Soriano. It was his first time to visit Vuka.
It’s not only Vuka that is doing things a little differently. There’s another co-working space for women only. I’ve seen them geared toward photographers, or another that focuses on entrepreneurs only. I could go on and on.
A Happy Medium
Co-working is a great alternative for remote employees who may not even live in the same city as their company but still want feel like they are part of a group.
“I would say the biggest difference for me between staying home and co-working is the camaraderie with other intelligent and ambitious people, which you don’t have when working solo,” said Darren Smith, a software developer for CabForward.
The number of employees telecommuting at least two days per week has increased at least 73% since 2005 according to one report. It’s a trend that although not suitable for all industries will most likely continue. As more tools are available that allow us to do our work remotely while remaining “connected” to the office I expect we’ll see even more co-working options for you to choose from.
What kind of co-working space would you like to see?