5 key benefits of co-working spaces for freelancers and solopreneurs
Juggling motherhood and a career have been an ongoing battle for many women, especially in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, these days, flexible options allow women to take better control of their lives. One of the greatest benefits of being a freelancer or solopreneur is working from anywhere, including from home.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, theDesk Sai Wan member and mumpreneur, Ainslie Young shares about the perks of opting for a co-working space to run her business.
by Ainslie Young
As a solopreneur, is working from home the best thing you can do for your business?
As a new mum, I returned to my business three months after having my baby. I had the grand idea that I could easily integrate motherhood with entrepreneurship (under the one roof), and all would be well. To cut a long story short, this definitely wasn’t the case and I needed an alternative workspace.
This is where a co-working space came into the picture. At first, I was apprehensive about this new overhead in my business. But quickly I realised that there were so many positives, both personally and professionally, from re-locating my workspace.
Here are some of the benefits you can expect as a freelancer or solopreneur when working from a co-working space:
1) Community and connection
It’s not uncommon to feel lonely when you’re a solopreneur working from home. Often the only new person you meet is the delivery guy or a representative from the gas company coming to check your meter.
But the benefit of a co-working space is that you’re meeting new people every day as well as building relationships with familiar faces, just like you would with colleagues in an office setting.
After two and half years of working from home and random coffee shops, I was ecstatic that theDesk offered me such a friendly community of like-minded entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and fellow freelancers who made me feel more connected to my work and my local area.
2) Flexible work options
Many solopreneurs and freelancers require flexibility in terms of where and when they work. This is why co-working spaces provide a perfect alternative to working from home, as often you can access your workstation 24/7, which is great if you’re a night owl or you like to work weekends.
Also, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to live the ‘digital nomad’ life and work as they travel. Co-working spaces, including theDesk, offer flexible contract arrangements where you can sign up for anything from a day pass to monthly and yearly contracts.
For me, flexibility around the number of days I work each month is important as I travel for business and pleasure, plus I have to be ‘on call’ as a mum.[/vc_column_text]
3) Stability, structure and work-life balance
If you’re one of those people who lacks a routine and you’re easily distracted when working from home, you’ll know that sticking to deadlines and achieving goals can be difficult. Although co-working spaces offer you flexibility, they also offer you stability and structure.
Knowing that I have a dedicated workspace and dedicated days that I work from theDesk allows me to be exponentially more productive, professional and focused compared to when I was working from home.
Also, being a part of a co-working space has gifted me a greater sense of ‘work-life balance.’ I’ve now drawn a healthy line between home and work by separating the two spaces. This allows me to be productive when I’m at theDesk and present when I’m at home with my family.
4) Access to amenities and facilities
When you work from a co-working space you don’t have to worry about all those little yet frustrating things, like the speed of the internet or whether the printer has ink in it, which can easily derail your productivity.
You also don’t have to worry about expenses such as utilities or purchasing new office furniture as it’s taken care of in your membership. Many co-working spaces, including theDesk, provide access to meeting and conference rooms as well as supplying coffee, tea and cold beverages and kitchen facilities so you can prepare your own lunch.
Not having to worry about these things frees up my time and my brain space, allowing me to focus on my clients and growing my business.
5) Business growth
When you join a co-working space you’re a part of a new professional community with members from different industries, who have diverse yet complimentary skill sets.
If your online home needs a facelift you could be sitting across from a sought-after web designer/developer in the business. And of course, that freelance web designer/developer could need your skills and expertise and could potentially provide you with leads, referrals and projects because their own clients need someone with your skill set.
In addition to the obvious network benefits, working from a co-working space has significantly improved my productivity and professionalism and as a result, my business has grown.
If you give it time, build genuine relationships and deliver great work, up levelling from working from home to a co-working space will pay for itself.
theDesk celebrates all the amazing mothers in our community who juggle career and family on the daily!
Ainslie Young is an Australian-born online business strategist, globe-trotting copywriter and certified life coach. Under her business Starting with A, she helps multi-passionate female entrepreneurs get super clear on exactly what their business offers, purposely package their services so they sell, plus teach them tricks to amplify their message online so they can grow their beautiful business.
She’s a mum who knows the challenges and joys that working mothers face. Ainslie is an active member at theDesk Sai Wan. Over at theDesk, she previously hosted copywriting workshops, as well as moderated the first Female in Focus panel discussion.