A Purdue University Graduate in Electrical Engineering & Masters in Business Administration Nadim Ahmed offers his advice to business professionals and entrepreneurs who may be weighing in on coworking / shared office possibilities.
From my experience in corporations in cubicles, I always wanted to develop a workplace where people can come to work on their talents/passion with the support of the community.
The gig economy is here to stay. Freelancers make up an incredible 34% of the American workforce, a figure projected to rise to 43% by the end of 2020.
With so many of today's employees working from home or in satellite locations, the question of how to increase productivity for freelancers becomes especially pertinent.
65% of participants in a survey study by Reporterlink believe that freelancers are happier than traditional employees. Happy workers are more productive workers, but many freelancers struggle to find a good balance between home life and work life.
Coworking might just be the answer. Combining the trappings and amenities of a traditional office with the freedom and flexibility of freelancing gives today's workers a shot at an employee's dream — being happy to go to work!
Coworking is a concept that allows self-employed or freelance professionals the option to go to a fully functioning office when working. There's no corporate culture or office politics to worry about, but there's a space that's dedicated to working. A coworking space typically has high-speed internet, office productivity equipment and plenty of surface area to spread out and work on a project. You have access to a fully functioning office with all the conveniences you'd expect at a business center.
Working at home can feel isolated. In a coworking environment, professionals in many different fields come together and offer individual expertise. There's no direct competition, but there's the opportunity to pick the brain of the local expert. A coworking space might have everyone from a lawyer to an architect, putting industry-specific expertise on tap.
By putting many professionals into a single workspace, the networking potential goes through the roof. If you're a small business consultant, you might be the first point of contact for another freelancer in your coworking space when they have a client looking for your expertise.
Setting your own schedule is one of the biggest benefits of freelancing. Most coworking spaces make that possible without distraction because they are available around the clock.
If you enjoy the energy of a crowded office, you can go in during regular business hours when more desks are full. If you want the morning to run errands and hit the gym, you can head to your coworking space in the evening.
Coworking spaces deliver a distraction-free environment that allows contractors to focus on hitting milestones and delivering work product fully. But the benefits don't stop there. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the sense of community, networking, and flexibility also play a role in making coworking freelancers more fulfilled and successful.
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