7 Signs You're Ready to Move from a Home Office to a Shared Workspace
Adoption of shared office space is exploding—from day offices, to coworking space, to meeting rooms. Consider the growth in coworking space alone, which is expected to hit 5.1 million by 2022—up from 3.8 million today.
The digital era and its associated technology evolution and deconstruction of the traditional workspace—and workday—helped make what some thought might be a passing trend a new a disruptive juggernaut. The impact even extends to businesses with permanent physical workspace, with many spending millions of dollars to reengineer their workspace to “mirror” the human design of shared workspace environments. Rather than leasing permanent office space consisting of cube or office build-outs, real estate developers and management companies are opting to create shared workspaces that can be used on-demand by any business or solopreneur.
Solopreneurs: No Longer Locked in the Home Office
One of the worker segments that is benefiting the most from shared workspace are solopreneurs. These entrepreneurial workers comprise a significant portion of the workforce—an estimated 41 million. Historically, solopreneurs worked out of their home offices; permanent office space simply didn’t (and doesn’t) make sense—from the standpoint of both cost and the length of leases (typically five years).
There are definitive advantages of working from a home office: no commute, low cost, and work-life balance (however, cf. below). But with these pros also come cons. With the rise and wide availability of shared workspaces, solopreneurs have a viable, cost-effective alternative. So, what are some of the signs that it is time for a solopreneur to move from a home office to a shared workspace?
1. Broaden Networking
While you don’t have any distractions or interruptions caused by other workers in a shared workspace when working from a home office, you also don’t have the networking opportunities. Typically, there are dozens if not hundreds of other solopreneurs and small businesses occupying the same shared workspace. The opportunity to expand one’s professional and social network has advantages—new customers, partnerships, and connections. Further, as the ecosystem of people, companies, and industries in a shared workspace are diverse, solopreneurs often find they glean business ideas and opportunities that would never have happened if they had stuck to working from a home office.
2.Too Many Interruptions and Distractions
Home offices can present various interruptions and distractions that inhibit productivity. Children, pets, and spouses/partners can become a pressing problem. A few interruptions can add up over time and even impact business calls and virtual meetings. Outside noises—from construction, to traffic, to neighborhood kids and dogs, to garbage trucks—can also disrupt work, calls, and meetings.
3. Lack Work-Life Balance
Those who work from a home office often cite work-life balance as one of the pros. Studies show those who work from the home office are more productive. They also work more hours and have more stress than in-office counterparts. Thus, solopreneurs may discover inequities in work-life balance when working at home. Working from a shared workspace enables them to maintain defined work schedules and regain work-life balance they may have lost by working from a home office.
4. Missing Business Amenities
Shared workspaces come with business amenities that most solopreneurs cannot afford for their home offices. A few of interest include: a) sit-stand desks and even those that come with treadmills, b) curated beverages and snacks, c) personal care services (laundry, manicures and pedicures, massages, etc.), and d) physical fitness (yoga, climbing walls, weight rooms, etc.).
5. Need Meeting Rooms
Solopreneurs need to meet with customers, prospects, and partners. Hotel rooms are expensive (twice as much as rented meeting rooms). Coffee shops and cafes are noisy and lack privacy. Rented conference rooms in shared workspace are a great alternative—cost-effective options that convey the professionalism a solopreneur needs.
6. Get More Productive
Laundry, dirty dishes, housework, gardening, kids, spouses, neighbors, unexpected visitors, and other distractions can quickly sap productivity when working from a home office. These do not exist in a shared workspace.
7. Difficulty Getting Started Each Day
Working from a home office can become tedious and home distractions can make it difficult for solopreneurs to get started each day. In the case of shared workspace, solopreneurs have a location—with other solopreneurs and businesses doing the same—to which to go. “Peer pressure” and coffee with other workers in the shared workspace help get the workday off to a great start.
Flexibility of the Hybrid Workspace
We would be remiss without a concluding note on the hybrid workspace model—one that combines the home office with shared workspace.
One of the advantages of shared workspace is its on-demand availability. Solopreneurs can use it only when they need it, and there are no long-term leases that lock you into the space as is the case with permanent offices. Thus, as an example, solopreneurs can opt to work from their home office on Tuesday and Friday and from a shared workspace the other three days of a workweek. And if they have a meeting out of town or across town, they can elect to work from a shared workspace that day and their home office—or a shared workspace closer to their home—the next day.
With over 5,000 workspaces in 1,500-plus locations, Davinci Meeting Rooms are a great place to start for solopreneurs who are ready to start experiencing the benefits of shared workspaces.