As a freelance consultant, you chose to work for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to work by yourself.
We all know it can be lonely as a freelance consultant, especially if you work from home a lot. That’s why you’ll often find us at cafes – so we can work and be around other people. Or we’ll organise meetups, where groups of freelancers can discuss common issues and problems, share ideas, or just socialise.
Or maybe you need a professional meeting place to take clients, but the idea (and cost) of a serviced office doesn’t thrill you.
Welcome to coworking!
What is Coworking?
At it’s core, coworking provides a place to work – that usually means desks, an Internet connection, and coffee, plus meeting rooms and a common/lounge area. A coworking space is where freelancers, start-ups and other independent workers can come together in a shared office. But it’s much more than that.
Coworking has exploded over the last few years and is still growing in popularity with new spaces regularly popping up all over the world. CoworkingResources and Coworker estimate the coworking market to double between now (2020) and 2024.
What are the Benefits of Coworking?
Many people who leave their jobs to become independent consultants often miss the camaraderie and social interaction of the office. Coworking can definitely help there.
I believe coworking is an excellent example of the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. It’s the collaboration and sense of community that differentiates it from other office environments. What you get is a knowledge pool made up of people from various fields all, willing to share and collaborate, and that allows for the cross-pollination of ideas.
Not to mention it’s very handy to be able to bounce an idea off someone for a quick sanity check. Add to that regular social and educational events, and often even access to experienced mentors, and the value to members is huge.
In short, the networking and connections that coworking enable are invaluable.
Oh, and membership usually costs a fraction of what you would pay to rent an office or use a serviced office, and you can come and go as you please.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with coworking.