Homeworking, Cafeworking or Coworking: What's the best option?
There’s a lot of options for small businesses, startups, sole traders and entrepreneurs nowadays. It can be difficult to determine the best option, not just in terms of growing your business, but for your health, wealth and time.
Now, as a coworking space, we’re obliged to say that it is indeed, coworking spaces - specifically ours. Analysis complete in half a paragraph. Damn we’re good.
Putting bias aside, we’ve done our own analysis (this means a low amount of paraphrasing other peoples work, and 0 copying - a rare event these days) of each particular type of workplace and found the positives and negatives of each, to give you a feel for what‘s right for you. Some of the findings might seem pretty obvious - but we all miss the obvious now and then, so it’s often good to have it spelled out for you.
Comfort. Home is often the most comfortable place to reside. You’ve picked the furnishings and have molded the space into something you like, so enjoy it.
Quiet. Now, this is critically dependent on circumstances, but for the most part you won’t have strangers disrupting your thought process by either rattling their coffee cups or talking loudly on the phone.
Time. If you’re sleeping at home, which most of us do - you’re already at the office. This amazingly cuts travel time down from a number above zero (which can go as high as infinity) to zero. Although, please note we’re not counting the time it takes to walk to your work area because that won’t be noteworthy unless you live in a palace.
Isolation. Even with pets - it can get a bit lonely - especially as a sole trader, without interaction with new people or banter with work colleagues. Even if you’ve employed a person or two, theres a likelihood the situation gets a bit stale.
The line between work & home can blur. Working outside of home for many people means you can distance yourself from your work physically, and more importantly, mentally. If it’s staring you in the face all the time at home, you' might feel the need to be working more than is healthy for a balanced lifestyle - and stress yourself out.
Distractions. Pets, kids, chores to do, and probably the most difficult - fun things to ignore. All of these can make it hard to focus on the tasks at hand. Although, reading one page of that new book wont hurt. Surely. You’ll get back to work after, at 110% effort
Flexible. Come in when you want, or use it as a permanent office location. In the case of StumpJump Co-Lab - need a boardroom to impress key potential clients? Hire ours out for a few hours, or use the cozy meeting room to converse with your team. Options.
Less worries & overheads. Cleaning, security, coffee, internet - the list is huge. Worry about your work, not about the small things. Allows you to devote more time and effort to the things that matter.
Community. New people are always coming through, and who knows who could be your next client, or business partner. At a coworking space like ours, you’ll always have someone to banter with, discuss the weather with, or collaborate with. Community also means events, and other opportunities to benefit you and your business.
Noise. More people, more noises. Usually. You’re likely to hear a fair few phone conversations going on, and just the usual noises of an office. Spaces like SJC with breakout areas and meeting rooms help to alleviate that - so we like to think our noise level management is great. Again, this is an unbiased analysis.
Cost. Staying home is a very low cost solution - in terms of travel & office costs. Coworking varies depending on the place and the type of membership. Some places, like SJC have deals running you can take advantage of - and also very reasonable fees for what you get in terms of amenities, discounts and benefits.
Travel. Many coworking spaces in Melbourne are in the city or in suburbs that are very close to it, however SJC is one of a few spaces that have chosen to set up in the outer suburbs, making travel much less of a hassle. Nothing can beat the travel time and cost of working from home, but coworking spaces are spreading, and some are very close by - meaning travel isn’t as much of an issue.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Similar to coworking, except the membership fee is more centered on how many coffees you purchase and the relationship you have with the owners. Noise is worse, cost is better, and you don’t have a dedicated space or that office/working atmosphere.
Additionally, important clients might not be impressed with the more casual space, and neither will the other customers if you’ve spread your excel spreadsheets across three tables. Don’t do that - unless you’ve bought at least three coffees and a steak sandwich to appease management.
Hopefully that’s gien you a good roundup of the three major types of spaces that many of us have found ourselves working in (that isn’t an actual office). We might have missed some things, so feel free to comment on your own experiences and let us know what you prefer!
If you’re looking for a coworking space - hit that contact us button on our website!