Working From Home VS Using A Coworking Space: The Pros and Cons

Woman Working From Home 5

Startup entrepreneurs and digital professionals sometimes ask: is it better to work from home or from a coworking space? 

Each of these two options present their own unique advantages and disadvantages. It’s always best to weigh things up in your mind before making a decision. In case you’re having a hard time choosing, allow us to give you a little guidance.

In this article, we’ll talk about the most common pros and cons of working from home and working from a coworking space. Read on. We hope this helps you out!  

Working From Home

More companies have begun allowing their employees to work from home because of the pandemic. Indeed, there are now more remote workers across the world than at any other time in history. If you’re thinking about taking this route, here are some factors to consider:

Advantage #1: No need to commute every day

The most obvious benefit of working from home is that you won’t have to commute on a daily basis. Not driving or taking public transportation helps you avoid stressful traffic while saving time and money. 

Advantage #2: You can control the environment

You enjoy full control of your environment at home. Depending on your job, you can wear anything you want. Cozy clothes are definitely the best ‘office’ attire! 

Want to work from your dining room table or from the couch? That shouldn’t be a problem at all (although you do need to consider your posture for the sake of your back!). 

Advantage #3: Greater flexibility

Need to drive your kids to school? Or walk the dog, perhaps? You’ll be able to do all these things if you’re working from home.

Advantage #4: No need to spend on office rent

Now for business owners, operating a startup straight from your basement allows you to save big bucks. You won’t have to worry about paying costly office space rent each month.  

Disadvantage #1: Staying productive can be a struggle

Needless to say, remote work isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. For one, achieving productivity can be difficult. There are days when it's just hard to juggle your time between family, pets, household chores, and so on. Not to mention that there’s always the temptation to binge-watch the latest shows on Netflix! You definitely need self-discipline to overcome distractions as a work-from-home professional.

Disadvantage #2: Less work-life balance

In some cases, the idea of maintaining a healthy work-life balance unfortunately gets thrown outside the window. 

Dawn Fay, senior district president for management consulting firm Robert Half, said in a Monster feature:

“When you don’t have that separation of going to and from the office, your workday kind of blurs together into your home life.”

Disadvantage #3: Increased feelings of isolation

It’s easier to feel disconnected from the world when you’re constantly stuck at home. Although using private messaging and video chat can help, there’s nothing like being surrounded by real people. 

Disadvantage #4: No space for meetings

Your house may not be the most ideal venue if you have to meet with a potential business partner, client, or investor. It’s not the most professional place to do business - and first impressions really do matter!

Coworking Space

To give you an idea, a coworking space feels like a coffee shop and an office rolled into one. As with the work-from-home arrangement, it also has its own share of strengths and weaknesses.

Advantage #1: Social interaction can lead to network expansion

Living the life of an entrepreneur or a freelancer can be quite lonely. You won’t have to work in isolation when you sign up for a coworking membership. You become part of a large community and therefore, build a network with business owners and professionals who can potentially help you out on your journey. 

According to the US Chamber of Commerce: 

“Coworking spaces expose you to chance and opportunity. Who knows where a casual conversation may lead? Working in proximity to others allows quick collaboration to occur. Next thing you know, you could be hiring someone new.”

Advantage #2: A professional business environment without the hassle

If renting an office space is still way out of your budget, fret not! A coworking space can give you access to a well-lit, spacious environment with all the essential amenities. You won’t need to buy furniture, copiers, printers, or scanners because good coworking providers already have them. Some also offer conference rooms for your meetings and private phone booths. 

And since you aren’t bound by any contracts, you can stop using a space on your own terms.

Advantage #3: You can work any time you want 

Most coworking companies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which means you can come and go as you please. Are you more productive in the morning or are you more of a night owl who does your best work past midnight? A quality shared workspace can accommodate you anytime.   

Advantage #4: Improved work-life balance

That said, a coworking space doesn’t just give you a place to get your work done. It also allows you to finish and eventually go home so you can spend quality time with your loved ones. You get a feeling of fulfillment as you strike a good balance between your personal and professional responsibilities.

Disadvantage #1: Change is inevitable

Expect to be pulled out from your comfort zone. Case in point, your coworkers could be different each day. You might not even get to use the same seat or table, unless you’ve signed up for a dedicated desk. That said, change can be good! Meeting new people all the time provides more opportunities for collaboration and as for moving seats - in a quality coworking space, one desk is just as good as another.

Disadvantage #2: Lack of privacy (in the wrong kind of space)

Another potential issue, of course, is that protecting confidential or sensitive information might prove problematic. Being in a public place means someone else - such as a direct competitor - may overhear your conversations. Not all coworking spaces have private rooms or phone booths - be sure to seek out ones that do! 

Disadvantage #3: Some facilities may not be available when needed

Sure, coworking providers have meeting rooms and event spaces. Be warned, however, that these facilities may not be available if others are already using them. It would be wise to book in advance to avoid this problem.

Disadvantage #4: The potential distractions that come with using a coworking space

While coworking spaces are designed for focused work, sitting beside others exposes you to noise. Those around you could be typing loudly or having a Zoom meeting. This can be a bit distracting and may affect your productivity if you’re not used to it. Keep in mind that’s what headphones were invented for! Some professionals actually prefer a bit of ambient noise, and many say that you get used to it before too long.

Conclusion

To point out, there really isn’t a definite answer as to whether working from home is better than using a coworking space - or vice versa. Every choice has its positives and negatives and very much depends on your circumstances. It all boils down to the nature of your work, the budget you have, and your personal preference. 

If you want to learn more about coworking spaces, you can always get in touch with us by sending an email via [email protected] or giving us a call at (917) 722-5027. We’ll be happy to provide you with more details or even give you a tour so you can tell if coworking is right for you. 

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