About 4 million Americans work from home at least half of the time according to the State of Remote Job Marketplace report in 2018 and that number will continue to rise. A software company, Intuit, projects contingent workers to assume 40 percent of the total workforce by 2020. That is only one year away!
With the drastically changing landscape of the U.S labor force, more people are working remotely than ever before for good reasons. When companies give the option for their employees to work from home, they offer increased flexibility, better work hours, and more satisfied employees.
But employers have been resisting this pull for many years, concerned about the productivity of their remote employees. But working from home can allow people to focus on a specific task without being interrupted by countless meetings, loud coworkers, and other office distractions.
Working offsite doesn’t have to simply be opening up your laptop in your living room. Coworking spaces are growing in popularity among remote workers across the country. Which option is better for you, a home office or a coworking space? Let’s look at the benefits of each to help decide.
Home Sweet Home
Working from a home office is a wonderful option for so many people. Between the convenience and flexibility, it often helps people achieve more than they otherwise would. Here are some other great benefits of working at your home office.
- Short to nNo commute
- When you work from your home office, you do not have to get up early and sit in traffic for an hour to make it to your desk. You can design your hours to start a little earlier or work a little later than you otherwise would be able to. A long commute is one of the big reasons that people get burned out, and eliminating that will help workers be more productive and spend more time working than getting to and from work.
- Personal space
- With a home office, you can design and fill it with things that matter to you: your computer, a personal printer, family photos, your favorite white noise machine, etc. Some of these things cannot be brought into a traditional office space, especially offices that don’t have assigned desks. A home office also allows you to have a quiethave quiet space to complete tasks without having to make small talk with other coworkers.
- Less expensive
- A home office is essentially free since you already pay to live in the space. Coworking spaces often charge huge monthly fees to reserve a spot which can add up really quickly. You can also deduct a home office from your taxes (as long as you don’t pay for other office space) which can give you additional savings.
Of course, working from a home office can also present some challenges, one of the main ones being distractions. You can get easily distracted by half-finished laundry, dishes, pets, and family when you are at home which can impede your overall productivity.
When working from your house, it can also be difficult to both mentally prepare and unwind from work. By living and working in the same space, your boundaries can get blurred which can be tough to navigate.
These distractions can be avoidedcombatted by establishing a daily routine as if you were going into the office. Get dressed and ready for the day, close the door to your office, set daily tasks and goals to accomplish. This way, you get the perks of being at your house without sacrificing your productivity.
If you are interested in branching out of your home office, a coworking space is a wonderful alternative. With many amenities and networking opportunities, coworking spaces are designed for hard-working people jazzed about the work they do.
It can be so stimulating to work in a place filled with passionate people and can even fuel your own creativity. Your environment impacts your work tremendously, which is why many people who work virtually crave an environment outside of their own home.
Networking with other professionals can be instrumental to your career, as you could make additional professional contacts and gain potential leads on clients. It can also be great to bounce ideas off of new people and create new connections. One drawback from working in a home office is your lack of contact with others, a coworking space gives you that opportunity to connect with other people.
Coworking spaces also provide a professional place to meet clients. If you are a client-facing business, it might not be the best choice to meet your clients at your home and a coworking space is a great alternative.
But coworking spaces can also have drawbacks:
- Your commute is back
- You will still have to commute to the space itself which could add more time in the mornings and evenings.
- The cost
- Coworking spaces can get quite costly, some charging $400-500 per month just to reserve a spot at a desk. While this would be cheaper than buying office space, it does add up.
- Lack of privacy
- Unless you rent meeting rooms, coworking spaces have an open office concept which does not offer much privacy. This could be especially difficult when you need to concentrate on a tough project or have a day full of client phone calls.
Work & You
There are so many ways that you can do your work. Whether in a traditional office, a home office, or a coworking space, the most important thing is that you feel encouraged, stimulated, and productive in the space you choose.
Every person has different needs and their business requires different things. By being honest with yourself and your employer about the situation that will work best for you, you are setting yourself up for success!