I've been working online in all four corners of my room since 2008 and for the past weeks, I’ve been having this weird feeling of wanting to break free. I couldn’t stand staying long in front of my CRT monitor (as a matter of fact, I’m now writing this article on my notebook in another room without a computer) and find myself wishing I had a laptop so I could move around the house and bring my work with me. Could it be that isolation is becoming an issue to me? Lately, I’ve been imagining myself working in a coffee shop. So I decided I need to have a laptop and go out. I feel I will be more productive if I follow my heart’s desire.
I’m planning to have a laptop soon so I’m researching on where to go and do my work. I have two options: a coffee shop or a coworking space.
Coffee Shops with wifi:
1. The coffee will keep you awake and active.
2. Your tendency to focus on work and finish quickly because you know your time at the coffee shop is limited. You still have to go home. (if you work at home, you have the tendency to dilly-dally)
3. Though meeting people is not your main purpose, the chance of meeting new acquaintances increases. This solves the isolation issue.
1. Just like when you were still an office employee, you’ll need to spend time on travel and money on transportation/food.
2. The stability of wifi connection is not assured.
3. There is no assurance that you’ll always get your favorite spot at the shop or worse, there is no assurance that there’ll be a vacant table when you arrive.
1. A space is reserved for you.
2. There will be facilities available to you.
3. You can build your network:
a. You get to meet fellow solo professionals and maybe get referrals or collaborate on projects
b. You get to meet prospective clients. Coworking spaces are also used by start-up business owners and they are more likely to need freelancers like you to work for them.
c. Meet new friends.
1. Just like when you were working in an office set-up, you need to spend time on travel, money on food and transportation PLUS you need to pay a fee which you can pay on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Both coworking spaces and coffee shops have their own advantages and disadvantages but their common denominator is spending time and money. You spend much more money on coworking spaces though.
Over all, the biggest advantage on both options is personality development. People get to see you so you tend to fix yourself before going out. I must admit that I often forget to do that when working at home since nobody sees me. At first, I take pride in being able to work in my pajamas. Working in pajamas is not bad; I guess I just need variety. I will probably go back to working at home after experiencing working at coffee shops and coworking spaces.
It all boils down to one thing; the best thing about working online is you have your options. You get to choose what suits you best. When you hear the term “work-at-home”, it does not necessarily mean you have to confine yourself inside your home and work. Because if it does, then there’s no freedom; which work-at-home people take pride of. You can choose your workplace, you can choose which client to work with, you can choose which project to accept, and you can choose what time to do your work as long as you reach the deadline. Though along with this freedom come discipline and responsibility. Otherwise, you might not be able to finish a task.