Digital globalization is prompting a huge shift in the future of work and has led to the freelance economy. As a result, the global gig economy has grown at an unprecedented rate in the past few years. Payoneer’s Global Gig Economy Index highlights that freelance earnings in Asia recorded a 138% jump this year, with India covering most of the growth. This rapid growth is also being seen here in the US. A blog post by Yoss on how the freelancer economy is here to stay reports that one-third of American workers are now freelance, with 89% of 18 to 26-year-olds seeing flexible work as a long-term career path. After the US, the United Kingdom and Brazil are the second and third fastest-growing freelance economies.
As more and more workers discover the benefits of going freelance, an increasing number of co-working spaces have been developed. But which ones are best suited for your needs?
Co-working spaces provide an environment for focus and stability that in many ways replicate the atmosphere of traditional office space. Charles even highlighted that these spaces are now the biggest factor for success in the freelance economy. Big startups like WeWork and Regus have both leveraged this need to propel their business model—creating elegant co-working spaces for freelancers.
These spaces look to solve some of the biggest pitfalls that can affect freelancers – isolation and distraction. By providing a venue outside a home environment, co-working spaces help mitigate loneliness. As semi-professional spaces, they also discourage procrastination as you pay by the hour. Finding a co-working space that fits your specific needs is key in developing your career as a freelancer.
Here are the factors you should consider:
Avoiding a long commute is one of the leading reasons people shift to freelancing. Choosing a co-working space should not emulate a commute to work but rather compliment your time and proximity goals. Entrepreneur suggests you tour different locations to find one that best suits your needs. For instance, while choosing one near you might sound great, you may want to consider other aspects that tie-in with your life. Factors like the nearest gyms, good lunch spots, and potential places to create business networks should also be part of your consideration.
Choosing a co-working space also means deciding on your work environment. The atmosphere of where you work directly affects your focus and productivity as a freelancer. Freelancers should try and avoid cafes, as they are often too loud and not conducive to work, which will cause you to get distracted. The need for quiet places with good internet is why co-working spaces are becoming more popular with freelancers. When visiting the space for the first time, get a measure of how quiet or noisy it is. Is it filled with individual workers or are companies using it as a meeting space?
A key benefit of freelancing is the reduction in transportation costs and other office-related expenditures. After considering the location and type of environment you want, weigh up the cost of the co-working space. Sometimes it’s better to spend extra for amenities that can save you money in the long run. This could be the speed of the internet or even free coffee. This way, you can find a co-working space that you can use for a long period of time.
With so many options out there, it’s easy to get confused in choosing a co-working space. Try a few before settling on a permanent space. After all, it’s where you’ll be developing your freelance career, so it should be an important choice.