Coworking Space vs Coffee Shop vs Home – How to choose between theM
As the number of entrepreneurs, freelancers, remote workers & micro businesses rises globally so do the choices of where they work.
Traditionally home or coffee shops have been the domain of those without a set office, but with rapid growth of the coworking sector the choice has never been better for those who choose not to commute.
You may be one of the growing army of workers with no office ties & you may be wondering what working environment is right for you. As we are super helpful at Rume2 we thought we would put together a brief guide of the pro’s & cons for each to help you make your own informed choice.
Let’s organise things by the most important factors in a workplace
Environment is absolutely key to getting work done. Warmth, comfort & limited distractions are essential. Let’s see how each workplace compares.
This is no doubt the easiest place to control warmth & comfort. You can sit in your favourite chair, put the music you like on (or sit in silence if you prefer) but how about the distraction factor? The fridge is calling, you have a box set you haven’t finished on Netflix & the washing needs doing. It isn’t always easy to zone out at home & get into work mode.
The walk to a coffee shop can get you into a different mind set ready to work, however you can’t always guarantee the environment in a coffee shop. Will you find a good seat? Will there be noisy children nearby & is the music playing to your taste? Finding a good local coffee shop where you enjoy the surroundings can work well if you are happy to sit anywhere.
Although you can’t choose the furniture, décor or music in a coworking space, often they have been designed with comfort & productivity in mind. The music will be carefully selected to blend into the background, the furniture will have been built or purchased for long term comfort & the temperature will be carefully controlled. If you are picky about where you sit you can also book your own desk.
Fast internet, printing, security. These are all essentials for most business people.
When working from home you will need to purchase & manage your own facilities. This can be rather expensive if you don’t work for a company that will provide those items for you. In addition home internet connections can be patchy.
This is the option with the least facilities on tap. No printer, the internet connection could be patchy & it is likely to be an unsecured network. This puts your laptop at real risk of data breach with many people reporting password theft & even being hacked whilst working on an unsecured network.
A coworking space is a professional space & therefore is likely to have the best facilities. Any space worth its salt will have superfast wifi within your membership fee & many will have access to a printer too. Most importantly any internet connection will be completely secure & private with no ability to see any one else’s connection.
This factor should probably have come first as it includes coffee! 100% of workers, whether, freelancer or CEO need refreshments throughout the day!
Without a doubt home will give you the largest access to refreshments of your choosing, but is that always a good thing? How loudly does the fridge call to you when you are working from home? It takes no small amount of will power to ignore its cries & get your work done.
Good coffee goes without saying at a coffee shop, else it’s not a very good coffee shop! Add to that the selection of other beverages & snacks/treats it’s probably a strong player for this factor. One point to note of course is that you will have to pay for anything you consume, & often you will have to purchase more than one item to avoid the guilt of using the space for a longer amount of time.
A good coworking space will have good coffee, tea etc. Even better it will be limitless & you can help yourself as much as you want. You may not be able to choose from as wide a range as you would in a coffee shop but if you aren’t a coffee person there is likely to be access to a range of tea, soft drinks & even alcohol should the temptation rise.
Community & sense of belonging is important to many people. There are some who just love to work alone but the majority of humans desire interaction with other humans at some point. Not just for company but also to learn from, bounce ideas around with or make useful connections.
Working by yourself from home will give you the least sense of community. Unless you have others in your house who are also at home during the day, working from home can be pretty lonely. Even with modern technology giving access to video conferencing there is no substitute for face to face interaction.
As there are many people who work from coffee shops you may find a sense of community if you visit the same one regularly & see the same faces. The opportunity & reason to interact & make connections however is limited unless you can sit together or are brave enough to approach a stranger.
Each coworking space has its own vibe & therefore tribe of workers who co-exist there. This is where using a coworking space can really come into its own. Working alongside others who are all there to work, collaborate, learn from each other can have a huge impact on your working day & the success of your business. Many good coworking spaces will give plenty of opportunity to meet other coworkers & share experience & knowledge through, workshops, networking & social events.
Let’s not pretend that cost isn’t important here. How do the different spaces compare in outlay?
This is likely to be the cheapest option as you do pay to live at home already! However, don’t forget any extras you might have to pay to set up & run a suitable home office. Not to mention heating your house in the winter months.
Depending on how much coffee you drink this option could become expensive. To sit in a coffee shop all day without feeling guilty for taking up space you should be purchasing a minimum of 3 drinks & probably some lunch as well. Doing that a few times a week can certainly rack up the spend.
Although from the outside this looks like the most costly option, if you are going to be using a space regularly this could well be the most cost effective for the facilities on offer. A monthly plan can often give you access to a space for as little as £10 a day. When you throw in the refreshments, internet & printing that’s pretty good value for money.
So lot’s of options to consider & no one size fits all. It really depends on the type of person you are, the work that you do & what you want to achieve in your working day.
We are obviously bias at Rume2 as we think a coworking space wins hands down when looking at the wider picture of motivation, potential growth, collaboration & overall individual happiness, but we encourage you all to try all three & decide for yourself.
You can start by booking a free days coworking trial at Rume2 by emailing us on email@example.com