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To Cowork or Not to Cowork, That Is the Question

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Two people working at a co-working space

Decisions, decisions. The remote worker has a lot of options when it comes to location. In theory, you could go anywhere, as long as there’s solid wifi. While you might take the opportunity of your new remote career and move to a new, exciting place, shared experiences indicate you might want to establish a workplace and routine.

If there’s one thing that the team at Pressable recommend when it comes to remote work, it’s consistency. Having a designated space to do work can help get you in a productive mindset. This could be a home office, a coworking space or the coffee shop down the street. It’s all up to you – and your work environment needs.

Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you consider where to work.

Availability

Depending on where you put down roots, coworking may not even be a feasible option. Maybe there is no coworking spaces in town, or perhaps they don’t match your style. Every coworking space is different, and not every space will fit your needs, or your preferred working hours. However many coworking communities include extended hours for dedicated spaces.

Your home office might also just be more convenient. Sometimes you have to pay to park at that coworking space downtown, or maybe your favorite coffee shop is too busy during peak hours to get a table. Or simply, you’d just rather roll right out of bed and mosey over to your desk (or email from your pillow for a bit).

Cost

Coworking isn’t free (neither is that daily latte). But, a coworking space can serve as the home office that you doesn’t exist in your apartment. If it’s in the budget it might be worth looking into.

One thing to keep in mind is the bang you get for your buck. Are you paying $50 per month for a table and access to a community fridge? Or does your dollar include complimentary coffee, invitations to programming with access to resources that help you grow your business (or your social/professional network)?

Opportunity

Becoming a member at a coworking space comes with many chances to run into your next business partner or a new investor. Coworking spaces will offer events for mingling and networking that can really help you professionally, your brand opportunity and your business pipeline. Coworking spaces can be themed or aimed at certain types of businesses, so you’re almost guaranteed to meet someone who is in the same field. Alternatively, you may not want to be so close to potential competition.

Some coworking spaces come with not only networking opportunity, but the chance to participate in community programs. Every summer, Geekdom in San Antonio partners with Trinity University to bring summer interns to work for startups based in Geekdom. It can be hard to find similar programs run out of your local coffee shop.

Work Style

While the social aspect of a coworking space might seem appealing, it could also be bad for productivity. Any public place is going to come with distractions that are out of your control. You’ll probably find the most distractions at a coffee shop, depending on the shop’s popularity. While many coworking spaces might have areas for quiet work, there’s no guarantee the person at the table next to you won’t start talking on the phone, eating chips, tapping their pencil — you get the idea.

Then again, you might thrive off that lively environment. If you like a little bit of flexibility in your workplace, the coffee shop route might be best for you. You can bounce around, find a good vibe and change when you need to.

Your home office also comes with unlimited customization potential. Arranged correctly, you’ll never have to worry about being too far from a power outlet or the sun glaring off your laptop screen. You will have all your usual tools immediately at your disposal, whereas it might be tough plugging in a printer at a café. Coworking spaces can offer office space rentals, but the cost can add up especially if it’s just you.

Of course, there’s no need to commit to one workplace right away. A lot of coworking memberships don’t require you to commit to a certain amount of months, or they could offer a trial membership. Or maybe, you could combine all three workplace suggestions. Your remote working style is unique to you, and it might take some exploring to figure out what works best.

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