Home Business: Have You Thought about Coworking?

Lonely entrepreneur? Try coworking for a little social stimulation as a home business owner.

One of the biggest battles that many home business owners fight is a feeling of isolation. After all, when you work from home, you don't have the same social interaction that you find at a more traditional office. The isolation associated with work from home entrepreneurship can become overwhelming at times. One of the ways that you can battle feelings of isolation and loneliness is through coworking.

What is Coworking?

I first learned about the concept of coworking at the Financial Blogger Conference from Ashley, from Money Talks Coaching. Coworking is a relatively new response to the growing number of home business owners and teleworkers. As humans, we are largely social creatures, and it can be hard to be stuck at home, all by ourselves. Coworking allows you to still enjoy the freedom that comes with being a home business owner, while interacting with others.

When you cowork, you go to a shared area where other teleworkers and entrepreneurs are also engaging in activities. There are different options when it comes to coworking:

  • Stationary, shared space: There are a number of places, especially in towns with a high incidence of entrepreneurship, that are stationary coworking environments. There are some coworking environments that resemble offices, and others that have tables lined up. These are always available. Some are free to anyone at anytime, while others require that you sign up for your space, and pay a fee (deduct it on your taxes).
  • Temporary coworking centers and meetups: In some cases, it's possible to arrange coworking meetups. A date and time is set for a local Wi-Fi hotspot, including a coffee shop. This can be a fun way to try different venues in your town, and meet a variety of different people.

You don't have to cowork every day in order to reap the benefits. You can go once or twice a week, in an effort to add a little more social interaction into your work life. It's a good way to meet people in a similar situation, and possible even find new people who share your interests and values. You can also get the benefit of having “coworkers” to bounce ideas off of and brainstorm with. You might even meet a business partner through coworking.

If you are interested in coworking, you can start with this great list from Under 30 CEO. I haven't tried coworking yet; I don't know that my area would have it. Besides, my husband actually does a great deal of his work from home during the day (he's an adjunct teaching mostly evening classes), so I don't usually get lonely. But I think that coworking is something worth looking into — especially if my husband's schedule changes.

What do you think? Have you tried coworking?

Image source: Deskmag via Wikimedia Commons

5 thoughts on “Home Business: Have You Thought about Coworking?”

  1. There is a cool spot near my house, that’d I’d love to be a part of. But as of now the cost doesn’t justify their lowest fee. A whole lot of cups of coffee would equal my ‘rent’ space. I do plan on using their 1 day free pass soon though!

    1. That is the downside to coworking; sometimes you have to pay a fee. But after you use the free pass, you might decide it’s worth it to go a couple times a month. 🙂

  2. Hey Miranda, I’m so close to trying out coworking. Philly has some very cool spots in town and in the burbs (like Indy Hall). I’ve heard such positive things about being able to network with like minded entrepreneurs and how these environments cause such creative sparks….I know I’d be pumped with new ideas after a day or two.

    The only thing stopping me is that I’m on the phone most of the day with clients and that’s hard to do in these types of public environments.

    1. You make a good point about being on the phone in such an environment — it would be hard to get anything done. I wonder if there are some coworking “offices” where there might be a room or two for those who field phone calls. Go in, make a few phone calls, and no one is disturbed.

  3. Ashley @ Money Talks

    Thanks for the mention! I love my co-working space. It’s free and I’ve met some neat people there. It’s worth checking out even if you are on the phone a lot. I know the one I go to has private rooms you can sign up for. They even have a fully set up podcast room you can use.

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