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16.02.2015 Back to Blog articles

The Joy of Shared Office Space

The joy of shared office space - a former basement dweller’s story

This is coming to you from a shiny, new-ish office (circa 2003, having recently celebrated its double figure birthday) with people, plants and promise, but had it been written some two months ago a very different persona would have come across as I was a basement dweller then, and one who was yet to see the light of shared office space - shared, public office space.

As a free-lance writer working in communication, the need for interaction is conducive to comprehensible copy and content. But working from home in solitary conditions, the temptation to withdraw derived from said “isolation” was bringing out the recluse in me (I could feel the early onset of only being able to communicate with ferrel children raised by dogs through a series of incoherent grunts and gesticulations) and I didn’t like… my work didn’t like it.

If my output, business connections and social awareness were to increase I had to get into an environment that nurtured and encouraged productivity through a simple philosophy, something like “you get out what you put in”. In other words, I needed to get shot of Jeremy Kyle, Loose Women and bloody Homes Under The Hammer and replace them with background radio, intelligent conversation and melodic, rhythmic keyboard tapping.

The setting didn’t have to be grand, I wasn’t looking for a ceiling to floor window, although it would have been nice. Decent wifi, a reasonably sized desk with a plug point or three and being within 100 yards of a kettle would do me - no window necessary; God, I made-do without a view in my underground underworld for long enough…

…Here’s the thing, it’s fair to say that the survival instinct in all of us makes us adapt to our surroundings, but it is also fair to say that we are influenced by our surroundings and those in it. So in order to thrive and not just survive I needed somewhere that encouraged professionalism.

As per the Collins’ Dictionary, an office is defined as “a room or set of rooms in which business, professional duties, clerical work, etc, are carried out” making it the perfect solution to rid me of my oppressive surroundings.

From my point of view, the benefit of shared office space is two fold with the love being spread between both professional and personal aspects of my business.

Firstly, being able to share ideas and bounce concepts off “colleagues” brought my creativity and confidence on leaps and bounds and I found that being able to write interesting and engaging copy not only took less time but became enjoyable again.

Secondly, having the scope to be receptive to new opportunities and to meet new contacts brought about avenues that I used to only sit and dream about once upon a time. Not to mention my smart office clothes got an airing once and no longer was I resigned to the fact that tea break would be spent with my cat in a dressing gown, even he found the muted pink polyester slightly offensive!

So there you have it, a simple tale but a true one, and I would recommend anyone who works from home and that wants to get a handle on how beneficial being in a true working environment can be to check out shared office space.

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