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14.04.2018 Back to Blog articles

Is There A Danger Coworking Spaces Are Too Inward Looking?

The coworking spaces professionals prefer are primarily about creating viable businesses.

It's true. These days, business professionals demand more from coworking spaces than simply feeling that they're part of something 'cool', 'on trend', and very much 'Now'. All that stuff isn't worth one jot if productive work isn't getting done; if – in a shared office space – businesses simply aren't growing, reaching milestones, achieving their goals, going where they want to go, and making £££.

Really, it's about striking a balance: being happy and enjoying every day as a desk sharer, whilst concurrently remaining focused on what you're ultimately there to do – to work, progress, learn, make contacts (both online and offline), maybe collaborate, and to build a viable business day after day. You haven't spent interminable soul-destroying years as a wage slave somewhere, dreaming of one day making the break – taking that momentous step from being directly employed, to breaking out on your own as a self-employed person – only to make a mess of it all, by going about desk sharing in the wrong way, right? Right. That's why it's essential to approach all this with the correct mindset.

If you've already made the move from working in a back bedroom office at home as a freelance, for example, to working at a rented desk, you'll have compared the two lifestyles: how being a supported worker is markedly more preferable to the loneliness that seemingly inescapable self-employment isolation can engender. As well as relishing interaction with others, you'll be feeling a bit more on the map as a new business; you're a start-up that should be taken seriously, one focused primarily upon progressing, not chatting. Just being in a contemporary office environment daily can see you up your game, as you enjoy working in close proximity to others similarly bent on business success. And we all like to leave the workplace at the end of the day feeling as if we've actually achieved something, right? Is that really true of a home office? And can the same be said about working in your favourite coffee shop a few afternoons per week?

OK, looking back, you yearned for privacy, craved autonomy, dreamed of blissful seclusion, and looked forward immensely to all the advantages that being your own boss promised to bring; only to find that going solo wasn't actually all that it was cracked up to be! Be assured; you're not alone. Every year in the UK, thousands of people jack in their jobs and set up as self-employed, only to get a seismic shock, quickly finding themselves suffering, pining, shipwrecked like Robinson Crusoe; languishing in the lounge in the dark in the wee wee hours, watching marooned Tom Hanks in Castaway and totally identifying with the poor bloke!

Why find yourself manifestly embroiled in a battle of wits with yourself like that all-year-round with no prospect of it ever changing? Ultimately, we humans need each other, and prefer it if there’s a clear distinction being work-time and home-time. It's the way we think. How we're programmed. The way we roll best. The old saying that "no man (and indeed no woman) is an island" isn't used globally without reason. But making the switch to working in shared office space absolutely needs to be about more than escaping isolation, getting comfortable at your desk and then breathing a huge sigh of relief as the sense of being part of a community, at last, in a fun environment warms the heart. Avoid making a common mistake made by shared space enthusiasts around the country: adopting the wrong attitude, becoming too inward looking, and neglecting to give work the attention and effort it needs.

This is all about coworking not 'co-shirking', after all!

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