Javier E. David thinks there are hidden costs in working from home. So do I.
The home office was coworking’s biggest competition pre-Covid. That’s where the solopreneurs are. Work from home is a way to save money on a physical office and, until recently, the concept of coworking wasn’t mainstream. I agree there is a cost to the solopreneur/entrepreneur when working from home or from the coffee shop on the corner. The first detriment is not having a business address. When someone searches the web for your company, what address do they see? Do they see a picture of your house? Is your office address on your business card? A professional address on a business card shows me a person is serious about their business. A business address, or Virtual Office, is an excellent option to convey professionalism. This option can cost as low as $50 per month with a professional address at a coworking space or business services center. If you can’t invest this much in your business, how can you expect others to invest in you? Coworking spaces are also a perfect option for conference rooms and meeting spaces. Sure, a casual work meeting at a coffee shop, preferably local as mapped on Network.vegas, is a nice treat, but inappropriate for a job interview or discussing sensitive information.
Another big cost in working from home is missing the connection to other people. You won’t make meaningful business contacts at a coffee shop. Being around people in a shared office setting, small talk over coffee and lunch breaks, and coworking community events are all ways to create connections with other business professionals, people who have knowledge, expertise, and resources to help you with your business. And the deeper the connection, the more they want you to succeed. Those connections typically don’t happen in a coffee shop and they sure don’t happen in your home office.
The biggest potential cost when working from home, in my opinion, is the impact on our mental health. We have another epidemic on our hands: loneliness. Entrepreneurship is a lonely road and the loneliness epidemic is real and it’s serious, some researchers suggest as harmful as smoking. Loneliness was a major health issue pre-Covid and as this CNN article details that 1 in 3 Americans feel serious loneliness and Johann Hari discussed the implications of loneliness during his interview on the Joe Rogan Experience. Before I opened The Coop, I worked from home. It was super convenient and I was very productive, but I realized at 3 PM when I had to go pick up my kids from school, I was still in my pajamas, and some days I hadn’t even brushed my teeth. I would go days without having a face-to-face conversation with someone outside of my household. The worst days were when a tragedy like the horrific Oct 1 shooting happened. I would find myself sitting there alone absorbing the news with no one to dissect world events with, struggling to make sense of these crazy times we find ourselves in. Coworking gives you a reason to get dressed, go somewhere, talk to other people. The coworking adage ‘work for yourself, not by yourself’ rings so true.
And while larger companies and corporations are now turning to coworking spaces for their flexibility and amenities, the aforementioned reasons for coworking are a huge benefit for their remote employees to work the way they want, whether it’s from home, a coworking space, or a hybrid of the two.