In spring 2020, the Covid-19 crisis forced employees all over the world to quickly set up offices in their homes, often in less-than-ideal conditions. But we freelancers were well used to it and already fully equipped to face the challenge. And for good reason, because for many of us this freedom to work wherever we want is one of the reasons we prefer our self-employed status to salaried work.
However, if we look beyond these periods of total confinement, teleworking from home should only be a temporary solution. Here is why:
Working at home is not ideal
We all know that feeling: working at home in your pyjamas is so comfortable. But in the long term, this form of teleworking can become toxic, especially for self-employed people who have little control over their work pace (which can go from busy to quiet from one day to the next). In these troubled times, when we may be tempted to accept every assignment to anticipate a possible drop in demand, let us remind you of a few possible pitfalls…
Some disadvantages to working from home
- When does the working day start and when does it end? It is very difficult to switch off work at the end of the workday since your living and professional spheres overlap.
- By dint of providing services, some of us forget to go out, to get some fresh air, and become dangerously sedentary. We’ll spare you the WHO figures on sedentary lifestyles… but it is vital to go for a walk, every day. All the more so as physical activity makes you more productive…
- Locked up at home, obsessed by deliveries, we lose interest in meeting people, socializing, and getting our noses out of our computers to share our points of view with other humans… And yet, there’s nothing like human interaction to take a break and or (re)gain inspiration.
- When you spend up to 10 hours a day behind your computer, having the right furniture – desk, chairs, sofa, bed – ensuring good posture is essential, or musculoskeletal disorders may soon make themselves felt.
- Working from home is all well and good, but what about your concentration? Do you have a dedicated office, or in the afternoons do you work around the nanny, your children watching TV, the cleaning lady? Are you sure you couldn’t do in 6 hours what you do in 8 at home?
Teleworking yes, but not just anywhere
So, working from home is not ideal, but fast-food chains and cafés are hardly suitable, and may even be temporarily closed. And of course, working from home has two overriding advantages: it is free and there is less time wasted commuting. But there are some interesting advantages to leaving the nest…
Why work in a co-working space?
To avoid falling into the traps listed above, of course. The most sensitive is social isolation, which affects employees who are asked to stay at home as much as the self-employed. There are few statistics on how freelancers have felt in recent months, but companies have commissioned many studies relating to their employees: although they are less used to it than we are, 60% of the employees interviewed about their recent experiences regard loneliness due to teleworking as a risk for their mental health. 75% think it is likely to lead to the development of addictive practices… including overwork. And what if they are not entirely wrong?
- Having a dedicated workspace helps to avoid mixing your personal and professional spheres, without giving up on comfort or a relaxed work atmosphere. In co-working spaces you will find ergonomic furniture, a secure Wi-Fi connection, printers, and meeting rooms… And all without sacrificing your health safety, as co-working operators are well trained and observe maximum capacity requirements. Some of them even work hand in hand with independent control offices to certify the conformity of the measures taken.
- Even more than the need to separate your professional and personal life, you will appreciate the opportunity to immerse yourself in an industrious and stimulating co-working atmosphere: a break with loneliness, even only once a week, will enable you to gradually forge links, share your knowledge and even exchange services. It is not uncommon in co-working spaces to see people alerting each other to business opportunities, asking for advice, or joining forces on projects.
- Add to this the numerous conferences, workshops, and so on, offered by the co-working teams, who invite experts or influencers to share their knowledge with a small audience so as to offer freelancers an opportunity to update their knowledge in a way that cannot be done at home… Due to pandemic-related regulations, these gatherings are not all possible in person, but they are available online.
- Finally, you should not forget the dynamism and conviviality of co-working environments, often equipped with bars, kitchen corners, lounges, gardens… Members can avail of afterwork events, coaching sessions, and good deals, as co-working spaces compete with each creatively and with small attentions to maintain a friendly atmosphere, without ever compromising on safety. So get ready to be pampered!
So these are the arguments in favor of co-working. And as long as you’re willing to discuss and share, your subscription will quickly pay for itself through the opportunities you’ll be able to seize within these spaces.
There are cost-effective co-working spaces near you
Now let’s tackle the financial and travel aspects of working from home.
For 9.9 €/month, the Wojo co-working spaces offer you the opportunity to work, for one hour, one day or even every day, in any of their Wojo Spots and Corners. More than 350 spaces exist all over France (and… in Brazil!). Please note, however, that at present many French Spots have had to suspend their activities. The Corners, instead, remain open.
These co-working spaces are geolocated on the webapp, so all you have to do is find out, day by day, which space suits your needs and simply go there:
- The Wojo Spots are suitable for one-off work sessions. You will be asked to order something on the spot (a coffee is enough), in return for which you will always be welcome. The subscription includes a 10% discount on your drinks and on the restaurant menu if there is one (and if it can open), as well as access to the hotel’s services (car park, gym, spa, swimming pool…).
- The Wojo Corners are enclosed spaces, exclusively reserved for professionals and dedicated to working in peace and quiet. They are the ideal choice for those wishing to occupy them regularly and for those with high demands in terms of silence and concentration.
If you are still unsure, you should know that at Wojo, the first month’s subscription is free: that should be enough to make up your mind. And remember, you are still free to choose to work from wherever you want at any given time! Many of us already work both from home and from co-working spaces. As always, the secret lies in striking a happy medium.