You started your own business. You started it because you had a passion for what you were doing and a belief that you would be more successful on your own than working for someone else. But that was a few years ago. Or maybe it was only a couple of months. Either way, your passion, your excitement and your energy is slowly waning, and the warm weather is only making it worse. How do you get it back?
Well, if you’ve been working from home this entire time, it may be time to get out. At least a few times a week.
One common gripe among small business owners is the difficulty associated with running their business from a home office. Yes, the flexibility and the convenience are great, but working from home can also be isolating if you’re not used to it or you’re someone who has grown accustomed to that office water cooler. If you’re running a home office and you the warmer weather is making you feel a little stifled, below are four reasons why you may want to cowork – either from your local coffee shop or at a more formal coworking space.
1. Boost Productivity: No, it’s not in your head. Studies show that people really are more productive when they work in a coffee shop–because coffeehouses provide three main things:
- Just enough distractions
- No “work hours” pressure
- Work doesn’t seem like work when you’re out of the office
That first one has always been the most important to me. When you’re working in a public place, there’s the (needed) pressure of looking like you’re actually doing something. At home you can watch TV or spend time on Facebook. But when you’re surrounded by other productive people, you become more productive as well.
2. Get New Ideas: A funny thing happens when you force yourself out of your home – you expose yourself to new ideas. You meet new people, you see new things, you have new experiences. All of this will affect your view of the market, your company and how you relate to other people. Many times when my writing is feeling a bit stale or I’m not sure how to handle a particular problem, I’ll skip out of the office for a day and go work someplace new. Changing your environment is a good way to free up your mental bottleneck and start seeing things in a new light. If you’re in a rut, break free.
3. Build a Social Network: When you’re a one-person shop or even a three- or four-person shop, it can be hard to build the social ties you need to effectively grow your business. It’s even harder if you’re not the kind of person who is naturally good at making connections or saying hello (like me). Working in a coworking space, whether formal or informal, can make this process easier by naturally putting you around people who can help you when needed. You meet people who can introduce you to new systems, new tools, new methodologies and new contacts. You build your network by placing yourself around qualified people and learning how others work.
4. Find Balance: Some small business owners do a great job at setting realistic hours and expectations for themselves. However, some of us aren’t so good at this. We end up working on our SMB for 12 hours straight, seven days a week, and we come to think this is a “normal” routine. It’s not. And it’s not healthy – to you or to your startup. No wonder you’re feeling stuck. Getting out and working in a coworking environment can give you the physical separation between work and home that so many of us lack–to the detriment of our health, our personal relationships and, yes, even the success of our businesses.
Those are four big benefits to forcing yourself out of your home and into the real world. How do you recharge your batteries? Have you found a home in coffeehouses and coworking spaces, or is your home office still your preferred place to be?