You’re a mobile warrior, a free agent, an entrepreneur, a master of your destiny. . . Your local coffee shop is your HQ and your kitchen counter is your conference center. You’re in demand and always on the go.
Yet something isn’t quite right.
It could be the distraction of looking at your dirty laundry piled under your dining room/office table. Or that deflated, bored feeling you get after staring at your bedroom wall for 10 hours. Or your bored pooch staring at you when you’re desperate for a brainstorming buddy.
Over time, all that distraction, isolation, and loneliness can erode your creativity, your drive, and your productivity. Worse, you may find yourself longing to return to that gray cubicle and office gossip culture you escaped years ago.
But what if you could get the creative and social benefits without sacrificing your entrepreneurial spark?
According to Dan Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, there’s a rapidly growing number of free agents and micropreneurs in the workforce. Pink says, “America’s new economic emblem is the footloose, independent worker—the tech savvy, self-reliant, path-charting micropreneur.”
The market has responded to this free agent tsunami with an array of affordable and flexible workspace options, including coworking environments, to suit most work styles and budgets. These workspaces typically offer contemporary collaborative interior design and state-of-the-art workstations as well as professional support services. Best of all, these flexible spaces can help you find the creative stimulus and camaraderie you’re craving.
Although your home office may be cozy and quiet, it can also become boring and unproductive. A coworking arrangement can change things up with a variety of spaces and opportunities to mingle, collaborate, and create. Let’s face it, there’s an energy that comes from working around others who share your drive and enthusiasm that you just can’t get in your lonely breakfast nook.
We all know how awkward and time-consuming all those conferences and after-hours events can be. In a coworking environment, you can network organically as you sit alongside a future client or collaborative partner. There’s ample opportunity for spontaneous connections as well as professional development. For example, many coworking facilities also play host to a variety of professional Meetups, workshops, and educational events.
Background noise, being away from your “natural” habitat, and a flurry of dynamic interactions can stimulate far more creativity and productivity than that home desk crammed beside your cluttered sock drawer. In fact, the Journal of Consumer Research reports that a moderate level of ambient noise can be a boon to creative cognition.
If you’re still on the fence about this whole coworking thing, consider this: coffee! Most coworking spaces offer free coffee and other beverages. So those conversations over a cup of joe can now be part of your working reality.
So if you’re feeling frustrated and stuck with your work, consider a change in surroundings—even if only for a few hours each week. The change of perspective and hum of activity will energize you and inspire your work.
A.M. Knoop is a freelance copywriter and editor who enjoys a peripatetic work life fueled by ample cups of coffee at her local coffee shop and coworking space. You can visit her online at amknoopwriter.com.