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How Coworking Saved Me and My Company

The last update to this article was: September 2016. It's pretty out of date! I'll update it soon x

If you’d asked me a year ago about how I felt about going back to work in an office, I’d have honestly told you that you were an idiot for asking such a ludicrous thing.

However, it turns out, hypothetical you may have been on to something.

I used to swear by working from home and even wrote an article on the subject. I’ll also be writing another article about how to be more effective working remotely, but — as I first mentioned this 2 months ago — let’s not hold our breath.

Anyway, back on topic.

I used to absolutely and unequivocally swear by the concept of working from home. But since I moved to Berlin 3 months ago, the idea quickly stagnated. Selling all my belongings and living in AirBNBs meant I was effectively working from someone else’s “home”. And it just didn’t work. I found myself feeling uncomfortable. So I made the decision to commit to working from a coworking space.

I ended up stumbling upon WeWork. When I initially visited for an event, my honest opinion was that it was trying too hard. Another stereotypical hipster office bathed in glorious sunlight in one of the most expensive parts of town. But following spending a day working there with a friend, I quickly learned that this way of working was exactly what I had been missing all of this time. I was more productive than I had been in years.

After that day working alongside my friend, I immediately signed up to WeWork at the Berlin Sony Centre and having spent a month working here I can say it has made a vast difference to my life, my work and my company.

Because of how I work, and how I work remotely, the 24/7 access nature of most coworking spaces (WeWork included) was perfect for me. I tend to work in bursts of fervent productivity, usually in the afternoon and evening. So, being in a place which is tied to work (and inherently productivity) and being able to be there until the time of my choosing has been ideal. Not to mention all the free coffee and beer.

I’ve found working around a bunch of other people who are also working, and not pissing around watching YouTube or the latest episode of Mr Robot (which is where I slip to when I’m working from home half of the time), has been incredible for me and my productivity.

Being in this environment where everyone around you is focused and working, makes you all too aware of people looking at your screen and silently judging you for the aforementioned pissing around. It means you are more likely to spend the time where your brain defaults to procrastination mode looking at your schedule, learning, reading useful articles, planning interesting side projects or articles, or actually getting down to that client work you need to smash out. Being in a flexible space like this perfectly blends the freedom of remote working with a sense of commitment to being more productive..

Being around those same people who will silently judge you sat full screen on YouTube watching cat videos has more than just the positive of increasing your productivity though. It presents an opportunity.

An opportunity to meet people.

A privilege rarely afforded to you when working alone from home. You can have short conversations with new people, make friends, find out the best local place to get a sandwich or even meet new clients. This alone makes the admission price for most coworking spaces worth it. But as I’ve mentioned above, there are a myriad of reasons you should consider getting yourself down to one.

Do you work for a coworking space? I’d love to hear about your experience. Hit me up on Twitter and tell me about it.

I will also be in Asia from sometime around November, so if you have any recommendations for great places to work or would like to say hello. Please do get in touch.

Until next time ✌🏼

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