Not all workers have the opportunity to perform their assignments at their clients’ premises. As a result, many freelancers find themselves locked in their homes during their working hours. Consequence? It becomes difficult for them to draw a clear line between private and professional life. Moreover, staying at home does not provide a framework conducive to concentration and productivity. Finally, working from home can quickly become synonymous with confinement and solitude.
Workspaces, meeting or relaxation rooms, meetings with other freelancers or telecommuting professionals, events between freelancers, etc. Collaborative workspaces come to answer to the difficulties that freelancers can face once their activity is launched. What are the services offered by coworking companies? How to choose a coworking space? For which rates? We detail everything you need to know about coworking in the following lines.
Definition of Coworking
Coworking is a way of organizing work where a network of freelancers share a shared or collaborative workspace. With the digitalization of various professions, the number of freelancers is increasing year after year. Thus, initiatives and solutions to the problems they encounter in the management and organization of their work have emerged.
Coworking is suitable for freelancers and digital nomads from different sectors:
- Web and application developers ;
- Web writers ;
- Marketing consultants;
- Coaches and psychotherapists who have digitized their activity ;
A “coworking” can refer to a shared work space, or if we use an anglicism, a coworking space.
Why choose Coworking when you are a Freelancer ?
Coworking allows to solve different problems encountered by workers in the context of freelancing. These are mainly organizational and social:
- the difficulty of separating personal and professional life when working from home;
- the feeling of loneliness and isolation in case of prolonged work from home;
- the inability to create a work environment that is conducive to concentration and productivity;
- the need to have access to a private space for meetings with clients or prospects;
- the need to connect with other professionals facing the same challenges at work.
It is possible to use professional equipment and meeting rooms at a lower cost in coworking spaces:
- printers ;
- video projectors ;
- desks and desks;
- partitioned meeting rooms, for meetings requiring more privacy.
It is also possible to meet and exchange ideas in shared workspaces. This allows to build professional relationships, which can lead to assignments and projects with other freelancers. When coworkers get organized, they can organize professional or non-professional meetings that benefit their members.
Can customers and partners be welcomed in a coworking space?
- In coworking spaces, clients and partners can be welcomed. In most coworking spaces, you can reserve or rent meeting rooms (depending on the coworking company’s price list).
- It’s a good idea to double-check coworking spaces’ policies regarding third-party visitors. For example; clients; prospects; business partners or employees.
- Freelancers can enjoy the following amenities when using rented or reserved meeting rooms:
- There must be adequate seclusion to ensure confidentiality and secrecy of communications; access to copiers, whiteboards and other communication aids must be available to employees.
For freelancers, private meeting spaces can be used to host professional events such as workshops. It is true that meeting rooms can be booked for an extended period of time. In addition, it is important to know if access to the room is restricted and whether or not freelancers have to pay for the use of the facilities.
Coworking and company domiciliation are not the same
Companies, associations and micro-enterprises can be domiciled at a single administrative and fiscal address. Companies can choose to be domiciled in their own premises or in those of a third party. There are companies that allow companies to have a registered office where they can receive their administrative and commercial mail.
Coworking and meeting spaces, as well as private offices, are all options offered by domiciliation companies. A coworking service can be offered by a domiciliation company, but not all coworking companies are domiciliation companies.
How to find a coworking space?
It is possible to find coworking spaces in places specially designed for this purpose, or in places whose configuration makes them suitable for coworking.
- Coworking companies rent, for a fee, rooms or an open space where their clients can work. For a few dozen euros up to 500 euros per month, you can benefit from this type of offer. Some coworking spaces charge for access by the hour or by a card. A freelancer must establish a budget before signing up for this service. If the freelancer is paid by the hour, he or she can save money by working two or three days a week in a coworking space.
- Domiciliation service providers also offer furnished office or meeting room rentals, and possibly a coworking space. Domiciliary services clients can choose from a variety of packages, some of which include only the domiciliary service and others that include additional services such as work sharing.
- In addition to providing a work-sharing service, coworking cafes also offer on-site dining and drinking. Hourly rates are common in this type of space. In some cases, the hourly rate does not include the cost of drinks.
- In some stations, there are workrooms that can be accessed through a separate entrance. They can be used by digital freelancers, for example. Their use is free of charge.
Finding a coworking space is not as easy as it sounds. There are a variety of factors to consider when looking for a coworking space for a freelancer:
- Some coworking spaces are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- the cost of membership,
- the distance between your home and the coworking space,
- The type of coworking space you are looking for: specialized or generalist.
- Before moving into a coworking space, freelancers should make a list of their specific needs. Therefore, it is important to consider the services offered by targeted coworking spaces when making a long-term investment in a workspace.
As an additional check, a physical visit to the location can provide evidence that it meets the following criteria:
- Comfortable and well-lit ;
- intelligently laid out (work areas separated from meeting and exchange areas);
- equipped with facilities to ensure confidentiality;
When working as a flexible individual, choose the days you spend coworking
When creating a weekly schedule for a freelancer, he can include designated days for coworking. He has access to a variety of setup options:
- A meeting room or cubicle can be reserved based on the number of people who will attend the meeting; this option can be used for a physical meeting with a client or collaborator.
- Make a physical presentation and a virtual presentation: Thanks to video projectors, microphones and internet connections, coworking spaces offer meeting rooms where the freelancer can present his slide show to the participants present at the meeting and to those who are not present but at a distance.
In order to get out of their homes and meet new people, freelancers may consider working in a coworking space. Various professional meetings and events can take place within these collaborative workplaces.
This is a great opportunity to meet new collaborators, expand your professional network, or even meet potential clients for freelancers.
A few days of coworking per week can help freelancers achieve a better work-life balance, which improves their overall well-being and productivity.