By now we’re all pretty well aware of the wide range of undeniable advantages and opportunities coworking office spaces can offer remote workers, freelancers and small business owners. But we also know that though the benefits are many, there’s no one-size-fits-all environment when it comes to finding the best place to work from. Even if the main aim of coworking offices is universal appeal, and frequenting them has become somewhat of a trend, a few people might find that this type of shared office space is not a good fit for them, and that’s okay too.
1. You’re easily distracted
If you’re the type of person that needs a very “sterile” environment with plenty of privacy and silence in order to get down to work, a shared office space might not be an ideal setting for you. Even if you manage to shut out the noise by playing some music on your headphones, chances are that there’ll be constant movement around you, which might break your focus. But before you pull the plug on the idea of ever working from a coworking hub, make sure you at least try it out, and maybe opt for a corner desk situated at the periphery of the room instead of a central place surrounded by many people.
2. You’re spending too much time on your commute
Perhaps you live at the edge of town, or even in a rural area quite a drive away from the nearest big city, and you don’t have easy access to your nearest coworking hub. Maybe you need to change your modes of transportation numerous times before your reach the closest one, or possibly have to drive for over an hour to get to it. If this is the case, you might want to ask yourself whether attending a shared office space is worth so much effort, money and time. Dropping by the coworking office on occasions or taking part in bi-monthly events is great, but you might find that turning it into a daily routine is not a feasible option in the long run.
3. The socializing and networking is too much for you
Let’s say you have a somewhat introverted personality and you honestly believe that networking and socializing with many people on a daily basis might wear you down. The least you can do is to try the experience out a couple of times to see how you can work and how you feel about it. While your local coworking hub might not be the place for you to work from on a daily basis, you might still find value in connecting with other professionals in your field every once in a while, or attending insightful events and courses there.
4. Your productivity peak times are different
Everybody’s peak productivity times are different and employers all across the world are slowly coming to terms with this fact. Nevertheless, the traditional opening hours between 8 AM and 6 PM are still largely dominant in office culture and can be seen at shared office spaces as well. This means that if you usually do your finest work early in the morning before the sun is up, or if you’re a night owl and work best after midnight, coworking hubs might not be the best fit for you.
5. You can’t really afford coworking offices
You might be at the beginning of your solopreneurial or freelancing journey, in which case you might not yet have the capital to actually afford attending shared office spaces regularly. Even if you’re eager to jump on the coworking bandwagon, you might want to wait it out and build up your business at first, instead of committing yourself to something just because everyone else is doing it. After all, coworking culture is here to stay and your entrepreneurial venture (and future self!) will surely thank you for being smart about managing your money.
6. The lack of customization bothers you
Some individuals just love to add personal touches to their places of work. Whether that’s a world globe, some family photos, or creative quotes that get you motivated, customizing your desk can definitely add to the appeal of your workday. This, however, is not really a possibility at shared office spaces, especially if you’re being seated on a first come, first served basis.
7. You’re worried about privacy and security
The fact that coworking hubs have open layouts and a walk-in policy means that virtually anyone (perhaps even your biggest competitor) can be sitting right next to you and you wouldn’t even know it. Luckily, most shared office spaces recognize the importance of safety measures and have implemented two-factor authentication and different passwords for each member when connecting to the Wi-Fi, have soundproofed meeting rooms, and offer on-site security lockers in case you need to store your valuables.
You can also take individual steps to enhance your safety by always double-checking your Internet connection, setting up firewalls on your laptop, and password-protecting your electronics. Rent a private conference room for all your meetings for extra privacy instead of just sitting down at a desk in the shared open office. Check in with staff to make sure they’re doing everything they can to ensure member safety. If you’re still feeling anxious about working from a coworking hub, then it simply might not be meant for you.
Before you decide right away that frequenting shared office spaces is not compatible with your style, make sure you at least go to a few different ones to try them out. Some remote workers find it particularly helpful to combine working from home with going to coworking hubs and cafés, to balance out the loneliness of the home office with a more social atmosphere, which is something you might also want to consider.