Productivity and GTD

Work & Travel: Pro’s and Con’s of Using Co-Working Spaces

AUTHOR: Nick Stephens

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Traveling and coworking

Co-working spaces are offices where you can rent a desk, or meeting rooms, on a temporary or permanent basis. Sharing the space with other workers. They can be a great option if you run a start-up and can’t afford your own premises at this point, are a freelancer or, you are travelling.

Using co-working spaces whilst travelling can give you a space to get some work done that isn’t a busy airport or hotel room and you are guaranteed electricity and WIFI etc. But they have their disadvantages too, such as extra cost and new distractions such as the other workers.

Let’s take a closer look at the pro’s and con’s:

Pro’s

Structure

Travelling can play havoc with routine. Late flights and/or jet lag mess with your sleeping pattern. Strange working hours and no familiar workplace can leave you feeling out of sync. Having a dedicated workspace may help to restore some order to the temporary chaos.

Pay As You Work

Some co-working spaces let you book days or half days at a time, which should help you to fit in working around your trip. If it is a short one you won’t have to pay a week or a month’s fee.

Less Distractions

Ever sat next to the snoring sleeper on an airplane, or the couple whose conversation is very loud and distracting next to you in the café? Co-working spaces can offer a more work focused space to get those reports done.

A Time and a Place

Travelling can lead to busy schedules, knowing that you are going to go to a specific place at a specific time to do some work may help you to organise your time better. You should be able to book co-working space in advance, even before you leave, so know it’s in place when you get to your destination.

Facilities

You can’t always guarantee Wifi or a power supply wherever you go. Plus, how much do you have to spend in that café to not feel guilty taking over a table for the whole day. When you go to a co-working space you know that these features will be available, and don’t forget tea and coffee making areas too!

Mindset

It may still have distractions, but it is a place where people go to work, this could help you to settle down and get on that wavelength, increasing productivity. Opposed to a hotel room which you may view as a place for downtime and sleeping, or a café which is a place people go in their spare time.

Networking

Co-Working spaces can offer an opportunity to make new business connections. You may meet people that have skills that you need for your business or generate new clients that need yours.

Variety

Co-working spaces can offer the best of both worlds, some structure but also variety. If you visit different locations on your trip or you are in one area for an extended period of time, using different spaces may help to add variety to your work schedule. Different settings amongst different people. This could also be seen as a negative, but we will get to this later.

Cons

Distractions

They may be an improvement from that noisy airport, but co-working spaces can also have distractions of their own. They can be crowded and noisy and you may be tempted to make new friends and talk about anything but work.

Lack of Privacy

Working in a shared space means that you do not have the privacy that your own office would offer. People can listen in on conversations and can see what is on your computer screen.

Different Atmosphere

You won’t be in the same environment you are used to. You won’t be in amongst co-workers you have built a rapport with and you can’t turn around or walk down the hall to ask a team member a question about that latest project. Also, with temporary and part-time staff the atmosphere can be quite changeable.

Transport

Depending on your location, you may have to do more travelling to get to an office. This may cut down on the time you could be working and costly.

Cost

Co-working spaces aren’t always expensive, but they do cost more than working in a hotel or in a café if you are going to eat there anyway.

A Melting Pot of Personalities

Lots of people in one place means that you may come across people that you don’t get along with. The temporary nature of co-working spaces may also mean that these people are less likely to be nice and get along, if working alongside each other isn’t likely to be permanent.

Hours of Work

Not all co-working spaces have flexible hours. They may only offer 9 – 5 availability, this may make it harder to fit around your schedule if you have meetings in the daytime, a late or early arriving flight, or jet lag which means you want to work unusual hours.

Wrapping it Up

Co-Working spaces do come with their disadvantages, but if you are looking for some structure in a busy, out of sync schedule then they can offer a work-centred space where you can go and get things done before enjoying some downtime.

Being organised should be a priority in your businesses no matter your location, but it can be especially important when travelling. FacileThings can help you to establish a workflow that allows you to easily and intuitively manage all the elements of your personal productivity in one place.

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