Though working at home is a huge perk for some freelancers, some people actually find they work much better when they get up and go to an office and are surrounded by other people (even if they may not be directly working with them). That’s why the new startup Deskcamping may be some freelancer’s dream come true. The company was launched by London native Nick Couch in December. It allows city businesses and co-working spaces — many of which normally charge by the month — to rent out free desks to freelancers by the day or week.
The site is still in beta and has more than 100 New York users and 68 locations across Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan that have been listed since its inception. “If you have space and you bring in people, it has a massive impact on the culture,” Couch told The New York Post. There is an extensive questionnaire for the freelancers to fill out. They are asked to provide specifics on their businesses and what their most conducive working space looks like (noise level, culture, space, etc.,) Some of the spaces Deskcamping hooks up freelancers with include Fueled Collective, Ensemble and Projective Space.
But New York isn’t the only place these coworking spaces are opening up. Deskmag.com, a coworking news site, reports that the number of people using coworking spaces more than doubled between 2012 and 2013, and nearly 1,000 coworking spaces are now in operation across the U.S., with more expected. So what are the signs that you are better off finding one of these spaces and not working from home or in a coffee shop?
1. You aren’t getting any work done. This is probably the most obvious sign. If you are really struggling to be productive at home, then you must consider other options. Find yourself searching for a snack every 15 minutes in your kitchen? A coworking space might be a godsend for your productivity.
2. You crave human interaction. Even though you may have hated some of your former coworkers, there is something about being around other people when you are working hard that helps you get through the day. It’s also just nice to have people to complain to about, well, everything! But it’s also nice to just make small talk with people or discuss “Game of Thrones” plotlines. If you find yourself missing water cooler chat, and gchat isn’t cutting it for you, a coworking space might be a great choice.
3. Your home is distracting. Even if you may like working from home, there may be other people in it that prevent you from getting stuff done. Or, it just may not be a conducive work space. Perhaps there is construction nearby or your internet isn’t that reliable or your neighbors 1-year-old makes more noise than you’d like. A coworking space would help with these home distraction issues (plus the aforementioned every-15-minute-snack-hunt).
4. You need to meet with clients. Many of these office spaces have meeting rooms you can book or common areas. This is much better for a meeting than your studio apartment or trying to find a table at a crowded coffee shop.
5. You need a great space. Some people just need a great working space. They need a lot of light and beautiful windows. Not all coworking spaces are gorgeous but many of them are pretty cool looking. Research shows that loving where you work does make a difference in your productivity. Inc. put together a gorgeous list of 16 beautiful coworking space - we dare you not to be inspired to spruce up your space!
Looking for a great coworking space near you? Firstly, ask around! Your network in your city will have a great pulse on wonderful spaces to work. Or, try lists of coworking spaces compiled by your local startup community to find which a great spot in your area. If you’re in one of the cities below, try the amazing guides we pulled together to make it easy for you:
New York City: Check out this “Complete Guide to Coworking in New York City” from AlleyWatch.
Chicago: A full guide of coworking spaces in the Windy City from the Chicago Tribune.
Washington D.C.: An updated guide to coworking in DC from Elevation DC.
San Francisco: An overview of 50+ coworking spaces from 42 Floors in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Seattle: A guide to picking the perfect Seattle coworking space from Curbed.
Austin: The Austin Phoenix guide to coworking in Austin.
Miami: A sorted list of coworking spots in Miami from Shared Desk (try this for other cities, too!).
London: A great guide from The Fetch of coworking places in London.
This piece was written by Meredith Lepore and is republished by permission.
Image credit: CC by Mindaugas Danys