If you are a freelance writer, abortion graphic designer or business coach who is growing weary of working from a home office or coffee shops, recipe a virtual office space or coworking space is a great opportunity.
Working alone often lacks the inspiration, collaboration and social engagement of working in a team office. Leasing dedicated office space can be too expensive, and often doesn’t solve the central issue of working solo.
If you have already decided to contract virtual office services, here are some questions you should ask yourself.
How Much Social Interaction Should I Expect?
If you are an accountant, bookkeeper or a business consultant who regularly meets with clients, there are many virtual office spaces with board rooms or meeting spaces.
Other solopreneurs, like web designers, freelance writers or software developers might benefit from a coworking space. Coworking establishments tend to lack individual offices, but provide “hot desks” which can be used for a day or two out of the week, and encourage collaboration among creatives and technical gurus. The use of headphones often simulates privacy, but stimulates creativity with the right music.
2. What Environment do I Perform My Best In?
If you are a newly minted solopreneur who has just parachuted out of a corporate job, you likely have a pulse on whether you work best in an open environment, or in an office with a door for when you need solitude.
If use of the phone is a regular part of your work day, a virtual office environment provides the ideal balance of your own four walls when you need them, or the opportunity to mingle and get social when you need a boost. Loud phone talkers or those who like to pace the room to rev their creative engines can be frowned upon by the coworking set.
3. How Collaborative Am I?
If you are a lone wolf solopreneur, and already have a network of other contractors and creatives you are committed to, a virtual office is likely your best bet. Coworking spaces focus on creating communities within their space, to facilitate the success of its members.
Have you ever heard of a “coworking jelly”? It’s an informal event where non-competing entrepreneurs get together and discuss projects which can leverage a specific set of skills possessed by its members. It’s like a perfect collision of sole proprietorship and working with a team. Everyone commits to supporting the effort collaboratively, so shared win means shared reward.
If you purposefully bailed out of working for someone else to work alone, a virtual office space is likely a better fit for you. There can still be partnerships and teams which can emerge from virtual offices, however community isn’t the central theme of virtual offices to the extent of the coworking industry.
4. How Often will I Need the Space?
This item can go either way, however not all virtual office spaces allow entrepreneurs to only pay for office access for a few days out of the week or year. Coworking hot desks could be a more affordable way to work if you just need a day or two away from home, however many virtual offices do offer flexible contract arrangements.
Working from home can be challenging. Keeping motivated, engaged and stimulated are often challenges of the SOHO set.Find the right remote office environment for your business, and be true to what helps you to perform to the best of your abilities.