Working from home can be great when you’re starting out. You can save money and work whenever you want, with meetings via Skype or in local cafes and restaurants. But as your clients increase it becomes clear that the home office just won’t do. It can be mind-numbingly boring to spend all day in your home and it can feel awkward when you invite people to your house for meetings/interviews. Each year more freelancers and small businesses see the sense in breaking out of the straight-jacket working from home can leave you in, instead heading for co-working and collaborative spaces. We’ve told you about the advantages of coming to Work.Life, but once you’ve made the leap and joined up, how do you get the most out of Work.Life?
Save your money on coffee
We know the problems that working from home can create. Boredom, lack of productivity, and not the most professional environment. So what’s the most obvious alternative? Head to a cafe. They have plug sockets, wifi, and coffee, what more could you need? Many freelancers pack up their laptops and head to a local coffee shop, ready to right the wrongs of their unproductive day working at home.
Yet, this isn’t the saviour most people hope for. Whether by guilt or temptation, you’ll have a couple of £3/4 coffees, probably a sandwich or a cake, maybe a bottle of water. Depending on where you choose to work, this could be upwards of £15/20 a day, all for a weak internet connection and expensive coffee, not to mention the noisy surroundings! This is an overwhelming advantage of simply checking in at Work.Life. It’s a comfortable and stimulating space, and you can rent a desk for an hour for the same price as a cup of coffee. This is a massive bonus, especially when you consider that you get free locally brewed coffee and ninja-fast wifi as part of your membership!
Get chatting to fellow members
One of the best things about Work.Life is our creative community. We don’t just mean the folks from MTV and Dr Martens working here, we mean all of the freelancers and small businesses which make Work.Life the thriving community it is. Mixing with these people from different industries and with various skills/experiences can provide inspiration, solutions to problems, and a fresh perspective on your work. This is why you need to be taking advantage of all of the talented people around you, and this starts with saying ‘hi’. Part of the reason for our collaborative spaces is the social aspect, so even if you’re an introvert try to take your headphones out, look up from your laptop screen and talk to others when you can. Grab lunch with other members and get to know the people you are working around, you never know what ideas might pop up or what business opportunities these conversations could spur on. Not to mention, it’s always nice to have a few friends around.
There are right and wrong ways to do this, you shouldn’t start pestering people with their heads buried in their laptops. They could be busy finishing up for an impending deadline! But as with most things, it can all start with a ‘good morning’ here, or a ‘hello’ at the coffee machine. It can be easy to spot people on a break, to notice if a couple of people are already chatting, or simply to come along to one of our ‘members only’ events! If you’re interested in what they have to say and they’re interested in what you’re saying, then this could be the start of a friendship, a business venture, or even a new client!
Working in a space like ours is all about collaboration, helping each other is what we’re about. Don’t be afraid to offer your advice/services when you think they could benefit someone, and don’t be afraid to ask when you need a little input from someone else. Sharing knowledge and experience can provide the foundations for successful working relationships; helping others will make them inclined to share the favour. Before you know it, you are expanding your professional network just by getting out of the house and talking to other local creatives.
Say hello to the Work.Life team!
As well as getting to know your fellow members, why not say hello and have a chat with your friendly Work.Life team? We have good knowledge of the people working in the space, we can always help with professional introductions, and we may also be able to advise you on any other members who could benefit from your services (or whose services might be a benefit to you).
We are always keen to make our service as good as possible, so please do ask questions, give us some feedback, and share any ideas you might have with us! We can guarantee that they won’t be ignored.
Attend in-space events
Because we want you to get the most out of your work and life, we’re constantly hosting networking events and social gatherings in the space, as well as guest speakers, talks, and workshops. Some of these will be organised and hosted by us, or by other members and/or external organisations. You should be coming along and joining in on these events. They provide a great opportunity to meet likeminded individuals and who knows, you might even learn something!