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Why contractors should check out their local co-working spaces

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 11th Sep, 2017

Working surrounded by the same four walls day in, day out can adversely impact the productivity of even the most creative worker, but with the added flexibility working as a limited company contractor brings, this can be avoided.

The power of a change of scenery and face-to-face contact with other people should never be underestimated and is something that all homeworkers should consider from time to time.

Some like to work from a 'coffice' (coffee shop office), with recent research from MyVoucherCodes showing that the work done in these contributes £145 billion to the UK economy each year, while others prefer to take advantage of local co-working spaces.

But how exactly do these work and how can they benefit contractors and freelancers?

The rise of co-working spaces

According to the new Global Cities Report compiled by the Instant Group, the world's flexible workspace market has expanded significantly over the past year, with 18 per cent more co-working spaces currently on offer to contractors across the globe than there were 12 months ago.

In London, the number of flexible working spaces available has grown by 16 per cent, while there are also an increasing number of options in Manchester, Birmingham and other key cities.

This growth reflects changing working trends and the rise of flexible working, which is becoming more and more popular thanks to more people working for themselves in order to gain a better work-life balance.

How co-working spaces can benefit contractors

A welcome change of scenery from their usual home office can help to boost contractors' creativity and productivity, with new surroundings often helping workers to see things with a fresh pair of eyes.

Of course, in co-working spaces there are actual fresh pairs of eyes available to look over a piece of work too, with the fact that they allow people specialising in a range of industries to work alongside each other providing networking and collaboration opportunities too, which could potentially lead to contractors winning more work in the future.

What's more, while being able to work from home in pyjamas at whatever time of day suits is a perk of contracting for many, it can sometimes help to have to get up at a certain time, get dressed and be somewhere to make contractors feel a renewed sense of motivation.

Working closely with others can also help contractors to feel like they're part of a community, providing a new set of friends to take breaks with, as well as new people to bounce ideas off. Even if contractors only visit co-working spaces once a month or so, the time spent there can prove extremely valuable.

What contractors say about co-working

An infographic published by Officevibe earlier this year incorporated the survey responses of UK freelancers, contractors and entrepreneurs who regularly use co-working spaces and found there were several benefits aside from the ones listed above.

For example, 70 per cent of self-employed workers said they felt they could be healthier in a flexible working space than in a traditional office environment, while 68 per cent reported that it helped them to focus better and 64 per cent found themselves better able to meet deadlines.

By going out to co-working spaces occasionally, 60 per cent of contractors said they were more relaxed when they were at home.

Meanwhile, 91 per cent felt visiting these spaces allowed them to have better interactions with other people than if they were home and 91 per cent said that having this company helped them to feel more confident in their work.

Many co-working spaces are open 24 hours a day, so contractors who are feeling creative outside of normal working hours can take advantage of them, with less than one-third (30 per cent) of individuals who use these spaces sticking to nine-to-five office hours.

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