A Beginners Guide to Working From Home

A Beginners Guide to Working From Home

There are now over 1.5 million employed staff working from home, with millions more self-employed doing the same. And all the evidence appears to suggest that this number will only increase in the coming months and years.

I’m fully aware of the delights of working from home, having spent many years doing just that in my previous employments. However, even on the most organised days, I’ve started early with a determined mind, a clean desk, and a written to-do-list. However, it’s not long before I’ve thought that I’ll just go and make myself a sandwich first or walk the dog. I don’t have a dog, by the way. That’s fine, I’ll go out, buy a dog and walk it. I think you get the picture by now.

For many, the joys of working from home include how unlikely it is to be disturbed by chance encounters while making coffee, unnecessary meetings, and other spontaneous interruptions. Other positives include the face that you work when you want to, at your own pace and in the peace, comfort and quiet of your own familiar and comfortable surroundings. What could be missing from all that?

Sometimes though, we need some of the very things that working from home takes away. We require some element of routine and some interaction with other grown-ups. One survey I discovered found the biggest obstacles for UK home workers are children or family demanding attention and difficulty concentrating on work issues.

So, what are your options if you don’t always want to work from an office and want a break from home working from time to time? Coffee shops? Libraries? ….

How about a Coworking Space?

What is Coworking?

In its simplest form, a coworking space, such as my own Cambridge Business Lounge, is a shared office, yet so much more. It’s an opportunity for you to work for yourself, but not by yourself.

Saying that, the number one priority of anyone who works in a coworking space is, of course, productivity. If that person is more productive at home or in a coffee shop, why work from a coworking space? What about the notion of being productive AND tapping into the minds and experiences of others to help your own business.

We all had hurdles from time to time to help us with our professional challenges, and while the internet plays a strong part in helping us to overcome them, nothing beats experience. Whatever profession maybe using the coworking space with you, once you strip away the layer of industry we all represent, then we’re left with a wealth of experience that we can learn from to help our own businesses – whether employed or self-employed.

Finally, it’s not a case of working from home or coworking. You could do both. If you only need to work from a coworking space once a week, twice, more, less, then do. The concept of coworking is designed to fit with your needs, not the other way around.

But Everything I Need For Me to Work Is At Home.

As I’ve already said, working from home has fantastic benefits, mainly because everything you have is there, whenever and wherever you need it. Or is it? Have you ever, even just once, thought to yourself?:

  • These four walls just aren’t giving me the answers today
  • I wonder how this website or blog post really looks.
  • I need to get out of here, but have got to get this done today.

If you have, then maybe a coworking space is just the thing you need to try out for yourself, even just the once. Remember, working for yourself never has to mean working by yourself.

Action Point

  • Find your nearest coworking space. (If you’re in Cambridge, click here)
  • Contact them and book a “taster day” there. Most coworking spaces have them. This gives you the chance to see for yourself whether coworking is right for you, without having to pay a penny to them or commit to anything. What have you got to lose?

Does coworking work for you? Or maybe you’ve tried it and haven’t felt the benefits? Where is your nearest or favourite coworking space? Get in touch as I’d love to read your stories. 


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