As an introvert myself, it would take me a lot of consideration to finally decide to visit a coworking space (that is if I didn’t run one myself of course). Whilst I absolutely love people and need to spend time in (small) groups, having to meet a load of strangers in an unknown space isn’t the easiest thing for me.
So I can totally understand why some women face resistance when it comes to visiting a local coworking space. However, our coworking space in Totnes isn’t like other coworking spaces you may have come across. For a start, it is absolutely tiny. We only have a maximum of eight hotdesks available to hire. So the likelihood is you’ll never have to meet more than a handful of new people on any given day.
I promise it is really not as scary as you may be thinking. Everyone who comes in is super lovely and friendly and I am always on hand to make introductions.
But I’d like to share with you eight other reasons you should consider working from our flexible office space in Totnes. Coworking is a great match for you if….
1. You’re not excited by traditional networking events
Everyone in business knows that networking is hugely important if you want to grow your career prospects, build relationships, break into new markets or collaborate with other businesses.
There are plenty of networking events held locally. The local Chamber of Commerce will usually hold networking events. There are local Jellys that you can attend. Business Breakfasts are another great opportunity to network locally. But most of these traditional networking events can inspire the same uneasy, uncomfortable feelings that you may be associating with coworking.
This is absolutely not the case. When you cowork there is no pressure to deliver an elevator pitch. No awkward two minutes to talk about yourself in front of a room full of people. You don’t have to sell yourself.
Instead, we have hours throughout the day for these conversations to happen naturally. People get chatting, share their thoughts and experiences organically and nobody feels like they are getting the hard sell.
So if traditional networking events aren’t your bag, coworking might just be a much easier option for you. You still get to meet new business acquaintances, make those connections and potentially collaborate but without the cringe.
2. You love working independently but sometimes get lonely
Some people absolutely love working alone. They set out to be a one-man band and that is the way they like it and the way they intend to keep it. Nothing wrong with that. However, if like me, you vastly underestimated how lonely it can be working for yourself, by yourself, coworking could be a great option for you.
In the office, we get to work alone, together. We get to be with other people, even if it’s just once a week or once a month. We get to have those rare moments when you can share the wins with other people and celebrate your achievements. We can ask for advice when things get difficult. And we can even just let off steam by having a rant. You know, like you would with your colleagues during a tea break?
If you miss those parts of working in a team, coworking could be the solution you are looking for to get your hit of community however often you need it.
3. You don’t have many tax-deductible business expenses
It may appear at first, that coworking is expensive. At our shared office space in Totnes, we charge from £10-15 a day. As you can imagine this will add up over time if you want to come regularly.
But what most women don’t realise is that working from a coworking space occasionally is a tax-deductible business expense under the category of “office costs”. But it is better than that! You can also claim the cost of travelling to a coworking space occasionally. (If you have a full-time desk or office and work there every day, you cannot claim travel expenses).
Obviously, I am not an accountant, but do seek advice on this if the cost of coworking has been putting you off, especially if you don’t have many business expenses in the first place.
4. You need a change of scenery away from home
You may absolutely adore working from home and the flexibility that it brings you to work your business around your family or your pets. However, we all have times when cabin fever may set in (as we discovered over the past two years) and it can be refreshing to find somewhere outside of the home to work.
Cafes and restaurants work for some people, but they can be quite noisy and distracting and it’s unlikely that you will benefit from any of the natural networking that we spoke about in point one.
A coworking space can be the perfect place to get you out of the house for a little while and provide that important change of scenery. It can also be quite nice to have a commute sometimes so you can get your thoughts in order before the workday starts.
5. You’d like a better work-life balance
When we work from home, it can be difficult to achieve that elusive work-life balance. The boundaries between the working day and our home life can so easily become blurred. Without that commute to a separate workspace, it can be difficult to get into the right mindset at the start of the day and to switch off completely from work at the end of the day.
Visiting a coworking space occasionally can help to restore that work-life balance a little.
6. You need time to work on your business as opposed to in it
I am sure that we are all guilty of this. We spend so much time working in our business, doing the tasks that make it tick, that we rarely spend time working on the business. Allowing ourselves to do some bigger picture thinking, to create, to plan and to assess where we are and where we want to go.
If you struggle with this, setting aside one day a week or one day a month, however long you need to work on your business can be really game-changing. It can help if you plan to spend that day in a different environment so you aren’t tempted to get caught up in the regular daily habits that will draw you back onto the hamster wheel. A coworking space could be ideal for this special day that you gift yourself.
7. You’d like to expand your social network and make some new friends
The pandemic prompted lots of people to relocate to Devon. Anyone who moved here during or shortly after the pandemic would have inevitably struggled to make friends as government regulations and social distancing made socialising impossible.
Even without a global pandemic, it can be hard to make new friends when you move to a different area. Using a coworking space can be a great way to expand your social network and meet new people locally.
8. You’re looking to boost your creativity
And finally, working from a coworking space can provide an enormous burst of creativity. Having conversations with people you wouldn’t normally speak to, who work in different industries, or have different experiences and perspectives can really help you to see your own business through a new lens.
So what do you think? Are any of these reasons enough to convince you to give it a go? If not, I’d love to hear why? Let me know in the comments below.
Stacey Sheppard is the founder of The Tribe, a small community-driven coworking space in Totnes that caters to creative, growth-oriented female entrepreneurs by providing an inspiring working environment designed to foster collaboration, connection and community.