Working from home has its benefits. No commute. Fewer overheads. You can simply roll out of bed and straight to your desk while others struggle to get to work. But just lately, you're struggling to concentrate and suffering from too many distractions.
Weirdly, you're working longer hours too and finding it difficult to "switch off" when you finally close your laptop at night. Maybe it's time to take the leap and find a workspace away from home. Not necessarily an office, but a co-working facility where you can keep costs low but enjoy being in a more professional environment with other freelancers.
Is it time you ditched the home office? We've teamed up with WeWork – a global network of workspaces – to consider signs you're ready to close the door on homeworking forever and explore why you might benefit from co-working.
1. You're increasingly procrastinating
When you've got the laundry to sort and carpets to hoover, it's difficult to concentrate on work. You think that no harm will be done if you just do a few household chores. But before you know it, you've spent over an hour dusting and polishing, and your real work is getting left behind. You're procrastinating. And that's probably because being at home doesn't feel like being at work. You're having trouble switching from personal to business mode. It's not surprising when you're using your dining room as an office.
By being in a professional environment, you'll be able to separate work from home life and become more focused. You'll see others getting ahead and that will give you motivation. With fewer distractions, you'll thrive.
WeWork has 23 spaces across London and one in Manchester's Spinningfields, all beautifully designed, full of light and hip furniture for the discerning creative – so you'll not only feel professional, you'll be proud of where you work too.
2. Daytime telly is more appealing
After eating your cornflakes while watching BBC Breakfast, you decide to catch just a few minutes of Victoria Derbyshire. And then maybe A Place in the Sun over on Channel 4. Oh, and some Bargain Hunt too. Because, well... you can. You're your own boss, after all. But then it's lunchtime. And you've wasted a whole morning putting work off.
In a shared workspace, like WeWork's London Fields or Tower Bridge locations, you won't have time for telly. You'll be too busy enjoying being part of a thriving business community and benefiting from super-fast Internet, free refreshments and all the events that help you connect, learn and grow.
3. You feel cooped up and isolated
Are you having a Shirley Valentine moment? Do you find yourself talking to the wall on a regular basis? Working from home can turn you into a hermit – if you're not careful. Especially in winter when it can be cold, dark and miserable. Why go out at all? Why bother speaking to another human being? Being isolated is frankly making you depressed.
At WeWork, there are loads of networking events, wellness sessions and "lunch + learns" where you can enjoy a catered lunch and chat with other members, sharing tips, expertise and knowledge. So you'll never feel alone again.
4. You've lost the energy to get dressed
One of the joys of leaving the house is the chance to dress up. You have joie de vivre. A reason to leap out of bed and embrace each day. But working from home has rid you of that lust for life. You can't be bothered to even get out of your pyjamas and shower, let alone brush your teeth.
Having a workspace away from home gives you a reason to make an effort. You're also more likely to get up earlier and embrace whatever each day throws at you.
5. You find yourself working longer hours
With no commute, it's all too easy to fill the extra time with more work. You sit at your desk at 7.30am, "just to answer a few emails" and the next thing you know, it's 7 o'clock at night. You literally haven't looked up from your desk. Your back hurts and you feel shattered. And the next day, you do it all over again.
Ditching home for an office or shared workspace will help you set more realistic business hours. You're more likely to start and finish at set times each day. And the physical separation of work from home will stop you opening your laptop when you walk through your front door.
6. You aren't getting the work-life balance you need
Ironically, working from home can make life more about work than life. You're working longer hours. You've lost the energy to get out of the house. You've neglected your health and fitness. Each night, you just want to slump in front of the telly and drink beer, before collapsing into bed and dragging yourself back to your desk the next day.
Being at somewhere like WeWork will encourage you to value your downtime. That's because you'll be more productive during the day, and therefore won't need your work to eat into your evenings or weekends.
7. Work feels like it's drying up
Nothing beats being immersed in a thriving community of entrepreneurs and freelancers, all helping one another to get ahead by sharing contacts and clients. But if you're cooped up at home, you're potentially missing out on loads of networking opportunities. That means you're not getting out there and making connections and winning new business. You feel like you're getting left behind.
At WeWork, you'll never run out of opportunities to meet other members. There are networking events, sure. But nothing beats being in a shared workspace where you'll naturally get chatting to people and make friends. Business is about people, after all. And word-of-mouth is still the most effective way of finding and winning new clients.
If any of the above sounds familiar, perhaps you're ready for a change of scenery. Getting a hot desk with WeWork starts from just £200 per month and you'll get access to any open seat in its common areas, 24/7. Pay a little extra, just £285 per month, and you'll get a dedicated desk – a space you can really call your own.
To find out more about WeWork, and to find the nearest co-working space in London, Manchester or anywhere else in the world, visit wework.com.
All images courtesy of WeWork