When you are starting up a new venture, the thrill is huge! Embarking on the journey, setting your own hours, working from home and being flexible in your schedule is the lure of any startup. If you have passion for a new idea or product, the adrenaline is high, the motivation is high and the stress is not far behind. The flexibility of working from home is the goal of most entrepreneurs. But sometimes it’s not quite what it appears to be.
It all comes down to focus. Many a distraction has stopped a new business venture in its tracks or benched it for indeterminate periods of time. This is supposed to be the age of the non-office. Mobile technology has made communication possible from anywhere. And meetings can be virtual, on the phone or at the corner coffee shop. It can be sensory overload, or dead silence.
What’s happening to this idyllic situation cannot really be summed up in a word, it’s more complex. It’s a feeling. There is often a disconnect, or alienation if you will, that can be very detrimental to morale, focus and intention. Feeling like you are on an island when you leave a traditional office for the comfort of working from home is a common phenomenon.
The remedy is simply reconnecting. Coworking environments create a great opportunity to demystify the island. It’s not your typical office, you are not in a box or even surrounded by the same people each day. But there is a structure and an opportunity to network with like minded individuals that can, in an understated way, revive your passion of purpose through the hive of activity in an environment of like thinkers. Typically populated by visionaries, you can usually find a coworking environment that caters to your industry and speaks your language. But don’t rule out one that doesn’t because you might find someone who could benefit from your services or vice versa.
In an article by Alex Williams for Fashion & Style, we can clearly see that the struggle is real:
“Offices can also be compelling sources of personal narrative, as evidenced by the success of television shows like “Mad Men,” “30 Rock,” “The Good Wife” and, naturally, “The Office.”
“Those shows are popular because they’re about a community,” said Ms. Booker, who worked at 30 Rockefeller Plaza as a news producer before moving to Austin. “You have friends, feedback, drama, comedy,” she said. “Working by yourself, you lose out on that.”
“This is not to say that working remotely has been disappointing for all. An oft-cited 2007 Pennsylvania State University meta-analysis of 46 studies on telecommuting found that working from home for people employed by traditional companies can have “small but favorable effects on perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction and performance.”
The other side of the motivation coin is, when you don’t have to commute and you can focus all of your attention on your passion, it sometimes becomes difficult to switch off. Giving yourself an option to work in a coworking environment a few days a week can give you regular hours and some structure back to your day. You can plan meetings around it, connect with some other like minded individuals that may be grappling with the same issues, and find the impetus to refuel your ambition. The open collaborative environment and the change of pace can also help keep you moving forward and sailing past the island mentality.
The differences are many in co-working environments…but the caveat is: they are membership based. You’re not tenants, you are sharing in each other’s success stories. You are creating an ecosystem that pools talent and resources from unlikely places. When you create a scenario for accidental encounters, anything is possible! Office politics is gone. Structure is relative and you can manipulate how this works best for you and your business goals.
The creation energy generated by connecting with like minded individuals is an uncharted win-win situation.
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