By Rodney Laws

To many, solopreneurs lead enviable lives — after all, the freewheeling appeal of going it alone is hard to deny. Work when you want, make the deals that suit you, and wield complete power over every aspect of your operation. And when the solo route is handled effectively, it’s as good as the hype suggests… but it isn’t always done so well.

One of the most common mistakes made by aspiring solopreneurs is aiming for too much isolation. The lifestyle isn’t about putting up a professional space into which no one may intrude. It’s simply about taking control — and it’s perfectly possible to keep control in a more social setting. That’s the fundamental beauty of the coworking model.

Not only does setting up in a coworking space make you more productive, but — for that reason and more — it also makes you more profitable in due course. Does that sound odd to you? It shouldn’t. Allow me to elaborate upon why this is the right approach for solopreneurs:

You save a lot of money on dedicated space

Firstly, and most obviously, using coworking space allows you to significantly cut down on your expenditure — something that’s hugely important for most solopreneurs, particularly those who haven’t been running their operations for very long. Renting private office space is expensive enough for a team, and can be completely unrealistic for an individual.

This issue with office renting often leads to a solopreneur choosing to work from their home. That arrangement can be viable, but it leaves people prone to being distracted, working too hard and for too long, and blurring the barrier between their personal and professional lives. Using coworking space is the ideal solution. It’s extremely affordable, and it feels professional.

It’s a great middle-ground between formal and informal

Not everyone is comfortable in traditional business attire: suits and ties, toned-down dresses, and needlessly-shiny shoes. Younger people in particular are broadly rejecting the old-fashioned concept of office dress codes, and clothing brands are adapting, offering more casual outfits to provide everyday quality. So why is this significant when it comes to coworking?

It’s simple. When you work from home (or just in total isolation), you can fall out of the habit of dressing to impress. You don’t need to shower every day, or change your clothes as often, or neaten up your hair, or line up the right accessories. And while that’s a good thing in various ways, it’s undeniable that how we dress affects how we feel. When you get lax with your appearance, it can significantly affect your performance.

But that doesn’t mean you should go back to wearing formal attire, so what you need is to wear the clothes you want to wear while ensuring that you maintain certain standards of presentation. Coworking is perfect for that. You’re not obliged to look a certain way, but when you know that you’re going to be around other professionals, you’ll clean yourself up as a courtesy.

You get to make valuable professional connections

Depending on your coworking space, and your career, you may be surrounded by people in similar fields or a wide array of professionals who do completely different things. Either scenario can be to your benefit. If you get to work alongside people in your field, you can share resources and pieces of advice, build up the kind of camaraderie that comes from mutual understanding, and line up possible career moves (you might not want to be a solopreneur forever).

If you work alongside people from outside your industry, though, you get to greatly expand your awareness of the business world. You’ll invariably find that there’s something to learn from everyone you talk to — tips that also apply to what you do, or techniques that can be carried over from other industries to yours. In a basic sense, it’s also great to make new friends. Even if the people you meet can’t directly help you, they can still make your work more enjoyable.

The atmosphere helps to keep you alert

A lot of thought goes into coworking spaces: making them optimally comfortable and engaging for people from different professionals. This is vitally important because no one has perfect concentration at all times. Everyone gets tired and/or distracted, so if you’re going to optimize your productivity, you need to take all the steps you can to retain your focus.

Where’s the best place to do that? In your poorly-lit kitchen with clutter everywhere? In your own office with no one watching and total freedom to zone out? Or is it in a coworking environment with a carefully-designed layout, ideal workplace lighting, and just enough activity going on around you to ensure that you won’t fall asleep in the middle of the day?

You should absolutely take care of your diet, get plenty of exercise, and focus on your mental health, because each of those things will help with concentration — but an ill-considered workplace atmosphere can drive anyone to an extended nap. Start using a coworking space, and you can truly begin to realize your potential.

Overall, coworking presents the perfect solution for anyone who wants to work alone but doesn’t want to feel alone. It gives the best of both worlds: the freedom and control of being your own boss, and the support structure and reassuring atmosphere of an office.

By Rodney Laws

Editor at Ecommerce Platforms