Before working at Sourced, I either felt chained to my home office (aka the tiny desk in my bedroom) or constantly scrambling to find the perfect coffee shop (comfortable chairs, outlets, always a space, decently quiet, not Starbucks, great wifi...it doesn’t exist).
Since becoming a Sourced member I can’t believe I waited this long to start co-working. However, I think the reason it took me so long to jump on that bandwagon is I didn’t realize what I was missing out on. It’s hard to put your finger on what’s been lacking until you’ve found it.
So I thought I’d break it down for you.
Here are my favorite things about CO-WORKING (and why you need to start co-working, too).
Reason To Get Dressed
If you go to a job, you might not get this one. But for the rest of you entrepreneurs and freelancers, you KNOW how easy it is to stay in your pajamas and how much you miss having a reason to put on an outfit (the grocery store is simply not motivating enough-- am I right? ). I love having a reason to get ready and show up as I the kind of person I’d like to be in my business. But beyond just feeling cute, this actually has an effect on how I see myself as a business owner. And a human.
2. Laguna Beach Life
Obviously, this is only a benefit if you co-work at Sourced, but it’s been huge for me! Not only is Sourced itself the most adorable, love-filled beach cottage you’ll ever set foot in, but it simply cannot be separated from the fact that it’s one block from the beach. And a stone’s throw away from from my favorite coffee shop. And from my two favorite places to grab lunch (The Stand and Active Culture). Where you spend your time matters. It affects your productivity AND your joy.
While this isn’t my favorite word it IS important as a small business owner and it’s been one of the biggest benefits of co-working for me. Not to mention, this is NOT something you get from your local coffee shop (...or bedroom for that matter).
New business often comes from people you already have some kind of connection with. When someone needs a logo designed, who are they going to turn to or refer out? The fun friend they sit next to all day or a random designer off Yelp? Without IRL connections, you’re likely going to have a hard time staying afloat.
4. Liking What You Do For Work WAY More
Did you know there was a study done that showed that those who have a best friend at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their jobs, produce higher quality work, and are way happier? It showed that who you work with is a bigger factor in liking your job than what your job actually is.
If you’ve been a freelancer or business owner for awhile, you know it can be just as isolating as it is freeing. Co-working brings back into balance what you lack when you work for yourself: other people! Yes, as covered in #3 is this important for networking. But it’s also important for ENJOYING that independent lifestyle you probably dreamed about for so long. You need jokes and side convos and group coffee breaks-- not just 1-on-1 hours with a screen. It helps your productivity tons and allows you to work longer days, too.
Similar (but different) to #3 and #4, another thing co-working brings to the table are people who can offer you help, feedback, encouragement and support. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked Riley, our photographer, for help with Photoshop, or Jaclyn, an illustrator and designer, for a second opinion on business cards. In a co-working space you have access to people with a whole variety of specializations and skills, allowing you to up-level in ways you couldn’t of on your own. It also gives YOU the chance to lend a helping hand with what you do best, too. Again, your business and your happiness will be better for it.
So there you have it-- 5 reasons to get your booty in community and start working alongside to people that help you out and make you laugh on a regular basis.
Want to find the RIGHT space for you and what you do? Try it out first! Go to an event or get a day pass. Different spaces draw in different crowds. Since most these benefits listed have to do with the people you work next to, it’s important to find a space and a vibe that resonates with you. That’s also to say that if you’ve tried out a co-working space before and you didn’t feel very at home, it very well could’ve just been that office space.
And if you need a little nudge in the right direction, I can tell you right now that if warm, supportive, welcoming energy is your thing and you don’t mind being next to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, SOURCED. is probably your place.
Written by Devon Walz. In addition to being a content creator for Sourced, Devon is mixed media fine artist and art educator. When she isn’t dreaming up new topics for the Sourced blog or chatting away with her co-workers, you can probably find her covered in paint and jamming out in her Santa Ana art studio. Find her on Instagram @devonwalzart and online at www.devonwalz.com.