From Home Office to Co-Working Office:
How I Was Able To Get More Done By Working Around Other People Instead Of Working Alone At Home
by Jeremy Krakowski
Tell me if this scene sounds familiar: You sit down to do work in your home office, you look over and see there’s a pile of laundry that needs to be done. Then, you get up to make a cup of coffee, sit back down to get work done, but your phone rings and you end up in an hour long conversation with your best friend about “Duck Dynasty” and your plans for the weekend. Yay!
12pm rolls around, and it’s time to make lunch, so you eat lunch and change your laundry out. It’s a bit lonely in your home office so you decide to go to the grocery store to pick up some important things.
Now it’s 2pm, and you sit down at your desk and your starting to feel tired, so you make another cup of coffee, finish folding your clothes and by the time your done doing that you decide your just too tired to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
You decide to head to the gym to revitalize yourself, but by the time you get back it’s 6pm, time for dinner. Once your done eating, your ready to “relax” after your “hard day” of being “busy” – yet you only got 2 hours of actual productive, profitable, money making, “bring home the bacon and eggs”, work done all day! You go to bed and tell yourself, “I’ll get more done tomorrow” but the same cycle – day in, day out – and you beat yourself up, asking “Why in the world am I not making any money at my business?? I’m busy all the time, but can never seem to get anything done!” 🙁 …it just keeps going and going and going and going and… ever feel like the insane energizer bunny anyone?
Back in September 2012, this person described above was me. After working from home for over a a year and a half doing freelance work, I was slowly going broke and further into debt and my mental sanity was dwindling because I was home alone (as a single guy) in my apartment in Austin, TX; to be VERY honest and candid with you – I could never seem to get any work done! I thought to myself “I’m a great worker, and back when I worked at my corporate office job, I got a lot done every day. Why can I not seem to focus my time when I’m at home? Is there something wrong with me? I have so much work to do that I could be making 6-figures easily, but I can never seem to focus! This SUCKS! What am I doing with my life??” and it wasn’t healthy at all 🙁
In October 2012, I had this brilliant idea “What if there was an office that people who work from home can share and go to every day to get productive work done?” and in that moment, I thought I, Jeremy Krakowski, had invented coworking! Woohoo!
Reluctantly (and much to my satisfaction), I found out I had not actually invented coworking, but that it was actually a growing trend in the business world, and had actually been “coming of age” for the last few years! This excited me because I was like “phew, I don’t have to do the hard work to get this set up! This is great!”
The very next week, I called around a few places in Austin and signed up for a membership at a place called Link Coworking (if your in the Austin area, you need to check out Link – it’s the best – and say hi to Liz, the owner, for me). When I walked it, it was amazing; almost like a magical world opened up right in front of me. It actually brings me to tears thinking back about what a weight off my shoulders it was to find: real people just like myself who were being productive in their respective industries getting work done: tech companies, attorneys, photographers, bloggers, health coaches.
Even though none these people worked for the same company, they all had something in common – coming together in a common place to cowork together on a daily basis and build community. When I would ask around the office, everyone would say the same thing: they were more productive as a direct result of coworking.
I sat down for my free trial day and immediately got more done in that one day than I had all prior weeks before, so I signed up for a membership on the spot! (Most coworking spaces charge between $100-$600 per month depending on the demand and the amenities offered, private desk space, etc.)
The next 2 weeks of coworking blew my mind away – just from changing my environment and being in a space that I could call my own around other entrepreneurs and business owners, I saw my productivity go up by 400% because I was able to focus, instead of getting 1-2 hours a day done, I was doing 6-8 hours a day of work – productive, money making, profitable work – not just busy work!!
When I left the office for the day to go home, I was done, and I could take care of my household tasks before or after I went into the office, but by setting aside specific office hours for myself and sticking to them each day is what really allowed my productivity to go through the roof!
When I was able to combine the coworking space with a software package called Time Doctor (PJ McClure and myself reviewed this software in our episode of ARealChange.tv here: http://arealchange.tv/2013/04/episode-53-a-new-look-at-time-management-with-jeremy-pj/), I’m in what I consider an unstoppable flow of productivity every single day – I can do anything now, free from distractions, – on the flip side, I have the full freedom I had before, more freedom really, with more mental sanity and organization!
Now you might ask, “What’s the difference between this and a coffee shop? It sounds kind of like a glorified coffee shop to me.” I actually thought the same thing, and I personally love working at coffee shops, when I’m not able to work at a coworking office. The difference is community and networking. This coworking space was a place I could go to each day, my productive “happy place” that I could call my own, and I was actually excited to get up and head to the office to WORK every single day!
I’ve been coworking now for the past 7 months and have gotten more done in that short period of time than I did the whole 1.5 years prior while I was working from home by myself. It’s really been a blessing.
I recently moved to Dallas, TX, immediately found a great office downtown called The Common Desk and the same thing happened: my productivity has been sky high! Even after I moved, the very next day after unloading all my heavy boxes, I was able to go into the office and get work done!
Coworking really is magical, for lack of a better word – once you experience it for yourself, I think you will see why it has made such a huge impact in my life and my business!
I do want to note, however, if you do not struggle with productivity, working from home, and like your groove, then by no means would I say change what’s working – that would be stupid! But if you feel like you need a change of pace; something to kickstart your business into high gear, look into a coworking space in your local area. Most major metro’s have them currently, with new ones popping up every single day!
Another fun idea, if there is not a coworking space in your area, would be to get a group of business owners that you know in your local area together and go in on sharing some office space. If 2, 4, or even 6 people leased out space together, the costs are extremely minimized, and you’ve just created for yourself your own private version of a coworking space! Who knows, maybe your little private space will grow into something bigger and you, yourself, can open up the first coworking space in your local area for business owners to use to increase thier productivity as well!
Now let’s make some money!
Jeremy Krakowski, Media Director
A Real Change International, Inc.