Meet our member Lukáš – Creator of Timelines app

Meet our member Lukáš – Creator of Timelines app

Do you feel like wasting your time? Is your to-do list still half full at the end of the day? Our member Lukáš with his Timelines app may have a solution for you. Read more about his career of an app developer and why he chose Locus Workspace from all of the coworking spaces across the globe. Enjoy reading! 

Read more

Locus Events are Going Virtual!

Locus Events are Going Virtual!

Online events at Locus Workspace are stronger than ever! One of our top priorities is to keep events alive to maintain our well-known sense of community among our coworking members and add value to their memberships. Locus’ goal is to help freelancers, digital nomads, remote workers and other location-independent professionals be more productive and work better. Despite these challenging times, we wanted to make sure to keep up that spirit, and that’s why we’ve gone virtual!

Keep reading for a full list of all our virtual events…

Read more

Advantages and disadvantages of different working environments

Advantages and disadvantages of different working environments

The Freelancing market makes up 35% of the global workforce, which works out to 1.1 billion workers. In Europe Freelancing has grown by 45% between 2014 and 2019. Since this career path entails a lack of a traditional office, freelancers have a choice to make regarding their work environment. However, having more possibilities can complicate the decision-making, raising the question: What are the advantages and disadvantages of different working environments? We’re going to answer this question in this article, focusing on four of the most prominent working environments: home offices, cafes, executive suites and coworking spaces.

Home office:

Advantages:

  • Price: the most obvious advantage of working from home, it’s free. 
  • Convenience: set your own schedule and eliminate the commute entirely, you don’t even have to leave your bed.
  • Comfort: a comfy couch can be your desk and pajama pants are completely appropriate office attire

Disadvantages:

  • Work-life balance; a lack of clear borders and deadlines can make it difficult to focus. The transition from relaxing with a TV show to starting a project is rarely seamless. 
  • Distractions: kids, flatmates, pets, household chores… oh my
  • Loneliness: there’s no one to chat with by the coffee machine, no one to celebrate your small victories with. Working from home can be lonely, being lonely can be depressing, and being depressed makes it hard to do your best work.
  • Procrastination. Even if you don’t feel lonely, working alone removes many of the external social motivators and feedback that helps most people stay motivated and to stop you from watching just one more episode.
  • Stagnated learning and professional development. It’s hard to find a mentor, a collaborator, a teacher, or just an answer to a simple question such as where to print business cards in the neighborhood when you’re at home all day.

Cafe:

Advantages:

  • Work/life separation: just changing your place of work and getting out of the house will give you this separation.
  • A motivating social atmosphere: sometimes just the mere presence of other people working on their laptops can provide a break from loneliness and the motivation to stay focused
  • Refreshments: if you feel like rewarding yourself, cafes have no shortage of drinks and snacks.

Disadvantages:

  • Distractions: music, loud customers, and the constant grinding of coffee beans, all create an environment that can be hard to focus in.
  • Price: once you factor in the expensive drinks and food you end up buying, cafes can become a costly option. 
  • Reliability: Café WIFI connections are notoriously unreliable. Additionally, if the cafe is a popular working location, power outlets and even tables could be difficult to secure
  • Stagnated learning and professional development: similar to working from home, cafes can lack meaningful networking interactions and professional growth opportunities.

Executive Suites:

Advantages:

  • Work/life separation: private offices provide this change of location and separate ones work from their life
  • Convenience: your set-up will remain in your office, no need to commute with it
  • Professional environment: executive suites often provide many amenities and possess the infrastructure that facilitates one’s productivity (high-quality internet, good printers, mail receiving services, furniture, meeting rooms).
  • Privacy and confidentiality: you can meet your customers in a professional location without having to worry about prying eyes or ears. 

Disadvantages:

  • Price: While they remove the initial cost and time that comes with setting up your own home office or unfurnished private office, they are definitely the most expensive option on a month-by-month basis.
  • Location: executive suites are often located in the city centers or are part of the Central Business District.  

Coworking spaces:

Advantages:

  • Work/life separation: just like the three previous entries, coworking spaces offer their users a chance to separate their life from their work.
  • Professional infrastructure: coworking spaces provide professional work environments with resources like meeting rooms, printers, high-quality internet, and projectors. 
  • Location: coworking spaces are experiencing a surge in popularity, leading to more diverse locations like both city centers and residential areas.
  • Variety: the work atmosphere of coworking spaces varies widely and can cater to most preferences. Coworking spaces can have a relaxed café-like atmosphere to a more executive-suite-like environment.  
  • The community: Coworking provides a space where you can work alongside other like-minded people, without any office politics. They tend to organize networking events and facilitate communication among members to build a sense of community and connectedness in ways that you’ll rarely find in an executive suite or at a café.
  • Professional development opportunities: Coworking spaces offer opportunities for further learning and growth in one’s area of expertise. If you find yourself in a new country, the network of members can help you navigate the regional particularities of your profession.
  • Security and storage: Unlike cafés or most libraries, you can store your personal belongings in lockers in the space and also feel more secure when leaving your laptop at your desk, knowing that the other people in the space are your colleagues.
  • Flexibility: many coworking spaces offer a wide variety of memberships (1 day passes to multi-month commitments) making them suitable for visitors and longer-term city residents. Additionally, some of them may have 24/7 access adding work-time flexibility
  • Value for price: Coworking spaces allow their members shared use of office infrastructure at a fraction of the cost they would pay while purchasing their own. Furthermore, members save money on refreshments, since many coworking spaces provide hot drinks for free. 

Disadvantages:

  • Distractions and lack of privacy: while coworking spaces facilitate fruitful interactions being surrounded by people inevitably leads to a lack of privacy and distractions.
Home Office Cafe Executive Suite Coworking Space
Privacy ✅/❌
Affordability ✅/❌
Productive atmosphere
Sociability
Professional growth
Infrastructure
Flexibility ✅/❌

 

While every work environment we covered has its advantages and disadvantages, the good news is that unlike working from a corporate office, as a freelancer, you really don’t have to choose! You can mix it up, working from home, cafés, the library, or a nice coworking space depending on your mood or needs. If you still don’t know whether which environment is right for you, we encourage you to give a couple of spaces a try! Why not start with a coworking space? You can get a free day at Locus, no strings attached. Better still, try us out for a month and get a real sense as to whether Locus is right for you! First-time members get 1000 Kc off a Full-Time Membership for the first month. Happy working!

 

The Impact of Coworking

The Impact of Coworking
The Impact of Coworking

What is coworking?

Here is Brad Neuberg’s original conception (this blog post represents the first public expression of the term as it is used today), which we think captures the spirit as well as any other definitions out there:

Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community.   

Coworking is a solution to this problem. In coworking, independent writers, programmers, and creators come together in community a few days a week. Coworking provides the “office” of a traditional corporate job, but in a very unique way.

Here’s one of our favorite definitions, from Coworking.com, managed by a team of coworking space managers and owners who have been central to the coworking movement from its early days: 

The idea is simple: that independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking answers the question that so many face when working from home: “Why isn’t this as fun as I thought it would be?” 

Beyond just creating better places to work, coworking spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Coworking spaces uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

How was coworking born? 

Some think that coworking is inspired by the artist’s studios of the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed somdther and work alone or together. These places were created to improve creativity by meeting inspiring peoples, and to make an economy by sharing the cost with others. 
The aim of these places was almost the same as coworking spaces as we know them today.
It’s in Silicon Valley in 2005 that the concept of these collaborative workspaces really took off, with the creation of the first « real » coworking space in San Francisco by Brad Neuberg (at least in name, though there were several similar spaces that didn’t use the coworking moniker that began the same year in other places).
━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Why join a coworking space?

Coworking spaces offer dynamic locations of exchange and sharing. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives from diverse fields enlarge your network, but more importantly serve as a resource of experience and knowledge and potential collaboration or inspiration. For many members, however, the most important benefit is purely the positive social energy. Members often feel more motivated surrounded by other focused, hard-working members. 

One of the biggest benefits is improved work-life balance. Location-independent professionals often work from home or from cafes and face one of two common challenges. Either they spend too much time alone and miss the social proximity and social connections they used to have before they were independent OR they have a partner or children at home and have difficulty explaining to their partner or kids that they really do need to work even though it’s true that they set their own schedule.

Most coworking spaces also organize events that help facilitate both the social relationships, motivation, and professional development. Locus, for example, organizes weekly coffee breaks and lunches, and monthly pub nights and game nights to facilitate meaningful social connections. For motivation, Locus hosts weekly Work Jams, where members sit together at the same table and use a timer to work together for a half day with planned breaks, and weekly critique-free writing meetups to help provide a sacred time and place, and positive social energy, for focused writing. 

Coworking spaces promote sustainability as key players in the sharing economy. They allow members to dramatically reduce commute times because they are often located in the neighborhoods where their members work, and they reduce operation costs and startup time by providing great office infrastructure to members who could never justify having meeting rooms, data projectors and other high-quality office equipment in central locations if that space was not shared among many other location-independent professionals. 

Many coworking spaces also serve as a kind of landing zone, helping to connect global and local. About 70% of Locus’s members, for example, come from countries other than the Czech Republic (nearly 30 different countries), with the language of the space being English. This allows newcomers to Prague a ready way to form a community with other people like them, and also with English-speaking Czechs who are welcoming to an international community and reading to share local knowledge. Czech members, who make up about 30% of Locus’s members, get the complementary benefit of ready access to a friendly international community and a workplace where they can practice their English on a daily basis.

Finally, coworking spaces simply offer convenience and accessibility. Coworking spaces have become so widespread that as long as you live in a large city they will often have options that are centrally located OR in your neighborhood, with 24 hours a day, 7 day a week access, and with membership plans that meet your particular needs. Locus, for example, is in both a central location and one of the most prized residential neighborhoods in Prague, Vinohrady. It offers all members smart-phone based access 24/7, 365 days a year, and has membership options from as little as one day per month to unlimited use. For the many members who travel abroad but would still like a reliable office in Prague, there are options to put your membership on hold for up to a year. And for members who already have a full-time day job but want to start their solo career, there’s an Evenings & Weekends option.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Some statistics about the impacts of coworking 

According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted:
  • 74% of coworkers are more productive,
  • 86% have a larger business network,
  • 93% have a bigger social network,
  • Over two-thirds feel more creative and collaborate more on projects
  • A third reported an increase in income.

━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━

Still not convinced?

Come and try a day of coworking for free at Locus Workspace

Sources

https://www.business.com/articles/coworking-74-of-coworkers-are-more-productive/
http://codinginparadise.org/weblog/2005/08/coworking-community-for-developers-who.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coworking