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!

 

Erasmus Young Entrepreneur & Digital Nomad Profile: Guillaume Avond

Erasmus Young Entrepreneur & Digital Nomad Profile: Guillaume Avond

Check out Guillaume’s website: gamastudy.com
 
Name: Guillaume Avond
Hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon, France
My name is Guillaume Avond and I’m a French Entrepreneur. I founded the Language Agency GAMA Study a year ago. I am now visiting Locus as part of the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs”. This programme aims to help European entrepreneurs develop their business by gaining experience in another country and increase their list of contacts.
Hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon, France
Fun fact about hometown: Montségur sur Lauzon is a small village located in Provence in the South of France. Although it’s a tiny place (1200 people), we are the national Capital of Black Truffles, that very expensive mushroom.
Occupation: Entrepreneur

Field of study: Master’s Degree in Project Management and Web Development.

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you came to Locus?
Yes, as I am working remotely myself, and often changing location, I had interest in coworking spaces but never get the chance to work from an actual one. I used to work remotely from home and sometimes from cafés, but I think a coworking space is definitively the best option.

Why did you decide to do your training at Locus?
As I mentioned, I am at Locus as part of the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur”. Firstly I chose Prague as a destination because it is located in Europe with the same time zone as France, which is a good point for my job. The cost of life is also lower than in Western Europe. Finally I chose Locus because a coworking space was the ideal place for me to grow my business. They were looking for an entrepreneur with web development and community management skills, so we matched perfectly. J

What are some of your goals for your time at Locus?
On one side, I am here to help Locus to grow their online presence on social media and to finalise their new website.


On the other side, I am here to meet other entrepreneurs and freelancers, and enjoy the services of a great coworking space.

What do you do that allows you to be location independent?
I founded the agency
GAMA Study last year. It is a language studies agency which helps students from all over the world book language courses at reduced prices.

Thanks to established partnerships with schools, we offer language training tailored to all clients, whether they are professionals, students, new entries to the job market, retirees, or groups, and for all budgets! 

The job allows me to work remotely from everywhere in Europe.

How would you say that being location independent has changed your life?
It allows me much more freedom than I had before, with a fixed-location job. I can travel when I want, where I want, and I can settle in any country in Europe, as long as it is  not too far from France in term of time-zone.

On the other hand, I also lost a bit of freedom in the evenings and on weekends, as I often need to work. I also need to be connected to the Internet all the time so I cannot go backpacking in exotic destinations anymore.

How many countries have you visited and which one did you like the most?
I have visited most of the countries in Europe as well as Peru, Bolivia, USA, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is hard to say which one was my favorite, but Bolivia and Taiwan are definitively on the top of my list because they are not so “touristy”. You can have a real adventure without being surrounded by thousands of tourists, and have the chance to order food without speaking a word of the language.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced living a nomadic lifestyle?
Changing cities is often a mess, as you need to find a new apartment, new friends, new activities, etc. It can be fun at the beginning, but after a while, I just wanted to stay in the same place for a longer period of time.

Do you think Locus Workspace is a good place for digital nomads?

Locus Workspace is the perfect size for a coworking place. Not too small, not too big. There is a real family atmosphere as most of the members know each other’s and often go to restaurants and have lunch together. As well, a large number of the members are not Czech and everybody speaks English here.

What is the best thing about working and living in Prague from a digital nomad’s point of view?
Prague is a great place for Digital Nomads. The quality of life is very high and the prices are low, especially for food and drinks. If your job allows you to get a good salary, you can live like a king here! 

It is also a charming city, full of history but also nature with many parks around. Moreover, it is very safe and you can easily travel to other European countries from here!

Intern profile: Gabriel Goin

Intern profile: Gabriel Goin
My name is Gabriel Goin and I’m a second-year student in a Bachelor degree program for business and management. To complete my second year of study, I needed to do an internship abroad. I chose Prague because I know a lot of people who went there and they all loved it, so I wanted to discover this city.

Hometown: Mouilleron-le-Captif, France
Fun fact about hometown: Captif means captive, and during the French revolution Mouilleron – le – Captif became Mouilleron  -le – libre which means free. Unfortunately they didn’t keep that name.
Occupation: Intern @ Locus Workspace; Student
Field of study: Business and Management

Why did you decide to study business and management?
In high school, I did an economics and society diploma, and I really liked a lesson about economics and consumer behavior. That’s why I wanted to continue in that field. I also chose that because I didn’t have a precise idea of what I wanted to do, and I know this field will open more doors than it will close. 

Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus?
Yes. I did an internship in one in France last year. Before that, I didn’t know. But the experience is still very different as it was a young coworking space (just 1 year when I arrived), so it was much smaller and the tasks were different because my main goal was to increase the visibility of the company.

Why did you decide to intern at Locus?
I’m currently in my second year of university and one of the requirements is to do an internship abroad. When I began searching, I already knew that I wanted to intern at a coworking space because of my previous experience, and I really liked it. After hearing about Prague from friends I wanted to discover the city, and Locus was the best option for me because it is an international and English-speaking coworking space.

What are some of your goals for this internship?
My goals for this internship are to improve my English, mostly my pronunciation, learn more about the job of community and event manager, and gain experience in this job.


What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager?
My main task is to make people feel welcome and comfortable at Locus. I also have to organize events, ensure they run smoothly, and do many other tasks such as social media marketing, blogging…