Coworking Barcelona Llull_después
Gustavo Franco

We will repeat it ad nauseam, but the paradigm of work has changed completely from a few years ago. We already know that today it is not necessary to work in an office or be a member of the staff of a large company to be considered an active worker in the labor market. Just as the concepts have ceased to be the same, the spaces where we do our work have also been able to renew themselves to adapt -or get used to- to the new needs of each professional.

It is quite clear, then, that we are talking about autonomy and that this is, for sure, one of the main premises to work happily: freedom of schedules, without structures or traditional work schemes that condition our work. However, since freelancing, freelancing or founding a startup is a job in the professional world, spaces have also been transformed, and what used to be the study room of our apartment is now our home office. Has this been a change for the better or for the worse?

Working from home: pros and cons

Working from home sounds tempting, yes, but you have to be careful about turning your home into your office, says Forbes magazine.

The difficulties of working from home can be varied. For companies, they comment in the Forbes article, a worker should not only be an individual who completes tasks based on growth or economic gain, but to maintain a healthy and productive business structure beyond the capital, the values of communication, sharing and a sense of competitiveness, provides agility and innovation to the brand. As they say: a company is only as good as its employees.

Work in the Office
Working in the conventional office, with more interaction with the company but less personal freedom

But the problems are not only measured from the employer’s interests. The freelancer or freelance worker also experiences personal dramas when he or she decides to swap the ergonomic office chair for the armchair at home. This is the case of the so-called pajama effect, where the person is not organized, is distracted and does not fulfill the functions that have been entrusted to him by not properly delimiting the conjunction of work and home. The metaphor of the pajamas -which is basically quite accurate- represents a case that is highly criticized by employers who, since they have teleworkers, cannot exercise direct control over them and therefore the goals set by the coordination are not met.

Despite this, according to a survey conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, in the United States, teleworking work from home grew 73% between 2005 and 2011. Home-based workers commented that they were more productive, efficient and happier. In addition, saving on transportation or food expenses away from home is a great incentive, especially in countries where the economic crisis has affected workers and families alike.

The power of virtual work, driven by new technologies and a better distribution of Internet and Wi-Fi connections, has boosted this possibility and has made it easier for location not to be an impediment to performing quality work. A good freelancer knows that, in order to succeed, he or she must know how to act autonomously, establish a weekly schedule and stick to it, and be productive while taking responsibility.

Coworking as an alternative

At the end of the Forbes magazine article, they leave a less than encouraging conclusion:Paradoxically, the technology that once made it possible to work from home is now conspiring to keep workers in the office. However, although there are factors that can make working from home difficult to cope with at times, the most important ones are the following coworking spaces, a sort of hybrid between working in the office and working at home, energize people’s working lives by demarcating and delimiting the ways of working. Not only is there a clear distinction between work life and personal life, but it also clears away the idea of being locked back into the conventional office, come on, the lifelong office, which we abhor.

Work from home, in the office (English office in London © Phil Whitehouse) or coworking at BCNewt
Work from home, in the office (English office in London © Phil Whitehouse) or coworking at BCNewt

In this sense, the trick of coworking is to be both at the same time without being either. We will explain. How to make work a pleasure and succeed in the attempt? The answer lies in the mutability of shared offices. The trend has taken a new route, and many freelancers who used to work at home have decided to move to coworking offices. There is not only a psychological component to this change. In other words, the worker not only wants to differentiate his home from his office, his work life from his professional life, but also expects services and functionalities that he would not normally get at home: postal and telephone address, printers, photocopiers, meeting rooms and audiovisual equipment. And, most importantly, to establish a meeting point for networking.

Work Life © Andrew Leddy
Working from home or in the office? The decision is complicated, but a coworking space may be the answer. Work Life © Andrew Leddy

In the era of hyper-connectivity, we should not only interpret this word as the evolution of computer and digital connections, but as a synonym of creative, personal exchange, where communication professionals can interact with technology, architecture or design professionals, something unthinkable from a traditional or homemade perspective of work. This combination is part of the coworking brand, a space that has allowed us to renew what we understood as work. Google’s vice president and CFO, Patrick Pichette, said at the time that he preferred jobs in the internet giant’s offices because he found something special about sharing lunch with your classmates, a magical something about sitting together at the table, sharing ideas and time together, and saying to another classmate: Hey, what do you think about this? At home, this exchange or dialogue does not exist; and in the office, unless you are a macro company like Google, it seems unlikely that this will happen because of the formal structuring. This is where coworking comes in, redesigning the paradigm.

In short, whether working from home, in the office or coworking, the workspace must be a functional area where the worker can experience constant interaction with himself and others. Work, in these times, is synonymous with help, and it is not possible to grow – as a company, as an entrepreneur, as a creative – without subscribing our ideas to the feedback from others. This is the philosophy of coworking, and it is for this reason that it is gaining more and more supporters when it comes to choosing a workspace. Do I work from home or in the office? No, I cowork, Paul and Sarah style, like in the video 😉.

 

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BCNewt Coworking SL 2022

The first coworking space 100% sustainable in Barcelona.

Logo & Visual Identity: Eleonora Majorana / Photography: Gerardo Angiulli / Web Design: All Media Consulting

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