Back in the good old days before the Industrial Revolution, people mainly relied on agriculture to earn their living. In the long European winter evenings, men would often weave wicker baskets, while women used to work with the loom, in an attempt to raise the family income in a poor subsistence economy.
With the change of economic model, people left the field and home work for factory shifts. Old-fashioned industry involved big factories, with huge machinery which needed a big manpower to be operated.
Working life in a technological world
With the rise of technology-driven work environments, the need for manpower in the industrial environment has decreased and the former workers have been compelled to find a new life in the services sector. Thanks to Internet and process dematerialization, often people do not need anymore to be tied to a specific corporate location.
Now your company HQ can perfectly be just a few metres away from your bedroom and living room!
This is a very common situation among our fellow translators. And, just like many other things in life, carries with itself both advantages and disadvantages.
The relax of working at home
The first thing people usually appreciate whey they begin working at home is that now they can sit down at their living room table or desk, with a cup of coffee and in a very informal outfit. No more buying expensive clothes, no dress code anymore… if you wish you can even earn your daily bread in pijama! (Not recommended if you planned a Skype videocall with one of your main customers, though.)
This way of working allows you to spend more time with your family and dream about reaching some day the perfect balance between working and personal life. You don’t have to waste precious time commuting every day from home to your workplace. And, most important for many, you don’t have to see every day bossy managers nor fight with coworkers for holiday leaves or promotions.
Do you miss any colleagues?
The same factors could be considered as disadvantages too. Many freelancers can’t clearly separate their work and family time and, even more important, miss some persons to share their everyday life with. If you work alone at home, you can’t make funny jokes nor talk about the last football match of your favourite team. And no, turning on the radio is not a real solution for that. Finally, if you don’t dress in a formal way (let alone the pijama thing!), yourself and other people may get the feeling that you don’t really spend your days at home “working”. Many think that working alone at home is depressing, too.
The solution? Coworking!
Coworking is a perfect solution for all that. It is normally an affordable option, i.e. even a medium-low income freelancer can rent a space in a downtown coworking place without having to pay for a whole office. They often offer optional services, such as a secretary or a letter pick-up service when you’re not there.
You can share a working space with other freelancers and professionals, thus enriching your net of contacts and possibily grab new work opportunities. And you can finally get back the feeling of being a real businessman working in a dynamic environment, withouth being tied to an office. If one day one feel lazy or it is snowing, you can perfectly stay home and open your laptop. Your customer shouldn’t feel any difference.
Coworking spaces everywhere
Nowadays there are plenty of coworking spaces in every big city, due to the huge demand for this service. In the next article we will talk about the coworking scene in our hometown, Genoa.