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Coworking vs Working from Home: Which is better for focus?

These days, most of us are largely unsupervised at work. Whether we’re independent contractors or working hybrid at home, we need tools to stay focused. So when it comes to optimizing our focus, where should we work? Here are the pros and cons of coworking vs. working from home.

Full disclaimer: I own a coworking space. I’m clearly biased. But I also enjoy working at home from time to time. So I will do my best to dig into both sides of this debate.

Coworking: How it Impacts Your Focus

coworking vs working from home: a man wearing headphones works in a coworking space

The pros of using your local coworking space to improve focus are as follows:

  • No interruptions from children, spouses, or pets.
  • Physical separation from the clutter in your house. It’s out of sight, and therefore out of mind.
  • You’re not tempted to wander into the kitchen for a snack, do a load of laundry, lay down on the couch for a minute, walk the dog, etc.
  • The hot desk at your coworking space is likely clean and uncluttered.
  • You’re surrounded by other people who appear to be productive. This is usually motivating.
  • You’re there for a set amount of time, so you are less likely to procrastinate and save things for “later.”

Here are some cons, or reasons why it might be hard to focus at your coworking space:

  • Loud or annoying coworkers.
  • You are easily distracted by who is coming or going.
  • You forgot your charger/notebook/headphones at home.
  • You have a lot of friends there and end up chatting. (Is that so bad??)

Now let’s take a look at your alternative option.

Working from Home: How it Impacts your Focus

coworking vs. working at home: a woman works on a laptop on her bed, surrounded by clutter

Let’s take a look at working from home as it relates to our ability to focus:

  • You have everything you need on hand: snacks, chargers, slippers, large monitors, etc.
  • You can create your own home office setup exactly the way you want it.
  • There are fewer variables. In other words, you know where you will sit and who will be around.
  • You don’t have to plan or pack a lunch.

Here’s the downside to working from home:

  • Potential for interruptions depending on who’s home.
  • You are surrounded by your own clutter.
  • All the temptations and distractions: kitchen, chores, animals, children, etc.
  • The neighbor’s loud construction project, lawn mower, or music.
  • You could be alone all day. Is that motivating?

So when we look at coworking vs working from home in terms of how it affects our focus, we can see there are pros and cons to both sides. It really comes down to your individual situation: how is your home office setup, and who else is home during the day? Are you motivated being around others who work, or would you rather be alone?

I’m not going to pretend that coworking is a perfect solution for everyone. If you find yourself easily distracted by conversations and ambient noise, coworking may not be a great fit. But if you get bored, unmotivated, or distracted by clutter at home, you should give coworking a try.

Many of us can benefit from a blend of the two: that perfect sweet spot where we have a couple of slow mornings at home and a couple of days when we get up and get out of the house. And that’s the beauty of coworking: flexible membership options mean that you can use it as much or as little as you need to.

So what are you waiting for? Go find your perfect balance for optimal focus.

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