Many freelancers happily consider themselves more productive due to the fact they work on their own. But is this really the case? Or can working in pairs actually boost productivity?
Working on your own can often seem like the most productive way to get your work done fast and efficiently. This is especially true when you compare working at home with working in an office. At home, there isn’t the constant babble of your co-workers to distract you. You don’t have to make a round of teas and coffees every time you fancy a cup yourself. Nobody is going to tap you on the shoulder and interrupt you just at the point when you’re trying to focus on the most important part of the document you’re working on.
Remove all of these distractions and it’s easy to see that working solo can mean a serious boost to productivity. But that’s not the whole story.
Working solo comes with its own distractions and these can be just as time-consuming as interruptions in the office. Being a productive home worker takes discipline. If you’re fond of checking Twitter and Facebook frequently, or get easily distracted by the need to do the washing up, or clean your desk, you can find that the hours pass all too quickly at home without you achieving all of the work-related tasks on your ‘to do’ list. And if you decide to snooze a task until the next day, there’s nobody there to advise you not to do so!
Working on your own can also be a lonely experience. Some individuals find that this zaps their motivation – and therefore their productivity – far more than they had anticipated before going freelance.
An office share with a fellow freelancer can be the perfect solution. Instead of working on your own every day, you’ll have a peer there to bounce ideas off, to discuss your day with and to help keep you motivated. You’ll also have someone to pop out for coffee with when you need to talk through a tricky situation or a job that’s hard to quote for.
Even if you both work mainly in silence in order not to squander the working day (after all, time is money for freelancers!), the value of simple human company is not to be underestimated. Just be sure you choose to share with someone who complements your own working style. If you need near-silence to work and your fellow freelancer listens to music while working, your productivity levels will certainly not benefit from the arrangement!
Have you tried sharing an office with a fellow freelancer? Did it help or hinder your productivity and motivation levels? Share your thoughts via the comments.