It doesn’t take long to find advice about how to declutter your desk, and it’s often good advice. Organizing your workspace eliminates distractions and frees your mind to focus on what matters and be more productive. But you may not realize that those same principles apply to decluttering your day. So often, entrepreneurs and startup owners look to operate out of their homes. However, just as the well-meaning decorative touches on your desk can decrease your concentration, the accoutrements of your home can distract you from important tasks. It’s a line of thinking that seems contradictory to conventional wisdom. Most might think that seclusion in the home will promote a higher intensity. However, a recent Officevibe study indicated that 92 percent of workers say that they are satisfied in a cowork space, 68 percent can focus better, and 64 percent get work done on time. A surprising 70 percent said they feel healthier in a cowork space. At the Rising Tide Innovation Center, members have found it easy to declutter their days thanks to benefits offered at the cowork space. If you’re looking to energize your efforts and productivity, here’s four ways our center can declutter your day.
Unless your cat or dog can provide reception services, you probably don’t have someone in your home who can offer the kind of benefits that a cowork offers. Part of decluttering your desk involves prioritizing your needs. The benefits of a cowork allows you to prioritize your business needs. In addition to a reception, a cowork can provide a business address and phone number, boosting the professional appearance of your business. It also can provide use of a conference room, copier and at Rising Tide, access to legal services. With such advantages at your fingertips, you don’t have to scramble to a FedEx Office location for simple tasks. It’s a key step to decluttering your day and the flexibility and convenience will amp up your productivity. It’s also more inexpensive because you have fewer responsibilities compared to maintaining your own office space. “Building management is responsible for maintenance and cleaning of the premises,” Susan Smith wrote in a The Balance Small Business blog about coworks. “Coworking can greatly ease the path to starting a new business, and also provide flexibility when your business is growing.”
In a coffee shop, the atmosphere can clutter your focus. You can’t concentrate if a chorus of “Hot Bread” interrupts your train of thought every 30 minutes. At home, generating ideas can be challenging between cries of “Mommy” or the latest true crime episode blares from a television in the room next door. In a cowork space, the ambience is accentuated with like-minded individuals striving to succeed. Distractions get minimized because ambition fills the room. The Cowork Handbook says it’s this environment that leads directly to greater production. “Having other people around you focused in their work helps you focus in your own work more easily,” the handbook states. “Reduce effort and increase productivity.” The cowork also adds a benefit you can’t find at home: stimulation. Greetings, conversations and a sense of community have all been known to elevate production. The Cowork Handbook suggests, “Getting out of your home, having interesting people around you and engaging conversations will help you be more creative. There are so many ideas and projects in a coworking space community that you will be inspired.” And remember those numbers about health. iSharespace co-founder Priyanka Krishnan wrote in a blog for entrpreneur.com that studies indicate, “interactive dealings with others throughout the day is healthier for the mind and body and results in a happier you.”
Networking is the seasoning that elevates the encouraging environment. It’s taking those conversations to the next level by creating synergy and, in some cases, collaborative efforts. Because coworks draw members from varied backgrounds, the expertise you may need to boost your business could be sitting in the same room. The finance expert could very well be in one corner while the marketing master could be in the other corner. Even in cases where a specific member can’t help you, the network of members can provide a quality referral. The business world is littered with stories of how a specific connection turned a fledgling effort into a full-blown success. “Your co-workers give you new perspectives on projects you may have never considered,” Krishnan wrote. “These collaborations often lead to business expansions.” At Rising Tide, members are encouraged to share their expertise with other members, formally and informally. The center also stages community events and programs. Attending the events is a great way to network for business development, collaboration and growth.
Setting up shop in a cowork space also allows you to declutter your day because you can separate work and home, just like you declutter your desk by separating various papers and tools and creating a specific space for each one. This is a critical step because both aspects of an entrepreneur’s life can be enhanced by delineating between work and home. A Connecticut attorney has gone so far as to not own a mobile phone, assuring he doesn’t bring his work home. He credits the approach for keeping his marriage strong. You may not want to go that far, but it’s an important aspect to consider. The separation between work and home grows more difficult if you’re splitting time between the spare bedroom and the living room. So, those who have joined cowork spaces have come to discover that they’re happier because they have a place to call “work,” and then when they leave to can shut off the work and focus on family and friends. A study revealed that 71 percent of coworkers said they were more relaxed at home after joining a coworking space and having a new place to work. The same study found that 60 percent of coworkers have better personal lives. At the Rising Tide Innovation Center, we lead with love. It’s a cowork space born not out of necessity but out of a love for community and a genuine desire to help others. The owners have created a platform that will not only declutter your day but put you in the best position to grow and thrive as an entrepreneur or independent business operator.