Do You Need 24/7 Access to a Coworking Space? 6 Questions for Freelancers
If you’re a freelancer who is tired of working from home, coworking will come as a breath of fresh air. Coworking space are full of fellow freelancers, solopreneurs, small business owners and independent professionals who would rather work around other people than by themselves.
Coworking spaces generally have several membership offerings, including 24/7 access to the space. Having 24/7 access is nice, as you can come and go as you please, but 24/7 access is generally more expensive than other coworking membership plans. Here are six questions for freelancers to determine whether you need 24/7 access to a coworking space or whether one of the less expensive membership tiers will work for you.
1. What’s Your Daily Work Routine?
When do you like to work? Are you an early bird who gets works before anyone else is awake? Are you a 9-to-5 person? Do you like to sleep in and work in the afternoon and evening? Are you a night owl who doesn’t start work until 6 or 7 p.m.? For the early bird and night owl, if you want to spend that time working in a coworking space, you’ll need 24/7 access. Most spaces are staffed 9-to-5, so members without 24/7 memberships can only show up during those times.
2. How Predictable is Your Work Schedule?
Do you have a set work routine? Do you always work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.? Or 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.? Or does your schedule depend on your client, workload, family schedule, your digital nomad schedule, project size, and availability? If you know you generally just work days, a 9-to-5 membership will be fine for you. If, however, your work schedule tends to be unpredictable, consider a 24/7 membership so you can come and go as your schedule permits.
3. How Many Days do you Plan to Cowork?
If you only plan to work a few days a week, a 24/7 membership will be overkill and, unless you have extra money lying around that you can dedicate to unused coworking days, it’s not a good use of your resources. If you’ll only be in the coworking space a few days a week, I suggest adjusting your work schedule to make it fit the open hours, rather than paying for 24/7 access that you won’t need on most days.
4. Is the Coworking Space Conveniently Located?
Make sure the coworking space you choose is convenient to get to. If you have to drive clear across town, or brave rush hour traffic, or take a train and bus to get to the space, chances are good that you may not go as often as you’d like. To truly take advantage of a 24/7 membership, make sure the space is close enough that you’ll actually use it.
5. Transportation Options to Get to the Space
As a follow-up to #4, do you have reliable transportation to get you to the space, whether first thing in the morning, mid-day, or during the late-night hours? If your main transportation to the coworking space is a carpool that will leave town at 6 p.m., or public transit that doesn’t start service until 8 a.m., you likely won’t be able to take advantage of 24/7 access.
6. Do You Plan to Work on Holidays?
Coworking spaces are not staffed on holidays, including business holidays. This means that there won’t be anyone there to let you in if you show up to work on those days. If you plan to work on holidays, you’ll need a 24/7 membership so you can let yourself into the space.
A 24/7 coworking membership gives freelancers and independent professionals a lot of scheduling freedom as they can work anytime that suits them. However, 24/7 access may be more than you need, especially if you’re new to coworking. Ask yourself these six questions to help determine whether 24/7 access is right for you and your freelance business.
Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, community and the future of work. Publications include Shareable, Yes! Magazine and Lifehacker. She’s the author of Coworking Out Loud, an ebook guide to content marketing for coworking spaces. She sends weekly tips and resources to coworking space operators.