10 Reasons Why You Should Not Work from Home

Working from home certainly has its perks, especially if you’re a freelancer: There is no inconvenient dress code requiring you to wear a suit or tie and you can work directly from the comfort of your living room couch, while munching on your favorite snack.

The idea of working from home sounds great at first, but there are a number of downsides you may want to consider. We put together a list of 10 reasons why you should not work from home today!


1) It’ll be hard to discipline yourself

Unless you have a strong will and an almost military-like discipline, you’re probably not going to succeed with a home-based work office. Working from home means you will be working unsupervised. Sure, your boss or project manager may be sending you the occasional email or instant Skype message, but you will definitely find time to watch cat videos or check out your favorite section on Reddit. And before you know it your eight hour work day turned into a four hour catch up.


2) There will be distractions

You have several tasks on queue and you’re determined to get them done as soon as possible. You promise to get it done in a couple of hours, but suddenly, your cat curls up on your lap, your jam comes on the radio, and a Facebook notification appears on your browser.

Distractions at home are usually more disruptive than at the office for the simple reason that they are usually of personal nature and compete with your professional goals of the day. Your pets, your partner or kids, your social media accounts (the most well-known productivity killer) all connect with you on a very personal and emotional level and make you lose more focus than coworkers or the lingering smell of garlic wafting from the office microwave.


3) Working from home is not cheap

Working from home may eliminate costs associated with a commute, but these savings are usually offset by higher electricity bills, and costs for office supplies and snacks like coffee and water.

Regardless if you are a business owner or humble freelancer, you will likely spend more money if you choose to work from home. It is worth noting that if you work at an office or from a co-working space, costs associated with electricity, internet, supplies, and coffee are generally included.


4) You may develop unhealthy eating habits

A large number of offices have implemented “no desk food” policies which limit your food consumption to kitchens and cafeterias. At home this situation looks very different. 24/7-access to the refrigerator or pantry, which might be both chock-full of food, will likely lead you to munching on heavenly goodies every hour.

Unless you’re disciplined with what you put in your mouth (let’s be honest, who is?!), you will soon find out that working from home is a surefire way for easy weight gain…which will take a toll on your overall health.


5) There are no benefits

Health care costs are brutal and if you work from home, likely self-insured, savings go down the drain if you get injured or if you have to deal with a disease. While not all companies offer worry-free benefits, most provide basic coverage and help you save for the future by offering pension benefits to long-term employees.

Even if you make more than your peers with full-time jobs in offices, the benefits they receive may offset what you earn.


6) You are not socializing

People who work at home may prefer an environment in which they can focus in isolation, but no one can withstand that for a long period of time.

Possibly the worst thing about working from home is having zero social interactions. Sure, you may have memories of annoying coworkers but human contact has its benefits. Working from your living room couch means you won’t have the chance to exchange thoughts with peers, expand your professional network, or brainstorm ideas.


7) You’re naturally less productive at home

According to a survey, ¾ of British employees admit to being less productive if they are away from their desks. Regardless of where you’re from, this is true: your mental state at home vs your mental state at the office is very different.

When you’re at home, you will likely find yourself in a comfortable and a safe environment, with no one supervising your work or judging what you’re doing. Without the fear of being reprimanded for procrastinating and doing non-work related endeavors, you will likely get fewer deliverables done and may even miss deadlines.


8) There is no hands-on immediate help

If you work at an office, you can easily call the IT guy to fix your laptop or the janitor to replace a broken light bulb and if the AC does not work or the microwave is fried once again then you call Facilities. At home, that’s all on you!

An empty cartridge or broken charger can easily take away a few hours from your day. Errands like these not only waste a lot of time, they also take a toll on your productivity.


9) It destroys your work-life balance

The whole time management aspect of your life becomes a bit challenging once you start working from home, especially if your work has no set schedule. Emails start to pour in on weekends, late at night, and likely Friday after 5PM when you’re spending time with family or watching a basketball game.

You may end up checking your phone and emails 24/7 which will eventually interfere with your personal life, hobbies, and simply add more stress to your life.

Setting boundaries to protect your work-life balance is definitely more difficult when you ‘already work from home’. Sure, you can achieve balance while working from home, but the whole process of doing so may take time and a lot of discipline.


10) It deprives you of learning life skills

Working from home deprives you of learning certain skills you only pick up in the office. Dealing with challenging co-workers, handling real-life relationships, or putting up with office politics are only a few situations that may not be desirable but that help you learn and grow as an individual.


Solution: Coworking Spaces

Unfortunately, there is no ONE solution for all of us. Even if working from home has a number of downsides, for some of us it may be a feasible option, especially if you’re temporarily looking for employment or if you’re looking for part-time work.

For those of us who dread the Corporate Cubicle but also don’t want to work from home, there is a solution to this age-old freelancing dilemma: coworking and shared workspaces. If you’ve been left in the dark, coworking spaces are shared office locations wherein freelancers, groups, and small companies can convene and work. A single coworking space may be targeting a specific group of people like developers, designers or marketers, or it can bring together people from various different industries and backgrounds. The most important aspect of coworking spaces is that they’re not employed or used by one single organization.

Nowadays, the number of coworking spaces is steadily increasing and is becoming a go-to option for startups and teams who occasionally meet to work on their projects.

For a freelancer, a coworking space can be a great opportunity to work from an office-like environment a few hours a week or even full time. It will allow you to surround yourself by like-minded individuals who are trying to accomplish the same thing as you: work in a professional environment with likeminded individuals without the constraints of a corporate setting.

Although it’s likely that coworking spaces are filled with workers minding their own business, it paves the way for socialization and networking. Who knows, maybe your next client is one of the companies sharing the coworking space in your neighborhood!


Photo credit: Photo by  Lisa Omarali, via flickr

5 Tips on How to be More Productive when Coworking

Coworking spaces are one of the “in-things” now, with coworking facilities set to increase at an annual average growth rate of 30% up till 2018. Many have talked about the benefits and pitfalls of coworking, with most still agreeing that coworking is a great way to go if you are a freelancer or if you are starting a business.

While many love how open a coworking space is, it can sometimes be difficult to sit down and get cracking. Why? Because of the many chances to network with everyone there, the possible events that go on within the space, the different schedules everyone has and the hustle and bustle of working in an open space. So how can you be more productive when coworking?

#1: Set up a to-do list
Yes, we all know that a to-do list is very important. Be it daily or weekly, knowing exactly what you have to do is important. So why not use some tools out there to help you keep track? Cloud tools such as Asana or Evernote allow you to keep track of what you are doing, what you intend to do and when you have to complete such tasks, increasing your productivity by helping you list out what to do.

This way, when you sit down at your table in a coworking space every morning, all you have to do is refer to this list. Did you need to get back to someone via email? Did you forget to book a meeting room with a projector? That to-do list can help keep you on track and organised!

#2: Plan your time
Hot on the heels of setting up a to-do list is planning your time. Use Google Calendars, or another programme that helps to sync all your appointments and meetings into one. You can also use tools such as Calendly to allow others to book appointments with you at times that are suitable for you. Planning your time helps you be more productive as you can see how much remaining time you have left, and plan how to effectively use that to complete tasks on your to-do list.

#3: Go Pomodoro
A very interesting productivity technique today is the Pomodoro Technique. Each “pomodoro” represents 30 minutes of your time: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes for a break. The main aim is to determine how many pomodoros you will need to complete each task that you set for yourself. During the 25 minutes of each pomodoro, you are advised to block out all distractions: your phone, websites you like to surf, social media, etc. It is 25 minutes of pure concentration, followed by 5 minutes of fun.

25 minutes is not very long, but it can help you truly focus on what you need to do and increase your productivity. Give it a shot, and you might be surprised how this can help you.

#4: Seating arrangement
Your seating arrangement in a coworking space may not sound like a big deal but it can be! Who are the people seated around you? Are they distracting you in any way? It can be something as simple as being distracted by someone who loves shaking their leg so their chair is always moving, or being disturbed by someone who is constantly tapping their pen on the table.

Another aspect that of your seating arrangement that can affect productivity is where exactly in the coworking space is your seat. Is it near the kitchen? Is it near the staircase/lift? Is it near the bathroom? Or is it your seat right in front of a meeting/conference room? Seats near such places usually experience more traffic as these are places that everyone needs to go to. Are you able to concentrate even if people are walking around you? If you are unable to, you might want to consider asking for a different seat to help increase your productivity.

#5: Get rid of distractions
Okay, so the fact of the fact is that you can never get rid of distractions entirely. But you can put yourself in a position to help you work better. If you find yourself often going to websites or social media, perhaps using a tool such as Self Control can help? Self Control basically blocks the websites that you list down for a set amount of time. Say if you are using the Pomodoro Technique, you can set Self Control to 25 minutes so you don’t get distracted. This way, you are “in the zone” and able to finish all your tasks.

Another way is to use headphones or earphones. If there is too much noise at the coworking space during events, or there is just too much hustle and bustle that day, plugging in your headphones/earphones can be of a great help to drown out the noise!

What do you do when you want to be more productive while coworking? Feel free to comment or share your own tips with us!

Issue Invoice to Non-Member

As usual, today we added new feature that has been requested by a number of customers for quite some time. That is the ability to issue an invoice to non-Member.

With this feature, you can handle the cases like someone wants to book the conference room for 2 hours or charging an event organizer who is not a Member for one-time event at your venue.

To issue n invoice to non-Member, go to Invoices page and click a “Add Invoice” menu on the right. Now that you are able to choose ‘Guest’ rather than existing Members. Click ‘Add’ button to proceed.


On the next screen you can enter the name and company of non-member as usual. Click “Add Invoice” button when you are done.


Unfortunately there are a couple of drawbacks when issuing an invoice to non-Member.

1) You cannot send an invoice to non-member using email.

This is because the invoice email contains a link to make payment and the link requires a member to log-in, which is not possible for non-members at the moment.

2) You cannot use built-in payment methods to receive a payment.

Same above. Instead, you can download the invoice as PDF and send the email to non-member along with the instructions for making payment using PayPal. You only need to tell him a PayPal-enabled email address that you own. You can receive payment using other methods such as cash, check or bank transfer if you wish.

3) You cannot assign a customer number to non-member.

A customer number is unique identifier that is auto-generated when new member is created. Because this is part of membership information, you cannot assign a customer number to non-member. Hence, it does not appear in the invoice issued for non-member.

PDF Download for Invoices

We are adding new features at a rapid pace these days. For those who asked this feature, thanks for the wait. Now that you can download your invoices and save them as PDF.

Go to Invoices page and click a “Download PDF” menu. There you can specify the date range and file forma: Combined and Separate. The former concatenates all invoices into one PDF file, and the latter generates one PDF per invoice and bundles the PDF files in a single zip file.

You can also download a single PDF. Go to Invoices > [Invoice Number] page and click a “Download PDF” menu on the right. This generates a single PDF file of the invoice that you are looking right now.

With this feature available at your fingertips, you can keep all invoices offline for later reference or send individual invoice to your Member using PDF attachment.

Stripe Support


As we have more customers from the US and Europe, we were receiving more feature requests that are specific to these regions. One of them was a support for Stripe.

Stripe is widely used by many web based services and it is probably the simplest way to accept payment via credit card for the businesses located in the US and Europe.

While integration work itself was relatively easy for us, we had our own reason for why it took a while to implement this feature. As you may already know, we are located in Japan and Stripe is not available in our country just yet.

This made our testing process in the production environment a bit difficult, but it’s finally here.

In order to connect to your Stripe account, go to Settings > Payment Methods page and click on “Add Stripe” button as shown below.


Then you will be navigated to Stripe website where you confirm that you give us a permission to access your account data.

From Members perspective, they now have additional payment method when they pay their invoices. Members can make payment using their credit card and the money goes straight to your Stripe account. We don’t take a cut. The money is all yours.

See the below screenshots as an example.


Coworking Events for 2015

Coworking magazine Deskmag published a list of major coworking events that will take place in 2015. We thought it’s worth sharing it so here it is.

We might attend some of these events or even sponsor a few, but who knows. Which event will you attend?

PayPal Express Checkout Integration

One of the most frequently asked features from our customers was better integration with PayPal.

Until now, the only way to accept payment from your Members using PayPal was to use REST API, which requires a business PayPal account and you had to use PayPal’s Developer website in order to get API credentials. This wasn’t the easiest way for some customers.

Now that we’ve added a PayPal Express Checkout integration. With this integration, you can simply click on “Add PayPal Express Checkout” button in Settings page and then you will be navigated to PayPal website where you give a permission to Coworkify so that it can collect money on behalf of you.

It’s just a matter of few clicks and much easier to use. See the image below showing new Settings page.


When your Members receive an invoice issued by Coworkify, they can choose to pay using PayPal by clicking on a “Check out with PayPal” button. Below is a sample screenshot when you enable PayPal Express Checkout.


Spend less time on invoicing and collecting payments

As a space manager, Invoicing and collecting payments are definitely one of the most time consuming tasks in terms of day-to-day operations.

Despite the fact those tasks require many hours to finish (or sometimes days depending on number of members), the issued invoices often contain human errors.

For example, overcharging, undercharging, forgetting tax, duplicate invoices are the common errors we’ve seen at lots of spaces.

You want to minimize time spent on these unproductive tasks as much as possible. Instead, you should spend time on more meaningful tasks like community building because people are the most important asset for successful coworking.

With Coworkify, you can let our software to issue a personalized invoice and collect payment on behalf of you. It can offload large amount of time from you and enable you to become more productive.

There are two ways to do so. The first way is fully automated. In fact, you don’t have to do anything at all. You just add a member and assign a plan to that member. Coworkify does the rest for you.

At invoicing day, which is 20th of every month as default, Coworkify calculates recurring charges, hourly charges of booked resources (e.g. conference room), and any option that member is subscribing (e.g. locker), creates a personalized invoice, and sends it to member via email.

Once member receives the invoice, he/she can make payment with the payment methods specified by you. If you set up PayPal as payment method, then Coworkify confirms payment and marks it as paid automatically when payment is made.

The second way is manual. You can create new invoice from scratch and add whatever items there. This is useful when you want to issue a non-recurring invoice to member.

Either way, Coworkify can automate the entire process from issuing invoice and collecting payment for you.

Below is an example of invoice issued by Coworkify.

if you have any feature request, send us email at support@coworkify.com or give us feedback on our forum.


Member profile image

One of the most requested features that we received during the beta period was showing a profile image in Member’s detail page. Therefore, we implemented it.

When Member has a gravatar account associated his/her email address, Coworkify automatically fetches the profile image from there and displays it as part of Member info.

Below is an example of Member’s detail page showing the profile image. This helps you as space owner recognize each Member much easier and faster.

if you have any feature request, send us email at support@coworkify.com or give us feedback on our forum.