Freedom and flexibility are words that spring to mind when others think of freelancers. They’re the “lucky few” who can work from home, when and how they want.
Except that freelancers no longer number in the few, and not everything about working freelance is as rosy as office-based employees might imagine.
The pitfalls of working freelance
Usually, working freelance means you’re solely responsible for setting up and maintaining whatever office space and communications tools you need to do your job. That can be expensive.
Office hours? Nah. Your clients, or employers, know you’re at home and may have no qualms about contacting you whenever, 24/7.
When your internet goes down, it’s not like everyone else is in the same boat – and when your computer malfunctions, there’s no “IT person” on hand to help. Also, working freelance can be very isolating, and that’s not good for your health or your career.
Why consider coworking
Thankfully, coworking – a modern approach to work that involves sharing office space and infrastructure – is a game changer. If you’re a freelancer, here are a few reasons why you should consider coworking.
The cost of setting up and maintaining a home office can be high. Along with office furniture and suitable computer equipment and peripherals, you’ll need a reliable internet connection. You’ll probably also want at least a basic printer/copier/scanner.
With coworking at The Workspace, everything you need to get your job done is already set up. This includes comfortable work spaces, high-speed internet, meeting rooms and video conferencing facilities. A range of business services, from reception to courier services, is also available onsite.
Working from a dingy home office can be difficult if you need to meet clients, and it gets depressing long term. Interruptions from pets, children and significant others can also be tricky to manage when you need to focus on your work or talk to a client on the phone.
As your business expands, meeting clients at the corner coffee shop will no longer cut it. You’ll need a more upmarket solution, and coworking facilities offer exactly that.
At The Workspace, our coworking facilities feature modern décor, with an ideal mix of private work booths, comfortable niches and open areas for socialising and relaxing. All our members also have access to professionally appointed meeting rooms and boardrooms, for meeting business clients and partners.
One of the more trying aspects of working at home is the isolation factor. As a freelancer, you might go days at a time without conversing with anyone face to face.
Apart from the problem of loneliness, being freelance can mean you’re effectively out of the loop. You’ll miss out on business opportunities, and be behind with rapidly changing developments and trends.
Coworking opens the door for creative collaboration, information sharing and business networking. It’s a great way to build relationships with like-minded people who are also starting out. You’ll meet entrepreneurs with cutting edge ideas, who can introduce you to folk who may require your products or services.
Enhanced productivity and creativity
Studies prove what one might expect – a well-lit, well-ventilated office, ideally containing some pot plants, can significantly increase productivity. Furthermore, comfort, colour and proximity to other people are intrinsically linked to creativity.
Modern coworking space offers all these key elements. The best facilities are open plan; decorated in calm, neutral colours; and feature plenty of light. Opt for coworking office space, and the odds are you’ll deliver more work, of a higher standard.
It’s true that freelancers enjoy more flexibility than the average office-bound worker. There’s no need for “sick notes” and you can adjust your work schedule to suit your needs, at least to some extent.
If you work from home, though, it can feel like you never get to leave the office. Your work is always there. Also, your fixed costs – including internet costs – won’t change just because you hit a “low work” month.
Coworking at The Workspace is the flexible alternative. You’re not locked in to a long-term rental agreement, and you have access to a range of onsite business services and facilities, if and when you need them.