Whether you have just decided to go freelance or have been self-employed for a while, one of the key decisions you will have to make is where to work from.
The obvious choice might be to work from home since it’s free and readily available. This might not be an option for some people though, due to space or having a busy family.
While many freelances may have a home office base, there are other options that you can explore if you are looking for a change and wondering how your productivity will be affected. Some freelancers like to mix it up a bit and work from a different location every now and then.
Take a look at a few different options to see how they compare:
The home office may seem the obvious choice. It’s free and where you’re most comfortable. A home office can be a great idea for those looking after young children during the day. Many new parents find freelancing a great way to get back into work because of the flexible nature.
You may even be able to get tax deductions on some of your bills (within reason). Having your own accountant can help you get a better understanding of what you’re entitled to.
However, while the home office can be the most comfortable it might not be the place to get your best work done. Being a bit too comfortable and feeling like you’re not at work can potentially hinder your output unless you’re careful. It can be so easy to be distracted by other people you live with, household duties, the internet and childcare. In order to get the most out of working from home, your best bet is to create a schedule that resembles a normal working day if you can.
Coffee shops have always been a popular choice for self-employed people and creatives. Some people find that it’s the right amount of social buzz they need in order to work.
The main problem with coffee shops is that they can get expensive so it’s not ideal to be spending your whole working day in one. Coffee shops can also get pretty busy. This is where your concentration is likely to suffer as the noise levels increase. The good thing about working flexibly is that you can come and go as you please and easily schedule your day to miss the lunch rush.
Some freelancers take to the library during the day to find a place that is both quiet enough to work but not silent enough to drive you mad with boredom. It can be a great place to get work done while having access to office facilities or reference books should you need them.
The only downside is that there are more restrictions. You probably won’t be able to take calls from clients should you need to. If you rely on regular coffee to get through the day, you might be disappointed to learn you have to stick to bottled water in certain parts of the library.
Co-working spaces are places where you can hire out a work space alongside other people in similar situations. It helps to recreate the office environment that many freelancers miss. Co-working spaces are often charged as a monthly membership like a gym and you can use their work spaces, computers, printing facilities and often have access to free coffee. With freelancing and self-employment on the rise the demand for efficient working spaces has grown. They may get expensive to use on a regular basis, however.
There is no one right choice when it comes to places to work. It will depend entirely on what you need to work effectively. It is well worth trying a few different places out and then deciding which the best is for you. It may be possible that you work best with a combination of the above. You may have a dedicated home office and spend one day a week at the coffee shop, and one at the library, depending on your mood or work level.
Have you got any more ideas? Which works best for you? Let us know your thoughts below.