Freelancing is synonymous with working from home and all the comforts that come with that: being able to work without distractions where, when and how you like – even if that’s in your pajamas tucked under the duvet. But most freelancers get to a point where they start to miss aspects of working in an office. For some, it’s simply the social side – from office banter to lunch with colleagues. For others, it’s the motivation that getting up, ready and into a place of work gives them. If this is you, the good news is that getting an office is easier – and more affordable – than you might think. There are options available to suit every budget that address the aspects of regular working life that you’re missing. Take a look at some common issues that freelancers have, and the office solutions we suggest to help them:
“I miss the interaction”
If it’s the company you’re missing, a great solution for you is shared office space or hot desking. With shared office space, you rent a desk or desks at a serviced office in your chosen location. With hot desking, you don’t get a specific desk – you just choose one that’s free when you arrive. You’ll find yourself working alongside lots of other people, many of whom will be in the same situation as you, so it’s great for networking and you get the buzz and banter of the office. At the same time, you’re free to go in when you like and you still retain all the benefits of being a freelancer.
“I’m doing well right now, but can’t commit long term”
If the orders are rolling in at the moment but you’re not yet certain about the future, the perfect solution for you is serviced office space. This gives you a professional office fully kitted out with the latest IT and telephony equipment, for one manageable monthly payment and with no long term commitment. The offices are fully kitted out with everything you need, including desks – so you don’t have to spend anything on moving in. If things take a down turn, you won’t be tied into a lengthy lease and you can go back to working at home if you have to.
“I’m happy working at home, but it doesn’t look very professional”
Many freelancers start up with a few clients, perhaps friends of friends, and find their businesses starts to grow, attracting bigger and better clients. At this point, you have two choices. You can go for office space such as a shared or serviced option or, if you love working as you are, you can choose a virtual office. This gives you the professional business address you need to compete at a higher level, together with a professional receptionist who will take and forward your calls. Virtual offices usually have meeting rooms for rent too, should you need them, and many have a restaurant/bar with wifi, allowing members to work there or entertain clients when they need to.
“I would really benefit from an office, but I’m always travelling”
If working from home isn’t working out but a single location wouldn’t benefit you, consider a hot-desking pass. These allow you access to shared office space and business lounges across the UK, so when you’re travelling on business, you’ll have all the facilities you need – a desk, printing, access to your calls, voicemail, internet and a place to charge your laptop and phone – wherever you need them.