Finding Your Freelance Workspace
As a freelancer, productivity is your life’s blood. The more efficiently you can get work done, the more clients you can serve and the more money you can bring in. One cornerstone of increasing your productivity is finding the freelance workspace that is right for you.
Not all places of work are created equally, and not all freelancers will benefit from the same type of work environment. And, while the nature of freelancing means that you’ll often find yourself hunched over your laptop while your catching the train to your next big meeting, there is something to say for having a regular spot that you use to get most of your work done.
In this post, we’ll take a look at several freelance workspaces you can try out until you find the best one to meet your needs.
Why Your Workspace Matters
First, let’s talk about why it’s important to find your freelance workspace.
Believe it or not, there’s science to suggest that where you work affects how you work. One literature review concluded that an office environment influenced everything from attitude to work performance, and even job satisfaction. The researchers looked at factors such as physical design, temperature, noise, and color.
Of course, individual results may vary. There is no one size-fits-all office solution. Different people have different preferences. Another study conducted at the University of Minnesota found that working at a messy desk improves creativity, for example.
So depending on your line of work and personality, finding the right freelance workspace means experimenting until something clicks for you.
1. Your Home Office
This is probably the spot that most freelancers get most of their work done. Since you’re already paying the rent, and it’s where you already spend most of your time, using your home is just an easy solution–especially when you are just starting out.
Now, home “office” means many things to many people.
For some, their office is really just their dining room table between the hours of 9 and midnight after the kids are in bed. Others have the luxury of designating an entire room for the sole purpose of serving as a home freelance workspace (which could be a tax write off, by the way).
Whatever your home office looks like, the key to making it work is to ensure that it’s a place of business, not a constant source of distraction.
One reason that a lot of solopreneurs have trouble working from home is that they are constantly being torn from their work by roommates, children, or even just plain old distractions like the TV. Likewise, since you aren’t actually leaving your place of relaxation, you may struggle to shift your mindset to get down to business.
If you have trouble separating work and home, it may be time to look elsewhere.
2. A Local Coworking Space
As the gig economy continues to boom, coworking spaces are becoming more and more popular. In 2018 alone, some 3400 new coworks opened around the globe, and market projections expect this trend to continue for years.
If you aren’t familiar with the phenomenon, a coworking space is simply shared office space that individuals rent out, usually on a monthly or annual basis. Since you aren’t investing in a full brick and mortar office space of your own, the costs are incredibly reasonable.
In addition to adding extra separation between work and home, renting coworking space can add a social element to the often lonely work of freelancing. You’ll have the opportunity to network with other aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners like yourself.
Many coworking offices even schedule networking events to help build up the community. These are a perfect opportunity to share clients, strategies, and success stories.
The primary downside to a coworking freelance workspace is that it isn’t your own space. You may have to work around the schedules of other workers, and you probably won’t have somewhere to just leave your stuff.
3. The Library
Your local public library is one of the most overlooked freelance workspaces available to you.
It’s great for anyone who doesn’t need much more than an internet connection and a quiet place to get work done (unless, of course, you’re easily distracted by mountains of literature waiting to be read).
If you don’t want the solitary experience of working at home, but you also don’t want to deal with the social aspect of coworking, the library could be the place for you. There will be plenty of people coming and going. But, generally speaking, you’ll be able to work mostly undisturbed.
The major downside to working in a library is that you are held to their hours. For freelancers who tend to work late into the night, this isn’t a viable solution. But, if you aren’t opposed to working during normal business hours, your local library should do the trick.
4. Your Favorite Coffee Shop
The coffee shop has long been a destination for freelancers looking to get more work done.
Most of them have free wi-fi these days, and nothing beats fulfilling client orders to a freshly brewed venti half-sweet, non-fat caramel macchiato. (Or, you know, just coffee).
Coffee shops can be fun to work in because people are regularly coming in and out, and you may meet an interesting local or two. They’re also an easy place to meet a client or partner in person if the need arises.
As long as you aren’t easily distracted, and you actually buy something to avoid annoying the owners, this is a perfect freelance workspace for someone looking for a buzz of activity (and caffeine).
Don’t Neglect Your Online Freelance Workspace
While it’s important to find the physical workspace that is right for you, it’s equally vital to find an online community of like-minded freelancers. As a laptop warrior, you need to use every avenue available to increase your opportunities to succeed in the freelance marketplace.