Where is the best place to work as a freelancer? We’ve looked at the pros and cons of working from home and working from cafes with free wifi, now it is time to look at coworking spaces. Firstly, what are the good points? What can coworking spaces offer for freelancers?
Most obviously: much better and more suitable facilities
The usual picture for freelancers is the clothes on their back and a laptop on their lap. There is little else that the stereotypical picture involves, but there is much more that the average freelancer needs. Battling the isolation associated with working from home, a lot of freelancers contend with the distractions of cafes, only needing a power socket and the cafe’s free wifi. But realistically, much more is still needed to run a business from your laptop; this is where coworking spaces are advantageous. These spaces will have coffee making facilities, high-speed (reliable!) Internet, conference rooms, and photocopiers/printers. This makes it much easier to run your business from a laptop!
New opportunities and work leads
As a freelancer, you’ll spend most of your time (at least in the first couple of years) looking for new job leads; being surrounded by people in a similar position can help with this enormously. Being in a coworking space often makes sure you are in the right place at the right time. Whatever your niche is, you’ll be around people who may be in need of your skills or may be dealing with clients who are looking for someone like you. A lot of job leads can come from these word-of-mouth recommendations! Being surrounded by other professionals and freelancers will open you up to opportunities you had never considered and would have never heard of otherwise.
Networking and other great events
Whether it is weekly get-togethers, monthly mixers, or other industry-specific networking events, coworking spaces will usually host great events for their members, giving you a chance to make new contacts and gain invaluable advice from others. These events can also give people the opportunity to voice any problems they are encountering in their work, or any new concepts they are working with; giving other people the chance to respond, advise, or other their services. This can help your networking, boost your productivity and problem solving, while also highlighting further opportunities for work.
So, coworking spaces can be great. Of course they can, why else would they be turning up all over the place?! But they aren’t perfect, and when you’re freelancing a lot of these imperfections can having damaging effects upon you and your business.
Many coworking spaces won’t suit the hours you want to work.
We all work to different schedules; that is one of the main motivations for going freelance! Freelancers are often looking to break away from the 9-5 grind, but this doesn’t always sit flush with coworking spaces which only offer certain restrictive opening times. Some spaces will only open from 8-6, but if you’re more productive in the evenings (or have a big deadline on the horizon and want to work through the night) it can be incredibly frustrating when you are made to relocate while you are still wanting to work! When you’re paying for a space, you want to be able to use it when it suits you! This is why our work.life Flex membership is designed to give you 24/7 access to the space you need to run your business. We know you are an individual with your own personal working needs, so we let you choose when you should work.
You can end up paying for space you’re not using.
Prices can vary widely for coworking spaces, depending on your location and the kind of package you’re after. Often, you will be expected to pay monthly (or weekly) fees, which can be a big hindrance when your use of the space may ebb and flow. When you’ve got variable working hours, it can be frustrating to be paying for more than you’re using.
Most freelancers would love to have a constant stream of work, but that is the dream and not the norm, especially while you’re still establishing yourself within your niche. This is one of the biggest problems freelancers voiced to us, so we designed work.life Flex to respond to this! Like Uber for your workplace, a Flex membership doesn’t involve a signup fee and it allows you to use the space on a pay-as-you-go basis. If you need to use the space a lot one week, you can swipe in and use the space as much as you need. If one week you can’t afford to, or simply don’t have much work on, you won’t be paying for space you’re not using! You only pay for space as and when you use it, there needn’t be any fear of big bills you can’t face for space you haven’t even used. Instead, you pay £3.50 an hour for proper workspace, phone booths, free coffee, and everything you need to run you business (access to printers, meeting rooms, and somewhere to bring clients). For all of the benefits of a coworking space, without needing to compromise on any of the negatives, book your tour and try 3 free hours of work.life Flex.