Is Having an Office as a Freelancer Worth It?
By: Michael | Published: August 26, 2010 | Filed under: Entrepreneurs, Shared office space, Small Business Advice
Freelancing, regardless of the niche, can be a somewhat hard industry to break into initially but once you get situated and a steady clientele base it can literally become the dream profession. You get to decide your hours, you get to decide your pay, and you get to decide pretty much everything involved in your particular job. If you don’t like to work on Wednesdays-it’s no problem. Do you like working in your pajamas- Why not? Basically, all of the little quirks of working for someone else that annoy you can be eradicated at your whim. But the biggest advantage of being a freelance can easily also become its biggest flaw as the corporate world’s idiosyncrasies are set up that way for a strategic reason and leaning away from certain ones can literally be bad for business.
Case in point-when you are a freelancer you usually start off with your home being your business. That comfy couch replaces your ergonomic office chair, the coffee machine is your literal coffee pot and the TV is never out of reach. These luxuries can be good in moderation but can also turn your freelancing career into a disaster, which is why it is imperative that all freelancers keep an office whether it is a second bedroom retrofitted into a home office or an actual office space within a rented out building. I know you are probably thinking to yourself “why would I quit my job to get rid of the corporate atmosphere only to re-embrace it?” Well, the answer is quite simple actually-efficiency.
Since you already set your own hours of operation, frequency of work load as well as general location of work, you are set up to have a higher propensity for slacking off. Any experienced freelancer can shoot off an anecdotal story about how a TV show marathon kept them from completing an order for a client or how “a few more hours of sleep” can turn into an entire day in bed with you adamantly defending your actions to…yourself. Having an office space gets your brain out of leisure mode and into work mode which is what you need when you don’t have a boss who can fire you for being lazy. By making an office space you can effectively separate work and play within your mind which will undoubtedly lead to more efficient and productive working time.
That’s right, creating an office space will help you keep your work load balanced and keep you productive which is your only means of procuring money as a freelancer. Furthermore, freelancing inherently involves more than just doing the work. You have to file documents, keep a ledger, bill clients, etc…all of which need their very own organized home and the coffee table surely isn’t the best fit. Keeping an office allows you to also keep office space to store all of these vital documents that keep your freelancing job afloat. You have to remember that becoming a freelancer doesn’t mean you don’t have a business or boss to report to because this isn’t true. As a freelancer you become your boss and you become your business so it is necessary to treat yourself as your business since at the end of the day you literally are.
While creating a home office space is an option, another is investing in renting a shared office. Shared office space will vary in price, but it is often designed with a freelancers budget in mind. While many freelancers believe that working from home is an ideal scenario, others acknowledge the truth that it doesn’t always work out as planned. For many, it pays to get out of the house an in to a formal place of business.
In summary, keeping an office space is a vital choice for any freelancer for a plethora of reasons. It allows you to effectively separate work from play, increases productivity, and creates an efficiently run business that any professional would be proud of.
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