As freelancers we can pretty much choose where we work and when we work (kinda). From the kitchen/dining table to our lounge or even as I sometimes do from the small bedroom under the loft bed that is reserved for my daughters visits on the weekend.
I was having a cyber chat with the ever present Colin Falcon this morning as I wanted to chat about a project we have been working on. He was in a business hub where he lives as his normal broadband had let him down. Like so many others in the UK, he uses SKY and lost his signal due to the weather being inclement. In his business hub, He gets 100mb a second, reception services and coffee on demand and a nice little desk to work on for just £10.0 a day plus VAT.
It got me thinking: How do we as freelancers work when we need privacy to take calls, make calls and of course work on confidential projects without being disturbed or looked over by strangers or just plain nosey people?
After spending a few years in offices and being the corporate dude, I now have the dining table, the bedroom and a small area in my house reserved for me and my work stuff and I love it, BUT, I do like to work in an office environment occasionally and for my two day builds (Thanks Melissa!) I generally hire an office for two (or three) in my local Regus facility.
As I pay a monthly fee (around £50.00) I get preferential rates and can have the full private facilities of great broadband, reception services, coffee on demand and they even have a service that you can pay extra to get in a few snacks for lunch and tea. Of course, for my two day builds, I add the cost of office space to the project.
If you do have an office, how many of you are taking into account the overhead, even if you have a home office you still have an overhead because you are using electricity, space, kitchen facilities and of course you may need to pay compensation to your partner? (in the form of a night out to a special restaurant for putting up with all those late night and weekend skype calls – yup, that’s me!).
Anyway, all costs of running our business need to be taken into account somewhere down the line, cost of sales must include your office facilities. Colin has a simple answer – as I have said, his facility costs him £10.00 per day or if he wants to sign up for a minimum of three months it could go down to as little as £6 or £7 a day plus VAT so, not bad.
My Regus membership entitles me to any day in business hours to literally hundreds of business lounges (shared space) in much of Europe. I use my local one which is 10 minutes’ drive and just plug in and get on with it.
I can also meet a client give them access to the internet for an hour for free and most things can get done within that time. For a small office its around £10.00 an hour. For me, it’s an ideal solution and saves me thousands a year on renting or even owning office space.I find this solution so much better than Starbucks or Costa, for a start you don’t generally get the guy/gal who is spouting so loudly about his/her latest and greatest start up idea!).
Being in shared space is good for the reasons as stated and occasionally a potential client will approach you through general conversation, so, if you are looking for work, it’s a great way to network too.
One word of warning, settle in first – it’s no good rushing up to the first person in the business lounge and saying I build websites – what do you do?
Give it a few days of working diligently and people will approach you.
I’d love to hear your experiences of working as a freelancer either at your home office or in shared office space or a hub. I’d also like to hear your experiences of having a team with you in your own offices if you are a ‘bigger’ agency, do you like to work from home occasionally, how do you feel about remote working and of course, are you looking at going freelance and being on the ‘run’ as it were….
Comments are welcome below.