Julie Tucker
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Freelancers: Is a coworking environment for you?

Working as a freelancer is a popular job choice, as it means working for yourself, without a regular contract tying you to a company. The lifestyle means you don’t have to work in a set location, with freelancers being able to choose where they set up their business on a day-to-day basis if they wish.

The location-free lifestyle enables freelancers to work just about anywhere, from coworking spaces and to cafés or from home. They can select a location to fit their budget or mood at the time. They can even select their workplace depending on the weather, as some enjoy working outdoors in the park.

What industries do freelancers work in?
According to the UK Freelance Industry Statistics 2020, there are more than two million freelancers in the UK. For 1.7 million of them, freelancing is their main job, while the remainder treat their freelance work as a secondary role, in addition to a main contracted job.

Freelancers work in many different industries, with the majority being creative, such as journalists, novelists, graphic designers, musicians, illustrators, publishers, web designers and developers, database administrators, photographers and more.

The price comparison site, Money Supermarket, conducted a survey which revealed the most popular sector for freelancing in the UK was business support, accounting for 22% of the total number of freelancers. This is followed by design (20%) and writing (17%).

According to the study, Freelancer Map, in November 2019, 55% of freelancers in the UK usually worked from the client’s office, while the remaining 45% worked remotely, equating to 900,000 people. Of those working remotely, 79% did so from home. Currently, 8% of remote freelance workers (72,000 people) choose coworking space.

How can a coworking office help freelancers?
Considering the number of benefits for a freelancer working in a coworking environment, it’s surprising that more of them haven’t tried this productive workspace yet. With the high level of professionalism expected from a freelancer, a coworking office can help improve their focus and efficiency.

Meeting people and networking are fundamental skills to the success of any freelance business and a coworking space is conducive to both. In today’s era of social media, it’s easy to feel we’re all connected at the push of a button – but the key to good networking will always be the personal touch. Meeting face-to-face often brings in referrals.

Freelancers must be disciplined – it’s important to create structure. When you don’t have a boss watching your every move, it’s too easy to put things off. It can be hard to achieve a good life/work balance when working from home. Boundaries become blurred and you can get distracted. Using a coworking space is less distracting than being in your own home because you’re there for one specific purpose, rather than the space having a dual use.

Establishing a daily routine, such as working predetermined hours in a coworking environment, can increase your productivity. Having to wake up early to go to your workplace and setting your contact hours gives a sense of structure to your working day.

You can concentrate and work normally, but if you need to go out of the office, take a breather, or go for a walk before continuing with your work, this is okay.

Can solitary professions benefit?
Even a profession such as writing, which is usually considered quite solitary, can benefit from a coworking environment, especially when there are ergonomic chairs and bright lights. Some coworking spaces have designated quiet areas, so people won’t be interrupted while concentrating, which can be helpful.

It can be difficult at times being a freelancer if you’re the only one, as it can be lonely, but being based in a coworking space can make it more rewarding. You’re in charge of your time, workload and income, but still have the structure of colleagues, should you want to bounce ideas off someone else.

Headspace Group has a selection of affordable coworking office spaces in central locations such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast, Southampton and Farringdon. They are kept safe during the COVID-19 pandemic by our in-house cleaning division, who perform intensive deep cleans and a fogging service to sterilise the environment for 30 days.

For details of our coworking office space to rent, contact us today on 0800 953 0585.


Image credit © GaudiLab / Shutterstock.com

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