By Nomali Cele
One of the perks of self-employment, as most of us perceive it, is the fact that the self-employed are in full control of their time. In a close second, is probably the perception that most work in their pyjamas. But in order to be productive and make the most of your freelancer status, pyjama work days cannot be the norm.
Taking the plunge to be self-employed is a big step and there are a few tools that can help you be to make the most of your freelancer status. One of these tools is choosing where and how you work. It does not count as working if you’re on your bed for five hours of the workday, half-watching Netflix.
Choosing workspaces for freelancers
Workspaces for freelancers: Work from home
Working from home as a self-employed freelancer is the go-to holy grail of self-employment. For one thing, it helps you reduce overheads for your business and you don’t have to do any commuting to work.
Of course, working from home also means that your electricity and WiFi bills are going to to be on an incline. While there’s a way to work these costs into your business accounting, there’s no bright side of the inevitable cabin fever. You will get tired of always being home. And, depending on your business, working from home tends to grow inconvenient for all those client meetings eventually.
Workspaces for freelancers: Work from a coffee shop/on the move
The freelancer that works from the coffee shop is two things: seeking a bit of a push to work – at this point working from home is no longer as productive as it was at the beginning. These kinds of freelancers are also the poster children of self-employment: Sitting in a coffee shop all day and sort of “working”, the perception goes.
It’s true that coffee shops, with their supply of coffee and (often) free WiFi, are viewed as a mecca by the self-employed; they become a home away from home. But the drawback is often that they are public. A coffee shop is in the business of maintaining traffic and selling as much coffee, confectioneries and meals as possible. That you need a few hours of quiet to be able to race to your deadline or just 15 minutes of steady WiFi for your video call meeting, is not their business.
workspaces for freelancers: Hot desk
Hot desks at co-working spaces are almost like having a job: You wake up each morning and go to an office. Various freelancers and business people come together with the purpose of getting things done. Finding workplaces if you are self-employed that will offer you more structure than a co-working place. Most memberships come with Wifi, access to a telephone line, printing facilities and, possibly, a meeting area.
Working at a co-working space is good because it allows you to leave the house while structuring your day. It also makes your business look a little more professional, without you having to take on the costs of getting an office.
Whichever option you go with, it’s important to understand your business and continue checking in as it grows because your needs will change.