As a freelancer or small business owner, working at home can be fun – at first. If you’re just starting out, using your home as your workplace can save you lots of money. Over time, however, you might find it hard to concentrate on your work as never-ending responsibilities – such as washing dishes, doing laundry, preparing meals, and answering the door – pile up. In some cases, finding the right business premises may be just what you need to boost your productivity and grow your business.
Coworking spaces remain a popular option for freelancers. These communal work spaces let you escape the isolation that tends to occur when you work at home alone. Coworking spaces typically are buzzing with a range of freelancers, independent professionals, and startups, and this interaction can foster creativity. For a nominal fee, you can rent a shared desk, a private desk, or even a private office. The range of amenities depends on the coworking space, but you normally get free internet access, some administrative assistant services, and lots of free coffee. Some coworking businesses offer professional development seminars and opportunities to network with angel investors. IT professionals, copywriters, photographers, graphic designers, and filmmakers are among the freelancers who use coworking spaces.
Many freelancers don’t have the earnings to commit to long-term commercial leases, and that’s where virtual offices come in. Much quieter and more private than coworking spaces, a virtual office may work for you if you’re a freelancer who takes meetings with high-end clients or if your clients prefer to meet in a private location for confidentiality.
Virtual offices typically provide a prestigious downtown address – and may also provide a prestigious area code – where you can pop in and work as desired. They also provide mail forwarding and telephone answering services for an affordable monthly fee, no lease required. Many virtual offices provide a receptionist to greet your clients, appointment scheduling, and other administrative assistant services. When you rent a virtual office, you don’t have to pay for utilities, internet service, and office equipment, such as fax and copy machines. Salespeople, executive recruiters, career and life coaches, and financial advisors are among the independent professionals who use virtual offices.
Dedicated Home Office
In the absence of perks of urban and suburban living such as coworking spaces and virtual offices, you might create a dedicated business premises inside your home. Unlike working in the living room or a den just off a high-traffic hallway, an empty bedroom at the end of the hall may provide the quiet and privacy necessary to get your work done. Depending on local zoning laws and your comfort level, you might renovate an area of your home that has a private entrance, such as a basement or a space above the garage, where you can meet clients. Dedicated business premises at home often work well for independent professionals, such as tailors, holistic therapists, and interior designers.