As a freelancer or sole trader, one of the first questions you might ask is ‘Where will I be based?’ Although you may aspire to have your own office, that won’t be feasible from the very beginning, so you’ll need to set up somewhere else meanwhile. Creative space is important.
As your own boss, however, often all you need is an internet connection, a desk and plenty of coffee. In fact, there’s plenty to be said for the freedom and flexibility to choose where you work. The key challenge is understanding how different spaces affect the way you work.
Creative Space – Home
For many people the idea of working from home seems perfect. As your own boss you decide when to start the day, when to finish, when to get up and even what to wear for work. In reality, though, working from home is more difficult than most people anticipate. You’ll save money on commuting, but the distractions of working from home can be manifold. Just sitting down for a five minute break to watch TV can easily turn into an hour. Working from home will require a degree of discipline, focus and self-motivation.
If you chose to work from home be sure to dress for work still. Scientists from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University believe ‘enclothed cognition’, the way we think and behave when wearing certain clothes, can affect productivity. Preparing for work as though you were going to the office can be a great way of getting yourself into the working mind set.
Creative Space – Coffee Shops
Cafés are a great place to enjoy work if you’re a freelancer. If you’re fed up of being locked away at home without human interaction, they can serve as a more social working environment. Cafés can also provide a good neutral venue to meet clients and associates.
The benefit of working from a coffee shop goes beyond the opportunities for catch-ups and caffeine. A study from The Journal of Consumer Research suggests that a noise level of around 70 decibels actually boosts creativity compared with low-level noise. At 85 decibels, though, noise starts to hurt creativity, so avoid environments that are too noisy.
Creative Space – Co-working
A creative space affords the modern freelancer or sole trader a great alternative to the distractions of working from home while offering more professional surroundings than a café. Across the UK, and indeed globally, many companies and real estate operators are creating new business models where freelancers can rent desk space in a purpose built office for a fraction of the cost of renting a whole office.
A creative space will be filled with people in the same boat as you, and sharing a space with similar minded people can aid both networking and creativity. Some studies suggest that 71% of coworkers enjoy increased creativity in a coworking space.
These are just a few of the options available; you might also choose somewhere like a library for an ultra-quiet environment or an outdoor space if you feel that nature inspires you. The most important thing is to consider the environments you work best in and the type of work you need to get done and choose accordingly.
For more information on the ins and outs of self-employment, visit our new QuickBooks Self-employed page.