Most of the time, a desk is all you need for freelancing. Other times, you don’t need a desk at all.
Here’s one scenario that’s heard most often from freelancers who aren’t just getting started, but halfway into the success. Yes, I know that there’s no measurement of success. But if you want to be able to make enough money to bear all the costs of yourself, then you’re at least getting there. At this point, a lot of freelancers wonder whether or not they should get an office space for all their freelancing work.
They feel the necessity of an office space for two reasons. First, they’re earning enough money to afford an office space. Second, their work involves other people (sub-contracting or having other freelancers work under them) in which case having them around in person would speed up the workflow. So if you’re having the same question, first find out which situation you are in. But I’ll describe both in a minute.
Freelancer working in teams
It’s no wonder that if you work as a team, you want your teammates to be around you. It’s definitely faster and somewhat more productive to have people around you so that you can just look up and talk instead of, say, call Skype or type a message in a group chat. But if you make an office for freelancing task, you’re fundamentally losing the idea of working from home. You will need to get to the office and you’ll have to maintain your time accordingly. Of course, if you’re the boss, you’re under no obligation to go to office every day at a given time. But it’s quite sure that if you don’t, the whole idea of having your teammates around will just fail.
That’s not the only case. If those who work under you also think of themselves as freelancers, having to come to your office might discourage them to continue working under you. It’s possible that they’ll want it as a full time or part time job, in both case you might need to give increased salary and other bonuses/fees. All in all, you’ll end up paying a lot more than you are thinking right now will be spent.
So my advice is, unless it’s absolutely necessary, do not get a work space just for the sake of having people in front of you. In this age of internet and advanced communication, it doesn’t make sense to have people in person. If you have to be in a meeting constantly that you believe will be benefited if all members are present, then that’s a different case. Otherwise, unless you really can afford it, my general advice will be to think twice.
There may be other things to consider, though. Such as if your internet connection is so slow that video conferencing is not an option, then it’s generally a good idea to have a place to work at. It all depends on what sort of work you are doing, how many people are involved, and whether or not it’s a wise decision to have an office from a financial point of view depending on how much your profit is.
Freelancer not working in teams
Like I said in the beginning of this article, there are other people who make enough money to think that they can afford themselves an office. It’s mostly for the respect. Oftentimes, people don’t really think that those who stay at home all day actually work. They just spend their time watching movies, poking friends on Facebook and downloading stuff from The Pirate Bay. If you have an office, and therefore a brand name, people will think differently.
But it’s really not a good idea to have an office unless you’re thinking of partnering up with other freelancers. This is different from the previous situation. In this case, you team up with some other freelancer buddies not to work together but have a place so that you all can sit together but work on different project. To simplify this, you can team up with me to have an office space. We’ll share the rent and other costs. But we’ll still work separately. It’s just a physical place to be at.
If this is the case, and if money is really not an issue, then you might want to go for it. Because it’s always good to have people around. But if you’re working alone and yet thinking of getting a workspace just for the sake of it, don’t. It’ll cost you money that you could otherwise spend wisely on other things. Yes, there are definitely pros and cons for a freelancer to have an office space, but unless you’re really making large chunk of money, I would strongly advice against it.
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Before that, let us know what you think. Should a freelancer have an office space despite the fact that it really goes against the work from home theory? Tell us how you feel as a freelancer.