Being self-employed, I have the luxury of choosing where I work. While I do sometimes go a bit stir-crazy in the house (especially if it’s messy), I still get to save a lot of money on commuting and business rents. It also leaves me free to be there for the school run and spend extra time with the kids. Plus, my husband works from home two days per week and needs our home office for his calls, so I get relegated to the dining table.
That’s not right for everyone though. Some people don’t want to work from home, or can’t. I’m a member of a lot of self-employed networks online such as Found & Flourish and Mums In Marketing, and we often discuss other working options such as:
Renting office space
If your business is taking off and you need to start employing people, or you provide a service that needs face-to-face contact with someone, renting office space is necessary.
From the reception desk design to signage, you get control over everything and can build it to reflect your brand and how you like to work.
With the move to remote working, a lot of office space is available and management companies are offering very good rents and terms to encourage people back into them. Now might be a good time to take advantage of it.
A serviced office space is ideal if you need some extra room, but don’t want too much hassle with the day-to-day running of premises. Serviced offices let you rent out the space you need but they take care of things like security, cleaning, and in some cases, reception duties too. It’s perfect if you’re looking for space but without the admin.
I’ve been to some amazing co-working spaces in London and Manchester in the past. I’ve used them when I’ve been travelling for work. They are a great way for freelancers to get some interaction with other professionals, or just to be around people. I’m still in contact with people that I met there and even picked up some work.
Unfortunately, in Durham, there isn’t much choice in the city centre for this kind of co-working. There are a few a little further out, but they’re just a kind of traditional; office settings and in industrial estates or similar. If there was a co-working space in the city centre I’d probably be there every week. Instead, I just head to a local coffee bar with my laptop and work from there for a little while, drinking way too many lattes.
Co-Working Sessions (in-personal and virtual)
I’ve never done one of these myself but a few of the networks I follow organise co-working sessions. It usually involves hiring out a space and then people who have signed up get together to work, expand their network and bounce ideas off each other. It’s a great way to keep yourself accountable.
The only reason I’ve never been to one of these yet is that either the network doesn’t have them in the North East, or they’re at an inconvenient time. That’s a bit of a sore point for me as I’ve been invited to a lot of networking events recently that you can’t do if you’re having to drop off and pick up kids from school. I have a lot of flexibility in my schedule but not with this. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.
What I’ll be Doing In The Future
I love working from home, but after 15 years of working in traditional office environments, I am craving a bit more interaction that isn’t via WhatsApp and email. Being a marketing consultant, I don’t need an office, but when my youngest goes to nursery for 3 days per week in September, I will definitely be making more of an attempt to get out and about to work and meet people, if only for my own sanity.