Assuming that you have a choice available with no outside factors involved - choosing whether to work from home or a rented space/studio
is a decision every freelancer should spend time thinking about. Importantly, it’s a question that one should probably ask themselves at regular intervals of their freelancing life… There is no right or wrong answer; it is ultimately a personal decision for the lone freelancer. You may also be interested in the following related posts:
I Have A Dream
Working from home has its benefits and many will spout a million different possible ‘benefits’. In my opinion, there are only 2 that are worth taking serious note of:
- It is cheap - low fees / overheads.
- It is convenient - the dream working lifestyle.
The obvious, clear and undeniable advantage is that working from home is virtually free. It is a marginal percentage of the fee that often comes with a rented space. One big concern of any freelancer is cash-flow; signing onto another monthly bill is a prospect that appeals to few of us.
Getting up at 11am , having a long chill-out, starting some work at 1pm… stopping, going for a walk, watching day-time TV, then doing a little more work at 8pm.. sounds like a dream? To most, its nirvana. This is the romanticized version of the freelancer lifestyle - the idea of working when YOU want to work.
I personally work from home and honestly, on a good day, I am up at roughly 10am and I stop working at roughly 7pm. Breaks come when I travel to meetings and maybe 90 minutes or so right in the middle of the day. Furthermore, my working week often extends into the weekend. As a freelancer, we do it all; administrative work, marketing, project management, sales, etc.
If you are one of the lucky few, are you as successful as you could be? If you have lived a life of habitual procrastination and irregular patterns, then this has surely has left you not being as productive as you could be.
How many of us actually live the romanticized freelancer lifestyle?
What A Waste Of Money
Many see paying for a rented working space as an unnecessary expense. However there are clear advantages to a dedicated working space:
- Prestige. Meeting clients at a business address.
- Psychological ‘I am going to work’ and ‘I have finished work and am going home.’
- Professional Environment. Your possible office space might be around other creative professionals.
Having a rented place gives you the psychological uplift of having somewhere to head to in the morning. When you get there, you know you are there to work. There is a mental lift when inviting clients to meet and discuss projects and there is an image of a truly professional outfit. Starbucks and little cafes aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. It also helps you to separate your work life (freelancing is a job!) from your social life with a distinct line that helps you know when to stop.
One of the things that we often overlooks as freelancers is that we need a routine to be productive and efficient. Rented space; because you’re paying for it - is an incentive towards establishing a working routine. Of course the obvious disadvantage is cost. Others include the fact that many freelancers are freelancers to escape being cooped up inside a space whilst working.
Taking those I know as a sample, I think its fair to say the vast majority of us work from home. Maybe as freelancers, we are motivated enough to work hard in the comforts of our houses. Also, the negatives of saying ‘I work from home’ are not as taboo as they once where a decade ago. It is almost ‘trendy’ to say so now.
Either way, making the right choice for you is important; where you work is one of those overlooked factors that could be the thorn or spur in your success!
Where do you work?
It’s your turn. Let us know where you work by leaving a comment below. You can also share with us the reason why you rent an office or why you have decided to work from home. We’d love to have an interesting discussion about this subject so feel free to contribute to the discussion. Thank you for reading the article.