If you’re a freelancer, you’ll be familiar with the downfalls of working from your own home.
Distractions are rife, and so is cabin fever – which is why it may be time to consider moving your business to a flexible office space. But where to start? Read on for our quick guide.
What is a flexible office space?
A flexible office space is a type of office that requires much less commitment than a traditional office in terms of its licensing agreement. For example, a traditional office may require you to sign for a minimum of anything from three to 20 years, while flexible office spaces come with a number of different – less tying – options.
These could include signing a rolling monthly contract or even hiring the space on a day-to-day basis. There are many different types of flexible office space, including coworking spaces, serviced offices, shared offices, hot desking spaces and some private offices. What you choose will depend on the specific needs of your freelance business (more on that below!).
Do you need to be a company to use a flexible office space?
No, you absolutely do not need to be a company or own a company to use a flexible office space. Freelancers are one of the most frequent users of coworking spaces, for example, with many offering affordable monthly memberships and some even charging as little as £12 a day. So if you ever find yourself in need of a desk for an afternoon, all you’d need to do is pay the one-off daily fee and settle down to your work.
Choosing the right kind of flexible office space
As a freelancer, the best kind of flexible office space would most likely be a coworking space. These stylish, shared working hubs usually have a ‘hot-desking’ system where you pitch up in a different place each day, requiring much less commitment than most other kinds of offices.
If you do find yourself wanting something a little more permanent, however, a serviced office could be a better option, which would usually provide you with your own permanent desk (or even room, depending on how much you want to pay). With monthly rolling contracts, smart spaces to call your own and a range of services (as the name suggests), they’re traditionally used by smaller companies – but that’s not to say a freelancer couldn’t reap the benefits of one too.
Facilities usually include admin staff/receptionists plus cleaners and maintenance staff, all for the price of your monthly fee. A serviced office will also be fully fitted out with stylish furniture, wifi and meeting rooms, giving your business a professional font and the scope to grow.
What about a virtual office?
If none of that sounds quite right, it may be that you’d be better off working remotely but using a virtual office to give your business a more professional sounding address.
Virtual offices also usually include phone answering services and mail forwarding, acting as the perfect half-way house for those who aren’t quite ready to commit to office life but who want to give their operation that professional touch. Remember though, you don’t actually work in a virtual office (as the name suggests) but just use it as a front for your business.
How much does a flexible office space cost?
Flexible workspaces vary drastically in price, with some coworking spaces charging as low as £12 a day as mentioned above, and others offering more costly monthly membership fees – up to a few hundred pounds a month and more. Serviced offices tend to fall around the same price bracket as coworking spaces, while virtual offices can be more affordable, starting at around £65/month.
Taking your freelance business to an office can have many benefits, from impressing clients though to helping you manage your own work/life balance. All it takes a bit of careful consideration and you’ll be sure to find somewhere that suits your needs, but most importantly, that doesn’t tie you into anything permanent. The best thing about flexible office spaces? If you don’t like what you get, you can simply move onto somewhere else.