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26.02.2020 Back to Blog articles

Commute Vs Coworking: The Advantages Of Coworking For A Freelancer

As a freelancer or consultant, you cannot rely on contracts always falling into your ideal work location. This can leave you with a difficult choice, take the work and commute, move home/office to a new location or turn down the work. All of these choices come with their own positive and negative aspects. With the overriding concern that these are (often) time-limited contracts (e.g. 6-18 months) the need for flexibility and short term options also has to be factored into the decision-making process.

For example; Harry currently works as a freelance sales consultant and has seen that he can get some more lucrative contracts in Leeds but he is currently based in Birmingham. Working mainly from home in his home office (a converted shed at the bottom of his garden) Harry uses video calling and email when he needs to speak to a client. Despite this, he still finds himself needing to regularly travel to meet clients to discuss new proposals or sales strategies. As a result, he does have a concern about how he would manage meetings with clients based in Leeds.

With just over a 2 hour drive between the 2 locations Harry is left with 4 choices; commute (something many would not want to subject themselves too on a daily basis), move (with all the hassle this entails), turn down the work or consider coworking spaces. By using a coworking space in Leeds Harry can establish ‘formal’ office space in a new location without the significant cost and constraints typically associated with opening a new office.

It’s Not Just A Desk

Harry is then able to customise his space to suit his working preferences while accessing additional resources such as photocopiers and meeting rooms. Coworking offers it’s users a solid, quiet base in which to work (which is not a coffee shop) while away from their main office with all the facilities that a standard office can offer.

Despite our heavy use of technology in all aspects of our lives, recent studies have shown that less formal client meetings incorporating aspects such as a change of venue or simply being outside are more likely to offer a better connection with an existing or potential client. In short, the ability to take clients out of their standard office set up and into a less formal space can create better personal and working relationships. This, in turn, will help you to keep existing and gain new clients and contracts.

Flexible Contracts

A key advantage of coworking is that you do not necessarily have to be tied into a time period based contract. This could allow Harry the ability to ‘rent’ a desk in some formal office space in Leeds for 2 days a week or at a significantly reduced weekly rate compared to setting up an office himself. Coworking can allow Harry to take a few contracts in Leeds without subjecting himself to a permanent shift. This allows him to limit the financial implications as he ‘tests the waters’ outside of Birmingham.

Finally, coworking can open up a wealth of opportunities for Harry and his business moving forward; providing him with an automatic networking platform, with a range of possibilities. These possibilities could include gaining new clients/contracts, improving personal industry and skill knowledge or even recruiting a new member of staff.

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