How to Improve Your Freelance Professional Image with the Right Office Space
As a freelancer, should you rent office space?
Well, that depends on what kind of a freelancer you are. Freelance yoga teacher? Maybe not. Freelance writer, graphic artist, or financial advisor? Definitely yes.
The biggest stereotype about freelancers — IT workers, artists, video editors — is that they work in their pajamas and sometimes even in bed. While this is a possibility, it’s not always the case. Many freelancers have real offices in their homes with furniture and electronics and plants.
Even the nicest home office is still a home office. It lacks the professional image for which many freelancers yearn. What’s more, it can seriously detract from getting work done.
What’s bad about a home office?
It’s loud. Whether it’s your kids, your spouse, your pet or your roommates, it can be hard to get work done if people are always around blasting the TV, asking you if there are any more tissues, or arguing among themselves. Earbuds can only do so much.
Worse, if you talk on the phone a lot for work and your clients can hear your dog barking or your kids fighting, you will be exposed as a home office dweller. They might wonder how you get anything done in your environment.
It’s distracting. Anyone who has had a job that allows them to work from home knows that they frequently find themselves getting a snack, throwing in a load of laundry, checking the mailbox, letting the dog out, or doing one of a thousand other things you can’t do in an office. While this may seem productive, it is distracting from your work at hand.
It screams amateur. Some lawyers and accountants set up home offices after they retire to take on part-time consulting gigs. If this is not what you’re doing but you have a home office, you will look like you’re either too young or not successful enough to afford your own office. Get yourself a space. The clients will follow.
You see other people. Being at home all the time is isolating. Renting office space is not just about your mental health, though. Seeing the right kinds of people helps your business. In a busy office rental space, you’ll people who may:
Give you great advice
Give you great ideas
Become your clients
Refer new clients to you
It brings credibility to your business. Your clients — and potential clients — will know when they see your business address that you aren’t simply seeing if you can make a go of this web developer thing. You’re a professional with an office, so clients will take you more seriously.
It’s easier to focus. If you leave the house and go work at a coffee shop or a library, you’ll be away from the distractions of home, but these public places do not provide the motivation of an office. Coffee shops are full of students and unemployed people who spend as much time surfing the web and people-watching as they do working. Lounging in an overstuffed chair stained with someone else’s spilled coffee is not inspiring.
When you’re in an office and everyone is working, you want to work too. You’ll dress the part, sit in an office chair at a desk, and it will be easier to focus. Plus, the minimal rent you pay for your office space will further induce you to make the most of every minute of your day, rather than daydreaming or going to refill your water bottle again.
Renting office space is not for everyone. However, if you have clients to impress, distractions to escape, or you’re just ready for the next chapter in your work life, make the leap and try out your own digs with Premier Workspaces.