The perfect freelancer
Just as home is where a you lay your hat, work is where a freelancer places their laptop. For them, there is no limit to where their office begins or when the workday ends. Why? Because a freelancer is just that: free. However, just how does one find the most productive place to excel when every place is a possibility? A riverbank might be a great place to work in your imagination, but less enjoyable when the laptop runs out of charge. Fortunately for you, even with a lifestyle famous for its lack of rules, there are some golden rules to bear in mind.
Let’s take a look at some steps to help you become the perfect freelancer.
As they say, there’s no place quite like home. When you’re freelancing, everything is in place, ready and waiting. The commute is only the length of time needed to crawl out of your bed. The suit and tie is replaced by a duvet and the feeling of comfort. The fridge is only next door.
For many, working from home is an ideal solution when freelancing, enabling them to work in line with their own rhythms and routines. However, home comforts are truly a double-edged sword in the world of work. The idea of turning off an alarm in the morning may seem simple, but it is deceptively so when you’re not expected to be in the office at a certain time. Indeed, it takes strong will and determination not to let lie-ins become the norm, turning the 9-5 into a generous 12-5. Luckily, if the home is to become the office, there are a few ways to keep your productivity in check.
Firstly, ensure that a seperate room exists for work. Not only does this help you organise things, it also allows you to leave work at work. When the door to the study is closed, that’s it. Done. Secondly, make sure you overstock on the essentials. After all, taking a jog down to the local stationary shop isn’t a great way to spend working hours, regardless of the fitness gains. Finally, try and keep decorations simple, as vibrant colours and patterns can cause overstimulation. Instead opt for muted palettes, perfect for zen-like focus and relaxation. Try taking cues from the designs displayed across our many Uncommon workspaces!
Regardless of location, one thing is vital: nature. Whether it’s at home, outside, or part of a corporate office, it’s been shown that the presence of greenery can help improve your mood, reduce stress and increase productivity. Even introducing a small office plant can increase productivity by 15%. Another key to a productive freelancer is natural light. It’s the reason you’re more inclined to jump out of bed on a midsummer morning than a darkened December dawn. Not only is natural light better for your eyes, it’s also biologically important for keeping our body clock in check, helping to aid sleep and reduce stress.
Bizarre though it sounds, it’s been found that concentration is contagious, finally giving justification to anyone who enjoys setting up camp in group setting. It’s thought that the so called ‘audience effect’ is explained by the natural urge to perform better when surrounded by a small group – when your talents are on display for all to see. Another possible explanation is that people subconsciously become competitive when they see someone else working harder than they are. People may be driven by the desire to be better than the people around them. After all, you want to be the top dog in this small coffee shop!
However, groups are more than a way to keep yourself in check. They’re a support network, a friendly face asking if you’re okay after another Windows update kicks in. Depending on the environment, you may also find opportunities to collaborate – bringing your work to the next level and creating friendships along the way. Just one word of advice: if you are heading for the classic coffee-shop setting, try to ensure it’s one where most people are working, and not there to socialise. Not only will this reduce distractions, but it will also make you look a little less out of place. Alternatively, a local library is a quiet and focused area in which to find a work groove.
Mix it up
One of the main benefits of freelance working is freedom from the fixed desk. While working from home or a favourite café may provide some stability, staying in the same place every day is a missed opportunity. It’s found that changing your working location, or even just rearranging the environment in some way, is great for a mental refresh. Of course, making sure your new environment is conducive to work comes first and foremost, so the tips discussed above should still be implemented where possible.
Some days might require focus and others collaboration. With this in mind, flexibility is an important tool in the armory of the freelancer. If the library is closed or your favourite coffee shop overrun by mothers with multiple toddlers, don’t give up. It’s important to have a backup location that you’re happy to work in, preferably nearby. This minimises disruption and helps to maintain your focus on the task at hand.
If you combined the comfort of home, the stimulation of nature and the ability to collaborate with others, you’d likely end up with the ultimate environment for the freelancer. As it so happens, this pretty much also sums up the idea of coworking spaces. By providing a flexible structure, our Uncommon spaces bring together everything needed to be productive, all the while keeping the freedom of the freelancer intact. Whether it’s working privately or meeting with like-minded people, finding a favourite desk or switching up the scene, there’s something for everyone here.
It’s said that the ultimate happiness is to be found in freedom. To have control over one’s life. To wake up and do what you want to do. This is the life of the freelancer. And with the help of Uncommon, the possibilities are endless. Get in touch today to find out more, or book a tour of one our fantastic London coworking spaces to get a feel for the Uncommon experience.
Uncommon takes pride in helping businesses thrive. Our workspaces are designed with your wellbeing in mind. Every single detail helps create an environment in which you can feel good about where and how you work. Visit our locations in Borough, Highbury & Islington, Fulham, and Liverpool Street to experience our unique vision of working life across London.