The world of work is changing, and more and more people are choosing to become self-employed freelancers and contractors. IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed) states that the number of self-employed in the UK now equates to 4.8 million, with 42% (approximately 2 million) working as freelancers.
In 2016, freelancers contributed a staggering £119 billion to the UK economy. These figures are set to grow as the number of people swapping ‘employment’ for self-employment continues to increase.
The reasons why people are drawn to freelancing is because it provides the freedom for skilled professionals to work on an array of projects. It allows ‘flexibility’ around the hours they work. So, for instance, if someone has carers duties during the day, they can complete their freelance work in the evening.
But, the biggest benefit of freelancing is that you get to be your own boss and don’t have to take orders from anyone else!
Where do freelancers work from?
While some freelancers may be required to work onsite for the client, research carried out by Epson EcoTank found that 91% of freelancers choose to work from home. Working from home cuts out the cost and time of the commute and gives a better work-life balance, but after a while, it can become lonely.
Epson’s study also uncovered that 48% of its respondents found freelancing lonely and nearly half (48%) said freelancing can be isolating.
If you’re a freelancer who is feeling the negative side-effects of working from home, working out of a coworking office maybe the answer for you.
The pros and cons of coworking sites
Coworking spaces, ranging from small independent providers through to multilocation suppliers have flooded the market. A whitepaper by the Instant Group found that there are around 5,300 coworking spaces in the UK.
But how do you know if working out of a coworking space is right for you? To help you decide we’ve laid out some of the pros and cons:
Some of the benefits of a coworking space include:
· The cost is cheaper than hiring a traditional office and usually includes the costs of amenities like lighting, WIFI, printing etc
· Flexible usage – choose what suits you e.g. 1 day a week or a couple of days a month
· Choose a space that suits your business needs e.g. 1 desk or a space for 2 / 3 people
· Opportunity to meet new people and grow your professional network
· Most spaces hold events which is a great way to top-up your knowledge
Some of the downsides of basing yourself in a coworking space include:
· Time spent getting there
· Lack of privacy – this is something to consider if your work involves managing sensitive data
· People coming and going can be a distraction
· You can’t personalise the space to your own taste
· Unless you pre-book you could turn up and no space is available for you
Whether you hire a desk on an ad-hoc basis or sign up to a monthly membership the good news is that the cost is deemed as a business expense. If you’re a limited company, this can be offset against your Corporation Tax bill.