I had a conversation with someone not too long ago who said they would enjoy having their own cubicle in an office. I’ve already had my share of cubicles and this does not sound pleasant to me. At all. However, I understand how people enjoy different work environments to be productive and happy.
For some, the structure of being at a desk helps them accomplish tasks more quickly. Whereas for me, being self-employed with the freedom to work at many alternative work spaces really helps out when I become stir crazy and my workflow becomes stagnant.
If you have just become self-employed and want to create an optimal environment, here are some ideas to get you started:
Home office. If you have a separate room to create your own work space, that’s awesome. However, if you’re like me and have transformed an area or nook of your apartment into a place for a desk, then it’s best to get creative. Hang up inspirational visuals. Make sure your desk is equipped with pens, sticky notes, a calendar, snacks, and anything else that you might need to hunker down and work. Cost: Free
Coffee shop. Starbucks and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are actually two of my favorite places to write because the WiFi is free, there are several tables to work at, most of which are near a plug-in, and they play an eclectic blend of music that creates a good soundtrack for my work day. I also love exploring local coffee shops, which are usually filled with other self-employed people like myself who have created their own work space. Cost: A few dollars. Coffee shops like you to purchase something in order to use their tables. Plus, it’s the nice thing to do!
Library. Check with your local library for hours and information about free WiFi and work rooms. San Diego has several libraries throughout the city and has an enormous work space at its newest downtown Central Library over several floors with great views of the Coronado Bridge. Having a meeting? Ask about meeting rooms. I can request a meeting room if I want (free at my downtown library) to work in a private space or have a work phone call or meeting without interruption. Added bonus: air conditioning, which my little apartment does not have. The San Diego libraries have saved me from baking in my apartment on more than one occasion! Cost: Free
Co-working space. These types of offices and organizations are popping up all over cities to embrace the self-employed and networking crowd. For a fee, you can join a membership and have access to their WiFi, conference space, events, and other amenities. Some of these spaces also offer a drop-in rate as well. This gives you a chance to work away from home and surrounded by other individuals who are trying to meet deadlines, same as you. Cost: Rate varies. Most places will give you a trial day or week to see if you like it and have flexible plans depending on your needs.
Where do you work best?
I’m currently still running my “Tell Me Your Story” project, I will be selecting one person or one brand per month to write about and promote via social media for free. All you have to do to qualify is email one paragraph to firstname.lastname@example.org that sums up your story and why you think it should be told.